Showing posts with label Voyageurs National Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Voyageurs National Park. Show all posts

Video: More Than Just Parks - Voyageurs in 8K

The More Than Just Parks project is an attempt by brothers Will and Jim Pattiz to shoot a spectacular video in each of America's National Parks. So far, they've visited places like Joshua Tree, Zion, and the Great Smoky Mountains, and each of their short films has been breathtaking. Now, they've traveled to the lesser known Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota to shoot this stunning video, which captures the beauty and essence of that place so well. This is a park that most people have never heard of, and yet it is one of the great wilderness regions of the country. If you're not aware of what Voyageurs is truly like, let the Pattiz brothers introduce you. You won't regret it.

VOYAGEURS 8K from More Than Just Parks on Vimeo.

Couple Completes a Year of Living in the Wilderness

Remember Dave and Amy Freeman? They're the couple that not only were named Nat Geo Adventurers of the Year back in 2014 for their 11,000 mile (17,700 km) journey across North America, but last year they embarked on a 12-month odyssey that saw them living in the wilderness in an attempt to raise awareness of threats to the environment in Voyageurs National Park. I even wrote about the start of that adventure last September. Now, a year later, they have emerged from the wilderness at last, bringing an end to this stage of their project.

Last Friday, September 23, Dave and Amy paddled their canoe up the Kawisihiwi River in Minnesota, finishing their epic 12-month journey near a sulfide-ore copper mining operation, which is exactly the threat they've been battling. Those mines have the potential to spoil the natural environment of the Minnesota Boundary Waters, something they've shared a great deal of information about on their Save the Boundary Waters website.

During their year in the wilderness the Freemans travelled more than 2000 miles (3218 km) by canoe, dogsled, on skis, snowshoes, and by foot. Over that period, they paddled more than 500 lakes and rivers, and called 120 different campsites home. Along the way they faced steamy hot days in the summer, and frigid nights in the winter, when temperatures dropped to -30ºF (-34ºC). Those extremes were to be expected of course with the changing of the seasons, but it was a challenge for them to maintain the correct gear and stay focused nonetheless.

Now, the married couple will begin reintegrating back into normal life, where they'll welcome being home for a while and enjoying the luxuries of civilization. But they weren't completely cut off during their year in the wilderness. They often made blog posts while they were exploring the Boundary Waters, and more than 300 visitors helped to keep them fully supplied or spent a few days traveling with them as well. Still, the return to the daily life will be both welcomed and challenging at the same time.

Of course, their fight against the mining companies is far from over, and the duo are urging government officials to not renew the leases for the Twin Metals company that is operating in the area that the Freemans are trying to protect. To that end, they'll head to Washington, D.C. today to talk with lawmakers, and are already planning both a book and a documentary about their experience. After a year in the wilderness, I'm sure they have some good stories to share.

Couple Begins Year of Living in the Boundary Waters

Back in July I told you about Dave and Amy Freeman's plan to spend one year living in the wilderness in an attempt to raise awareness about challenges to the environment in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. The couple are hoping to rally support to prevent sulfide mining from taking place too close to the Boundary Waters, which could have a potentially dramatic impact on the region. Today, the Freemans – who are former National Geographic Adventurers of the Year – will set off on their 365 day adventure with the hopes of saving the place they love.

Dave and Amy will be joined by a gathering of family, friends, and supporters who will join them for the start of their journey. A flotilla of canoes and kayaks are expected to escort them into the Boundary Waters following a brief discussion about their why they are embarking on this expedition. They plan to set off from Ely, Minnesota at about 2:15 PM local time.

In the weeks and months ahead, the couple will travel on foot, by canoe, and dogsled as they explore northern Minnesota's remote and rugged wilderness area. They will make regular dispatches from the field, and will share their findings about the potential impact of sulfide mining on the region. While those mines haven't opened just yet, the leases have been granted and operations are expected to begin soon. It is believed that pollution from those mines will flow directly into the boundary waters, spoiling the pristine environment that currently exists there. You can find out more about this project at

This isn't the first time Dave and Amy have embarked on a long expedition. In the past, the couple have traveled across North America under their own power, covering some 11,000 miles (17,700 km) and more recently they paddled to Washington D.C. to protest the sulfide mines as well. Spending a year living in the wilderness will simply be their latest challenge, and one that they hope will have an impact on a part of the world that means a great deal to them.

Find out more about this project in the video below.

A Year in the Wilderness - Bear Witness from Save The BWCA on Vimeo.