Dave & Amy Freeman


Dave and Amy Freeman, named National Geographic Adventurers of the Year in 2014, have a lot of miles under their belts. Since 2001, they have logged over 30,000 miles by kayak, canoe, and dogsled from the Amazon to the Arctic, and they are using their experiences to inspire and educate everyone from kids to business leaders. They run the Wilderness Classroom, an educational non-profit that introduces kids to wild places and unique cultures. The couple is well known for their Year in the Wilderness - 366 days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to advocate for the area's protection and preservation.

Nate Ptacek

Why Minnesota?
Minnesota is a great place to live for so many reasons, but for us it really boils down to two things: wild, watery wilderness, and kind, down-to-earth people. I think its safe to say we were both drawn north by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Lake Superior's North Shore, but we settled here because of the wonderful communities that are found nestled amongst vast wild spaces. We split our time between Grand Marais and Ely and feel really fortunate to have found these wilderness-edged small towns that provide a great quality of life for the hardy folks that choose to live in these somewhat eccentric towns.

What personality trait or skill do you consider your greatest asset?

The ability to find something positive in almost all situations and the understanding that discomfort and hardship are temporary. Focusing on positives and understanding that hardships are surmountable and will end, allows us to do things like spend a year in the Wilderness, which on the surface may seem out of reach.

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