Thursday, January 7, 2016
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Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters

Winter in the Wilderness

On Christmas Day, Star Tribune Outdoors featured Dave and Amy Freeman's A Year in the Wilderness. Read an excerpt below and the full article online or in a PDF of the print edition.

Trip to spend year in BWCA builds on career of advocacy

If the journey by Minnesota adventurers Dave and Amy Freeman looks idyllic, that is the point: They're determined to show what's at stake in light of the prospect of mining. 

BY SARAH BARKER
Special to the Star Tribune
December 25, 2015

We’ve seen adventurers Amy and Dave Freeman dancing on a frozen lake (in Sorels!). We’ve seen ice-coated branches, the sky getting rosy in the east, wolf tracks in the snow.

Maybe, too, those following online have experienced the small — a pine martin dashing after a snowshoe hare — and the grand — fuchsia sky reflected in black water — as if we’ve been with them in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA).

That’s the whole idea. Instead of escaping to the wilderness, the two are sharing every portage, every Technicolor sunset to show house-dwellers the stunning legacy belonging to Minnesotans and what they see threatened by the prospect of copper-nickel mining. Those last words fall with an awkward clunk amid this talk of natural beauty, but irreparable harm is the high-stakes back story to the Freemans' seemingly idyllic adventure. Their “Year In The Wilderness” is not just an adventure; it’s adventure advocacy to them. They partnered with the Ely, Minn.-based Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters to maximize the impact of the message: Their mind-boggling pictures and captivating real-time stories draw followers right to their campsite.

The couple have made a career of sharing the wilderness with others, either literally, as guides for canoe and dog sled trips in the BWCA, or virtually through their Wilderness Classroom school partnerships, podcasts and blog posts. They’ve paddled the Amazon and Lake Superior, and spent three years crossing the North American continent, to name a few expeditions, all with an environmental education/activism agenda.

For more on A Year in the Wilderness, visit the expedition page, read regular Campaign blog posts, view the Freeman's social media or follow along on their map.