Journey of a lifetime; Grand Marais couple honored for trek across North America


A Minnesota couple is being recognized for their journey that brought them across North America.

According to a report from MPR News, Dave and Amy Freeman, of Grand Marais, have been named among the National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year.

On Apr. 4, the Freemans paddled into Key West, Florida completing their three-year over 11,000 mile journey that took them kayaking, hiking, and dogsledding across the continent.

The couple has gone on journeys before with the nonprofit organization they run called Wilderness Classroom. The couple shares their experiences with kids online. The mission of their nonprofit is to instill a lifelong appreciation of the natural world while improving basic skills like reading, critical thinking, and communication by highlighting the joy of discovery.

They said in an interview with MPR though, that the North American Odyssey is by far the longest expedition they have completed. Previously the couple has traveled across South America by bicycle and canoe.

Their excursion took them up the west coast of North America along the Alaskan-Canadian border, back through Canada along the north shore of the Great Lakes, down the east coast, across Florida and all the way down the Florida Gulf Coast.

In all, the 11,647 mile journey took the Freeman's three years to complete. Along the way, they connected with students over the internet to involve them in the journey.

The USA Today reports that the honorees for the People's Choice Adventurer of the Year award were chosen for their "extraordinary achievements in exploration, adventure sports, conservation or humanitarianism."

Online voting continues through Jan. 31, 2014. The winner of the vote will be announced in February.

Next Up


Low visibility hampers Grand Marais climber on Denali

Lonnie Dupre hopes to continue his climb Wednesday if he can see at least 100 feet in front of him. The adventurer is trying to become the first person to climb North America's tallest mountain -- alone -- in January. He tried last year but had to stop at 17,200 feet because of the bad weather.

Update: Grand Marais climber still at 14,200 feet

Lonnie Dupre is still at 14,200 feet on Mt. McKinley. The Duluth News Tribune reports hurricane-force winds are keeping Dupre from moving further up the mountain. The 50-year-old is attempting to be the first solo person in January to reach the highest peak in North America -- a 20,320 foot summit. Dupre tried the same record last winter, but only reached 17,200 feet because of bad weather.

Grand Marais climber going for Mt. McKinley summit record

Lonnie Dupre, of Grand Marais, hopes to be successful with his second attempt to become the first solo climber to summit Alaska's Mount McKinley in January. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Dupre spent 22 days alone on North America's highest mountain when a storm kept him from reaching the top on his first try last year.