The North American Odyssey Expedition

Wilderness Classroom Organization

On May 9th, Dave and Amy Freeman, the leaders of the Wilderness Classroom Organization, kayaked away from Grand Portage, Minnesota on Lake Superior for the fifth leg of their North American Odyssey Expedition.

The North American Odyssey is a 12,000-mile expedition across North America. It started on Earth Day in 2010 in Seattle. A team of four kayaked from Seattle to Skagway, Alaska via the Inside Passage. After finishing the paddle, half the team journeyed home with the kayaks, and Dave and Amy continued by backpacking over the mountains following the Klondike Gold Rush. Once over the mountains, they canoed north to the Arctic Ocean.

After the snow set in, two more adventurers joined Dave and Amy to dog sled from the Arctic Ocean to just south of Great Slave Lake. After ice out, Dave and Amy canoed through central Canada to arrive at Grand Portage just before winter. For the winter, Dave and Amy toured the U.S. and gave presentations at schools across the nation.

The trip continues from Grand Portage along the north shore of Lake Superior. They’ll journey through Georgian Bay to the French River and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. From there, they’ll kayak down the east coast to the Florida Keys.

The Wilderness Classroom Organization is a 501(c) 3 non-profit that reaches over 1,600 teachers and 65,000 students around the globe. Its mission is to instill a lifelong appreciation of the natural world while improving basic skills like reading, critical thinking and communication by highlighting the joy of discovery. Because it’s unfeasible to fly 65,000 students and 1,600 teachers to remote locations, the Wilderness Classroom uses interactive internet-based exercises, teacher training and live school programs to accomplish its mission.

You can follow their journey and introduce your kid’s teachers to the Wilderness Classroom via its website at The programming and lesson plans are free for teachers. The organization depends on grants and donations. You can donate to the organization at

expedition map

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