CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dave and Amy Freeman have spent the past 33 months kayaking, canoeing and dogsledding across North America with 75,000 elementary and middle school students taking part in the expedition online. Their final destination is Key West, Florida, which they expect to reach on April 6th, 2013.
Dave and Amy began their 11,700-mile, human-powered North American Odyssey on April 22nd, 2010 (Earth Day) with the specific purpose of educating students and people around the world about North America's waterways and wild places via their nonprofit educational organization Wilderness Classroom.
The Freemans will paddle into Charleston on Saturday, January 19th joined by local paddlers for the final stretch. The Freemans will also give a multimedia presentation about their epic journey on January 21st at 7PM.
"We have set an audacious goal for ourselves. If we thought about the final destination every day, we'd get overwhelmed. When the going gets tough, all I can think about is paddling the next mile or just making it through the next 15 minutes," explains Amy. "We teach kids that the key to achieving their goals is breaking them down into smaller steps like we do."
For nearly three years, the Freemans have been sleeping in their tent each night and battling the elements. Along the way, they have come face to face with grizzly bears, watched herds of caribou stream past their campsite, traveled for over 40 days at a time without encountering a road or town and survived -50 F temperatures. They felt the heat of a massive forest fire and watched 100-foot flames engulf the forest around them from the relative safety of a tiny island. They witnessed the eerie stillness when the eye of Superstorm Sandy passed over them near Barnegat, NJ and spent 5 days helping locals clean up after the storm.
"Being eye to eye with a humpback whale that surfaced 15 feet from our kayaks was the most amazing 90 seconds of my life," says Dave.
From Charleston, the Freemans will paddle south along the coast until they reach the Satilla River, 10 miles south of Brunswick, GA. The couple will then paddle up the Satilla, portage into the Okefenokee Swamp and kayak down the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico. After reaching the Gulf, the Freemans will kayak south along the coast, through the Everglades. Finally they will traverse the Florida Keys on their way to Key West, sharing their experiences with students and adults along the way.
A route map, high-resolution images and videos, and additional information are available here:
Major towns the Freemans will visit:
White Springs 2/18/2013
Clear Water 3/3/2013
Sanibel Island 3/16/2013
Key Largo 3/29/2013
Key West 4/6/2013
Contact: Amy Freeman
SOURCE Wilderness Classroom