Paddle to DC

In the fall of 2014, National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Amy and Dave Freeman, paddled and sail 2,000 miles from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota to Washington DC. The purpose of their journey was threefold: celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, learn about the waterways and forests along their route, and look for ways to help protect the planet. The Freemans paddled a signature canoe that they delivered to Washington DC to show support for wild places and help protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for future generations.

Each week from September 2nd through December 8th elementary and middle school students used STEM-focused lessons to join the adventure and learn along with the Freemans through educational updates, video conferencing and a variety of activities designed to immerse students in the adventure. The team also recorded data ranging from the amount of garbage they produced, to water quality measurements for students to interpret. The Freemans have hung up their paddles from now, but there is still plenty to explore. We hope you enjoy all the photos and educational content of this archived adventure.


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  1. Elizabeth Beaver
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    My students are asking the questions:
    How much food are you going to be taking with you?
    Did you take the same articles that you took on the trip to the Rio Roosevelt?
    How many days will it take you to make this trip?

    • Posted September 4, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      These are great questions.

      We will take about one week’s worth of food with us at a time. There will be plenty of opportunities to resupply along this route, so our packs don’t need to be super full of food.

      We are taking many of the same pieces of equipment from the Rio Roosevelt, but we are adding more warm clothes in preparation for cold weather.

      Paddle to DC will take 100 days. We plan to reach Washington D.C. on December 3.

  2. ap17
    Posted September 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    amy hi do you like pigs

  3. Eli H
    Posted September 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Hello Amy.

  4. Posted October 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Have you seen a Mustang Convertible in the river yet?

  5. Mikey
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting. : )

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