National Geographic’s “Adventurers of the Year” paddle through the U.P.

National Geographic has named them adventurers of the year, and they’re in Marquette. They spoke at NMU yesterday and at the Ore Dock this evening. We caught up with these adventures at lower harbor today, to talk about their latest quest.

Paddling from Minnesota to Washington DC, Dave and Amy Freeman are on a journey to protect wilderness areas in the U.S. Areas they say are being threatened by Sulfite Ore Mining, specifically the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area in Northern Minnesota.

“We are concerned because this type of mining has never been done without causing significant water pollution. The EPA considers it to be the most toxic industry in the nation. There are more superfund sites from this type of mining than any other type in the nation.

Their journey, 2,000 miles in 100 days. It started Aug 25 and will be completed December 3. As a symbol of support and allegiance, people sign their canoe and some have even come with songs of support.

“To travel in a wild place where you don’t see roads, city lights, all the noise involved with a city, it’s just such a special place for us. We have made our livelihood out of living and working right near the boundary waters. When we heard about the sulfite ore mines that are proposed there we were quite concerned. We wanted to speak up for this special place.

The Freeman’s quest continues on tomorrow morning as they paddle eastward. You can donate and sign their online petition by visiting their website at