By: Amy Freeman
My husband, Dave, and I just spent a whole year in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to raise awareness about the threats of proposed sulfide-ore copper mining within its watershed. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the BWCAW is a 1.1 million acre federally designated Wilderness Area in northern Minnesota. That’s Wilderness with a capital “W.” The region is a maze of lakes, rivers, wetlands and roadless forests—a paddler’s paradise.
It is also the most popular Wilderness Area in the country, receiving about a quarter of a million visitors annually. We teamed up with the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters to keep the beloved BWCAW on peoples’ minds for an entire year, sharing the experience through photos, blog posts, articles and social media. We were thrilled to have the chance to collect water samples for Adventure Scientist’s Global Microplastics Initiative along the way—adding samples from wilderness lakes along the Minnesota, Ontario border to their database. We also gathered water quality data for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Story & photos by Jordan Snyder and Martina Sestakova
It was our second day out and we had over six miles of open water traverse ahead of us. We clawed our way directly into oncoming waves, wind, and a flood current as the elements battled to restrain us. Waves washed over our 21’ tandem sea kayak as it crept across the Gulf of Mexico, making no more than two miles per hour of slow and challenging forward progress.
We were paddling from Jewel Key to Pavilion Key in the 10,000 islands area of the Everglades National Park, Florida. This was our first wilderness adventure in the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states.
By: Mike Libecki and Victoria Ortiz
It’s not one of those things your mother warns you about. But Mike Libecki’s mom probably never thought she’d have to say “Be careful paddleboarding with polar bears, honey.”
As part of Mike Libecki’s trip to Greenland last summer to climb two first ascents, he paddleboarded 80 miles through sea ice, around glaciers, and next to some of the largest carnivores on the planet.
Libecki has SUPed with polar bears before and been around more than 80 polar bears in the wild. “It’s an amazingly powerful feeling, almost a spiritual experience to be near these powerful god-like beasts,” says Libecki.
An Interview with Mike Libecki
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