Dave and Amy Freeman's adventurous honeymoon began about a year and a half ago. On Tuesday, October 25th they completed a 2,300 mile canoe paddle from Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories to Grand Portage, Minnesota. This marks the end of the fourth stage of Dave and Amy's North American Odyssey, an 11,700 mile human (and dog) powered expedition. So far they have logged over 6,000 miles in their canoe, kayaks, and dogsled.
This stage of the expedition began in the last week of May while ice still covered most of Great Slave Lake. The adventurous pair, accompanied by their favorite lead dog Fennel (a 100 lb. Lab-husky mix), worked their way up remote rivers and through immense lakes. The clear, cold waters of Lake Athabasca and Reindeer Lake were on their route, along with the algae-filled waters of Lake Winnipeg. The end of their route has taken them through Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Dave and Amy call Grand Marais, Minnesota home, so they wrapped up this leg of their journey in very familiar territory.
The purpose of the North American Odyssey is to raise awareness of North America's waterways and wilderness. It is also a call to action, urging people to simplify their lives, reduce their carbon footprints, and get outside to enjoy nature. Their message has been heard by about 65,000 school children from around the globe so far.
Dave and Amy update an educational website, WildernessClassroom.com, where students and educators interact with the expedition team. A second website, NorthAmericanOdyssey.com serves as a blog for armchair adventurers to see what they are up to. The Freemans began the North American Odyssey in the spring of 2010 near Seattle, Washington. They kayaked the Inside Passage and then headed inland, working their way up to the Mackenzie River delta. They then turned south, paddling upstream until the snow flew and they spent last winter dogsledding across the Northwest Territories to Fort Resolution.
Despite this homecoming after about 5 months of paddling, the couple are just over halfway done with the North American Odyssey. They are taking this winter break to give school presentations and attend other speaking engagements. In the spring, they will dust off their paddles once again and kayak through the Great Lakes out to the East Coast, where they plan to follow the annual whale migration down the Atlantic Coast to the Florida Keys.
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The Wilderness Classroom is a nonprofit that strives to improve students' core academic skills and appreciation for the environment by introducing elementary and middle school students to wild places through our website and live school presentations.
Becoming the first all-female team to ever paddle from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, Sierra Designs supported Ann Raiho and Natalie Warren finished the historic 2,250-mile route in 85 days.
Labeled as the “Hudson Bay Bound” adventure, the trip was inspired by the fur trade route outlined in the 1930 novel Canoeing with the Cree. Raiho and Warren were struck by the fact the trip had never been completed by an all-women’s team, and saw a potential journey as a way to inspire other women to plan and embark on their own multi-day adventures.
“We hoped that our trip would bring awareness and inspiration to women who do go on …or want to go on wilderness canoeing adventures. We did make it, so the first part of our goal is fulfilled. Now we will work at spreading our story to inspire other people to get out there,” said Raiho during a post-adventure interview.
Raiho and Warren were not only the first women’s team to complete the arduous journey, but also were the fourth team ever to complete the trip.
Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), today announced the launch of the “Why I Deserve to Win a Kayak” video contest. The contest is designed to engage participants into convincing the viewing audience, by means of a short 3-minute video, why they deserve to win a kayak by Native Watercraft or Liquid Logic.
Participation consists of a four-part process that encompasses registration, video creation, video submission and voting. ACK is encouraging participants to keep their videos humorous and entertaining in order to captivate the judges. All video entries must identify which brand and model kayak the participant is attempting to win.
“The contest was designed to help us grow our fan base and ultimately cultivate a richer more interactive experience for our social media network of friends and followers,” said Roland Jimenez, ACK Director of Marketing, “Facebook is the ideal platform for this but at the end of the day, it’s really all about having fun.”
Winners will be chosen through a voting system by Facebook Fans that “Like” the Austin Canoe and Kayak Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/austinkayak. Voting will be launched after the initial submission period ending November 1st, 2011. Interested participants can register and obtain additional information including eligibility requirements, rules and agreements at yakr.us/c7cv.
About Austin Canoe and Kayak
Founded over 20 years ago, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) is an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer based out of Central Texas dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and the widest selection of paddlesports and outdoor equipment. ACK operates three physical retail shops in Austin, San Marcos and Houston, Texas and an online store at www.AustinKayak.com.
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is pleased to announce that Werner Paddles has joined our organization as a Vendor Partner.
Over forty years ago, founder Werner Furrer Sr. saw a need to design and build his own kayak paddles. His goal was to give his family more enjoyment as they explored the waters of the Pacific North West. Today, a short distance from where the first paddle was built in the family garage, Werner Paddles now calls Sultan Washington home.
It is here that the employees of Werner’s design and production team handcraft the world's finest kayak, canoe and stand up paddles. These folks pour their pride into every paddle to give their customers more enjoyment on the water. This pride and quality workmanship is evident every time you pick up a Werner Paddle. You see their unsurpassed attention to quality and feel it with every stroke.
The employees at Werner believe Advanced Designs and a Great Fit are the key ingredients to achieving Ultimate Paddle Performance. “Advanced Designs” mean much more than great blade designs and light weight construction. It includes maintaining bomber durability, shaping comfortable grips and providing amazing features to ensure all these features work together as a whole to create a well-balanced paddle.
Doug Ragan, Director of Sales shared his thoughts on Werner becoming a vendor partner with Grassroots Outdoor Alliance: “We are excited to be a part of Grassroots and looking forward to growing closer with its many members. Grassroots provides a super platform to partner with some of the smartest and strongest outdoor dealers in the industry.”
With such high product standards and a history of producing fine, quality products, Werner Paddles seems a natural fit to the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Ed McAlister, owner of River Sports Outfitters and Chairman of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance’s Paddle sport Vendor Committee, shared his thoughts on Werner Paddles: “Werner is the best paddling manufacturer in the industry and we could not ask for a better company in terms of quality product and staff to partner with. We’re thrilled to have them on board.”
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance unites independent outdoor retailers as a strong voice to protect and promote the experience of outdoor enthusiasts across the United States. To learn more about Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, visit our website at www.grassrootsoutdoors.com.
1% for the Planet, a global network of businesses that invest at least 1% of their sales in organizations focused on sustainability, and Outside, a media leader in the active lifestyle, outdoor, travel and adventure markets, are up to something… partnering to make the planet a better place. Their partnership is a multi-media one, spanning print, digital and broadcast, with the goal of building awareness of the important work of the 1% for the Planet network.
“The sustainability of business is directly tied to the sustainability of our natural environment,” said Christopher Keyes, Editor of Outside Magazine and OutsideOnline.com. “Corporate giving can have an enormously positive impact on our planet and joining 1% for the Planet is one of the simplest ways to make that happen.”
“Companies and non-profits working together to make big, positive environmental change happen is big news; consumers should know about that and encourage companies to contribute; this partnership enables just that” says Melody Badgett, SVP 1% for the Planet.
The partnership will reach millions of consumers annually and include Outside Magazine, Outside Online and Outside Television properties. The alliance was announced in the Keep Earth in Business editorial in Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work September issue and takes effect immediately.
“Outside’s leadership position in the industry, along with their sustainable corporate ethos, make them and ideal partner for 1% as we continue to encourage businesses to take a lead role in environmental stewardship” said 1% CEO Terry Kellogg.
1% for the Planet is proud to work with 25 media partners including Mother Jones, Utne Reader and CSR Wire. Each media partner commits to giving 1% for the Planet at least 1% of their advertising inventory to help grow the power and reach of the movement.
For more information on 1% for the Planet, our members and the environmental non-profits they support, and our media partners please visit us at www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/en/.