A couple whose North American Odyssey was partly funded by Wood River Valley nonprofit Wild Gift landed their kayaks in Key West, Fla., on April 4, completing a three-year, 11,700-mile expedition across North America by kayak, dogsled and canoe.
Amy and Dave Freeman began their human- (and dog-) powered expedition in Bellingham, Wash., on Earth Day (April 22) 2010. The purpose was to highlight North America’s waterways and wild places while engaging students, teachers and armchair adventurers in their journey via www.WildernessClassroom.com. More than 80,000 elementary and middle school students from around the world participated virtually.
The Freemans also met directly with more than 25,000 students at presentations they conducted along their route. Close encounters with humpback whales, grizzly bears, caribou, crocodiles and sharks were a few of the highlights of their expedition shared with students.
In northern Canada the couple traveled for more than 40 days at a time without encountering a road or town and survived minus-50-degree temperatures on a regular basis while dogsledding.
Wild Gift was one of many sponsors of the expedition. Its mission is to support young people who want to start businesses that will help others—social entrepreneurs, in other words—while using wilderness treks to help focus the goals and ideas of the participants.