Dave Freeman

of Wilderness Classroom

Dave and Amy Freeman were National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for the work with Wilderness Classroom. Learn more here:

http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2014/amy-dave-freeman/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwX4Y2-Cp0s

A Year in the Wilderness: Followed by Wolves – Week 16, Post 9

There are wolves all around us; scientists estimate there are close to 500 wolf packs in Northern Minnesota. We encounter their tracks almost every day and their ghostly howls often pierce the frigid night air, but we rarely see them. Normally wolves run away when they sense the presence of humans and are gone before we…

A Year in the Wilderness: Feeling Winter’s First Arctic Blast – Week 14, Post 8

The cold stung my face when I unzipped the tent door and ventured out. The sled dogs remained curled in tight balls, with their furry tails draped over their noses to conserve heat. Only Acorn lifted her head to sniff the air and let out a short, playful howl to acknowledge my presence. The wilderness…

A Year in the Wilderness: The Sled Dogs Arrive – Week 13, Post #7

Our best Christmas presents arrived a few days late this year, and instead of being delivered on Santa’s sleigh, they arrived by dog team. On January 2, our 102nd day in the wilderness, we spotted a dog team gliding silently across Newfound Lake. Eight dogs lopped along in unison, pulling local musher and county commissioner,…

A Year in the Wilderness: Winter Arrives in Earnest – Week 11, Post #6

By the time we were ready to start hauling the canoe across the ice, the packs were covered in a layer of white. The winter’s first blizzard was bearing down on us and our food pack was uncomfortably light. We needed to move closer to the wilderness boundary in hopes of rendezvousing with a couple…

A Year in the Wilderness: Hauling Over Thin Ice – Week 10, Post #5

The cold stung my face as I opened the tent and stepped into the inky blackness. Stars dotted the sky and the ice sang as it grew, emitting low muffled, pulsing groans into the still night air. I grabbed the axe and headed down to the lake. My headlamp’s narrow beam illuminated wolf tracks on…

A Year in the Wilderness: Thanksgiving in the Boundary Waters – Week 9, Post #4

Our 65th day in the Boundary Waters gave us an excuse to celebrate on two accounts. We mused over breakfast that we will be in the Wilderness for 300 more days. More importantly, we were celebrating Thanksgiving in the Wilderness. We have been looking forward to Thanksgiving for several weeks and the stuff sack full…

A Year in the Wilderness: Howling Wolves Remind Us We Are Only Visitors – Week 7, Post #3

The lake’s glassy surface beckoned us, so after setting up our camp we slid the canoe back in the water for a quick paddle as the sun set. We pulled our canoe up on shore and were about to continue our camp chores when a pack of wolves broke the silence with a chorus of…

A Year in the Wilderness: Feeling the Pull of the Basswood River – Week 6, Post #2

The Basswood River in Minnesota’s Boundary Water Canoe Area spills over many ledges and squeezes through rock walls where it empties out of Basswood Lake. There is a mile-long portage that bypasses the first mile and a half of river, where most of these rapids lie. Gazing up the river this morning from our campsite…

A Year in the Wilderness: Week 4, Post #1

Yesterday morning I poked my head out of the tent and found a thin, white blanket of snow. It was the first snowfall of the season in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota– another milestone in the slow and steady transition between fall and winter. My wife, Amy Freeman, and I have…

Sailing the World’s Largest Lake in Search of Microplastics

Last spring my wife, Amy, and I retrieved our sailboat, Yemaya, from Ontario’s Georgian Bay. Yemaya spent the winter on Manitoulin Island, because we left her there in the middle of a 2,000-mile journey by canoe and sailboat from Minnesota to Washington D.C. last fall. Sailing her home seemed like the perfect excuse for a little…