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Grand Marais adventurers set out on book tour by bike to benefit BWCA

Apr 24, 2018 10:03AM ● By Editor

By Mary Ann Grossmann of The Pioneer Press - April 23, 2018

Amy and Dave Freeman traded their canoe for bikes when this adventuring couple left for Washington, D.C., on their Pedal to DC: A Book Tour to Save the Boundary Waters.

This long bike tour to the nation’s capital, which began Friday, April 20, comes as the Trump administration reinstated two expired mineral leases that would allow mining on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Critics fear the effect of sulfide-ore copper on the pristine watershed.

During the Freeman’s 1,752-mile journey through nine states, they will make 24 stops to promote their book “A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters” and will tow a canoe behind their bikes that can be signed by people who want to add their support for the BWCA Wilderness. Their partners are Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters and their publisher, Minneapolis-based Milkweed Editions.

The Freemans, who live in Grand Marais, were named National Geographic Adventurers of the Year. They have traveled more than 30,000 miles by kayak, canoe and dogsled, from the Amazon to the Arctic. Their book “A Year in the Wilderness,” about their 2015-16 year in the BWCA Wilderness, was named one of 20 Big Indie Books of fall 2017 by Publishers Weekly. The hardcover, which includes beautiful color photos, is in its second printing, and Milkweed is releasing a paperback edition Aug. 14.

For those who want to meet the Freemans, their first metro-area stop will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 27, at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, 328 Maple St., Mahtomedi. They will give presentations at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at the the Outdoor Adventure Expo at Midwest Mountaineering, 309 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at Rapson Hall Courtyard, University of Minnesota College of Design, 89 Church St. S.E., Mpls.

For more information about tour stops, go to

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Mary Ann Grossmann joined the Dispatch-Pioneer Press in 1961 when there were two papers. She has been a fashion writer, a women's columnist and the women's department editor who brought "society" pages into the 20th century. She was named book editor in 1983, just when the local literary community exploded. She has won the Minnesota Book Awards Kay Sexton Award, a Page One Award and YWCA Leader Lunch Award. She retired in 2001 and works part time. A graduate of Macalester College

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