Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Couple returns after a year exploring the Boundary Waters

Author:

A couple who spent a whole year exploring the Boundary Waters have returned to civilization.

Dave and Amy Freeman of Grand Marais came out of the wilderness on Friday, paddling in on their canoe as more than 200 people gathered to cheer them on, WCCO said.

The Freemans spent the year in the wild to bring attention to what they say are threats from proposed Twin Metals sulfide-ore copper mining, according to the Save the Boundary Waters website.

They traveled thousands of miles

The couple started their journey on the edge of the Boundary Waters in Ely on Sept. 23, 2015, setting a goal to visit 500 lakes, rivers, and streams, Save the Boundary Waters says.

When they returned to the Kawisihiwi River near Twin Metals' proposed mines site on Friday, they had traveled over 2,000 miles by canoe, dog team, snowshoes, skis, and on foot, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

They documented the adventure on social media with daily blog posts, podcasts, and plenty of photos.

The explorers told Outside magazine that their biggest obstacles while living in the great wide open were posting to social media, traveling on ice, privacy, filing their taxes, and leaving the wilderness after spending so much time alone.

"We have been forever changed by the Wilderness and will leave it knowing that we must speak loudly for this quiet place, and that our collected voices have the power to effect change, ensuring that wild places like the Boundary Waters remain for future generations," the couple posted on Instagram.

The mining issue

Since 2008, several mining companies have applied for permits to conduct drilling on state and federal lands near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA), according to Outside magazine.

Twin Metals is one of two companies that wants explore copper-nickel mining in the region.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGpR7gwPsOg/?taken-by=freemanexplore

Sulfide-ore copper mining produces waste that can leach sulfuric acid, heavy metals, and sulfates into the air and water. Pollution from the proposed mines would flow into the Boundary Waters, and a single mine could continually pollute the area for at least 500 years, according to Save the Boundary Waters.

The BWCA is America's most visited wilderness area, with 1.1 million acres of "pristine water and unspoiled woodlands," the website says.

Gov. Mark Dayton has stated his opposition to mining near the protected wilderness area. He has directed the Department of Natural Resources not to allow Twin Metals access to state lands.

Twin Metals sued the federal government last week over their right to mine near the BWCA.

Next Up

ambulance

Motorist dead after crashing into utility pole in south Minneapolis

The crash happened Saturday night in the South Uptown neighborhood.

police lights

St. Cloud mother arrested after 3-month-old baby found dead

Officers discovered the baby during a welfare check Sunday.

Merwin Liquors Mounds View

Police shoot, kill man inside Mounds View liquor store

It follows an alleged armed carjacking outside a nearby Aldi.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.

Related

Couple returns after a year exploring the Boundary Waters

The Freemans spent the year in the wild to bring attention to what they say are threats from proposed mines.

Tom Landwehr

Ex-DNR commissioner is new Save The Boundary Waters director

Tom Landwehr will continue the fight against the Twin Metals mining project.