North American Odyssey

On Earth Day (April 22) of 2010 Dave and Amy Freeman of the Wilderness Classroom Organization began a three year, 11,700 mile journey across North America by kayak, canoe, and dogsled. Their goal was to use their journey as a platform for gaining support and protection for North America’s waterways, and promote living “green and simple”.

“Living “green and simple” involves making healthy choices that simplify life, reduce your global footprint, and provide quality time for friends, family, and outdoor pursuits. We hope to inspire people to make lifestyle changes that are environmentally sound, improve quality of life, and leave a little more green in your pocket,” explains Dave.

Their odyssey began by kayak on the Pacific Coast studying temperate rainforests and marine life of the Pacific Northwest. This was just the first in a series of six stages on their quest to highlight North America’s wildest places.

After kayaking 1,400 miles from Seattle, WA to Skagway, AK, the team progressed over the history-studded mountains in the footsteps of the Klondike Gold Rush to the home of Inuit along the Arctic Ocean where polar bears roam. From the Arctic Ocean they dogsledded and canoed south through central Canada, kayaked across the Great Lakes, then followed the annual whale migration past the salt marshes and sea turtles of the Atlantic Coast, finishing in the mangroves and coral reefs of the Florida Keys.

Through daily web updates, elementary and middle school students learned alongside the explorers.

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