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North American Odyssey

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On Earth Day (April 22) of 2010 Dave and Amy Freeman began a three year, 11,700 mile journey across North America by kayak, canoe, and dogsled. Their goal is to use their journey as a platform for gaining support and protection for North America’s waterways and wild places, while actively engaging over 100,000 elementary and middle school students in their journey though this website and live school assemblies.

"We want to educate people about the importance of making healthy choices that simplify life, reduce your global footprint, and provide quality time for friends, family, and outdoor pursuits. We hope to inspire people to make lifestyle changes that are environmentally sound and improve quality of life,” explains Dave.

Their odyssey began by kayak on the Pacific Coast studying temperate rainforests and marine life of the Pacific Northwest, but this was just the first in a series of six stages on their quest to highlight North America's wildest places.

After kayaking 1,400 miles from Seattle, Washington to Skagway, Alaska, the team progressed over the history-studded mountains in the footsteps of the Klondike Gold Rush, to the home of Inuit along the Arctic Ocean where polar bears roam. From the Arctic Ocean they are dogsledding and canoeing south through central Canada, kayaking across the Great Lakes, then following the annual whale migration past the salt marshes and sea turtles of the Atlantic Coast, finishing in the mangroves and coral reefs of the Florida Keys.(See route description for more details)

Through lesson plans and daily Web updates, elementary and middle school students learn alongside the explorers through www.wildernessclassroom.com and adults can follow their progress through www.NorthAmericanOdyssey.com.

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