Dave and Amy Freeman, the Grand Marais adventurers maybe best known for their 2,000-mile trek to Washington, D.C., from August to December 2014, will conclude a year in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on Friday.

“We are filled with emotions — sad to leave the wilderness, happy to see friends and family, excited to find new ways to share and protect this very special place,” Dave Freeman wrote in a blog post. “Honestly, I think we are more nervous about exiting the wilderness than we were about entering it nearly a year ago. ... What have we learned during the last year and how can we continue to share what we have learned?”

Their full year in the wilderness was intended to draw attention to the beauty of the region and also was part of a campaign to protect the boundary waters from sulfide-ore copper mining. The Freemans, who expected to travel more than 3,000 miles by canoe and dog team, have documented their adventure on social media. Volunteers brought in fresh supplies to the Freemans during the year.

The Star Tribune caught up with the Freemans last December and wrote about their adventure. It was day 80.

Asked about a typical day at the time, they said some aren't "super structured."

"We get up about 7, put wood in the stove, and start heating water for our breakfast. We get all our water from lakes and, in the winter, usually boil it just because we want hot food. But you could drink it right out of the lake. If we’re moving, we pack up camp and are in the canoes or skiing by 9 or 10 a.m., and stop about an hour before it gets dark. We stay in registered campsites with a fire grate and a latrine. Now that the days are really short, we use our headlamps a lot.

If we’re staying put, we’ll visit lakes close by to document what we see and do water quality testing. Since we haven’t been traveling as much lately, we’ve been doing a lot of writing — blog posts for Save the Boundary Waters, daily posts for Wilderness Classroom, a weekly podcast for Canoe and Kayak magazine, for National Geographic Adventure. In the summer, it takes about 45 minutes to set up camp and start cooking dinner. In the winter, you have to gather firewood and chop it, feed the dogs — it takes about an hour and a half. We read, sometimes aloud, and go to sleep at 9 or 10 p.m. That’s our daily rhythm.”


Find related links and more on their story on the web at freemansexplore.com.