Dave and Amy Freeman’s three-year, 11,700-mile journey across North America has finally come to a close. The couple used kayaks, canoes, dog sleds, and their own four feet to traverse the lengthy journey from Seattle, Washington to Key West, Florida. Last month, the Freemans took a rare break in the city of Tampa before setting out on the last leg of their journey.
The goal of the odyssey was to involve and educate nearly 100,000 students across the country that participated in the project and kept updated on the Freemans’ journey. The couple also organizes The Wilderness Classroom, which seeks to improve academic skills along with student appreciation for nature.
“You can’t really put a class of fourth graders on an airplane and fly them to a remote wilderness in Alaska,” said Dave Freman. “With technology we can bring kids there virtually. We can really make them a part of the expedition.”
Along the way the couple dropped in at local schools and colleges to give presentations. Now, after three years of sleeping under the stars and living by the paddle, the Freemans are at journey’s end.
“We had done it!” Dave Freeman wrote on his website. “We had followed a line, almost 12,000 miles long, that we had drawn on a map five years ago. Across vast areas of untrammeled wilderness, through urban jungles, up and down raging rivers, over frozen lakes, through storms, blizzards, and one hurricane. What started out as a crazy dream and a distant goal became a reality.”
While the journey wasn’t always sunshine and calm waters, the Freemans almost didn’t want it to end. As they reached the last few paddle strokes before hitting the Florida shore, Amy Freeman looked wistfully towards Cuba and wondered if they could extend their trip just a little further. To the couple’s friends and family however, it was time to come home.
Watch the video below for a peek at what the Freemans encountered on their trip, or you can learn more on their website.