"We'll use this tour as a platform to inspire more citizens across the country—in both urban and rural communities—to take action and help protect the Boundary Waters."-Amy & Dave Freeman
Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters
. . . and YOU!
MEET AMY & DAVE FREEMAN: Amy & Dave are adventurers, activists, and authors. And we need your help to send them on their next adventure: a two month, two thousand-mile bike tour from the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (aka BWCAW) in northern Minnesota to Washington, DC.
MEET THE BOUNDARY WATERS: America’s most visited wilderness area, the Boundary Waters contains 1.1 million acres of interconnected rivers and lakes along the US–Canada border. This Wilderness lies within the Superior National Forest and has over 1,200 miles of canoe and kayak routes and 237.5 miles of hiking trails. Its granite cliffs, boreal forest, and clean waters are home to moose, bear, lynx, bald eagles, loons, wolves, walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. The Boundary Waters attracts more than 150,000 visitors per year for its world-class canoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities. Entirely roadless and unspoiled, the water is so pristine that Amy and Dave drank right out of the lakes (not that we recommend this . . . for legal reasons)!
THE THREAT: The Boundary Waters is threatened by sulfide-ore copper mining. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, this is our nation’s most polluting industry. Twin Metals (backed by Chilean mining giant Antofagasta) has proposed mining right next to the Wilderness. Bringing a new level of urgency to this threat, on December 22, 2017, the Trump administration moved to reinstate Twin Metals’ two expired mineral leases. If allowed to go forward, this new type of mining would turn the edge of the Boundary Waters into an industrial mining zone.
A little background: In the history of sulfide-ore copper mining, pollution has never been avoided. This type of mining is much more toxic than Minnesota’s taconite mining. It produces giant waste piles that, when exposed to air and water, leach sulfuric acid, heavy metals, and sulfates. Sulfide-ore copper mines pollute groundwater, rivers, wetlands, and lakes. Even conservative models show that waterways will carry contaminants into the heart of the Boundary Waters and will affect the microorganisms, fish, and plants that make up the aquatic ecosystems sustaining the native biodiversity of the region.
ADVENTURE ADVOCACY: Amy & Dave have been working with the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters for years to help build support for protecting the wilderness they—and so many others—love.
First, they paddled and sailed all the way to Washington, DC, collecting 2,000 petition signatures on their way. Then they lived in the Boundary Waters for an entire year so they could broadcast its beauty to the world. Then they wrote a book about it—A Year in the Wilderness—an illustrated account of their adventure which tells the deeper story of the value, beauty, and fragility of this wild place.
Now, they want to share the wonders they witnessed and the stories of a truly wild place with Americans across the country to encourage them to join the fight to protect the Boundary Waters. This is your invitation from Amy & Dave to be part of this epic tour!
Pedal to DC: Book Tour to Save the Boundary Waters
On the tour, Amy & Dave will stop at schools, community centers, libraries, bookstores, gear stores, and breweries too. They’ll share stories and images from the book, video from their year in the Wilderness, and the importance of wild spaces. Those who’ve never heard of the Boundary Waters will experience it for the first time through Amy & Dave’s eyes, and those who’ve been before will see it in a new light—and all will come away with the tools they need to help speak loudly for this quiet place.
“It doesn’t take a year to fall in love with a place. Sometimes all it takes is one sunset, a hike, a brief encounter with wildlife, a clear view of the Milky Way, or even a photograph. Our year in the Wilderness heightened our respect for the Boundary Waters and strengthened our resolve to keep it as it is: untrammeled, unpolluted, and wild.” —Amy & Dave Freeman
Amy & Dave will also be towing a canoe and gathering signatures of support along the way. Towing a canoe is quite a spectacle and will help attract attention along the way. “We hope it will lead to people asking, ‘Why are you towing a canoe behind your bikes?’” Dave says. “We’ve been so inspired by all the people we’ve met during the presentations and book signings we’ve already been giving. Every day, more people are learning about the threats to the Boundary Waters watershed and they’re signing petitions, calling their elected officials, donating, volunteering, and using their skills to take action. There is no doubt that our public lands are under attack, but there is also a growing wave of public support for protecting these places. We’ll use this tour as a platform to inspire more citizens across the country—in both urban and rural communities—to take action and help protect the Boundary Waters.”
The tour starts April 20, 2018 and will end on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC.
WHAT IT WILL TAKE: This adventure advocacy tour combines both an extensive national book tour AND a marathon biking trip! Amy & Dave will be spending over two months traveling by bicycle (64 days to be exact), and will need the proper gear, supplies, and resources for any repairs that may be required. This Kickstarter will also help secure lodging and food for Amy & Dave. Other costs include planning and hosting over thirty events along the way, promoting those events and the tour in communities across nine states, and sending books across the country. In short, everything needed to put this transformative book into action and maximize the impact of this outreach effort.
HERE’S WHERE THEY’LL BE STOPPING:
Two Harbors, MN • Duluth, MN • Moose Lake, MN
Sandstone, MN • North Branch, MN • Mahtomedi, MN
Minneapolis, MN • Hastings, MN • Red Wing, MN
Wabasha, MN • Winona, MN • La Crosse, WI
Sparta, WI • Kendall, WI • Reedsburg, WI
Spring Green, WI • Madison, WI • Jefferson, WI
Milwaukee, WI • Racine, WI • Lake Forest, IL
Chicago, IL • Merrillville, IN • North Judson, IN
Rochester, IN • Kokomo, IN • Noblesville, IN
Indianapolis, IN • Knightstown, IN • Richmond, IN
Dayton, OH • London, OH • Columbus, OH
Rix Mills, OH • Barnesville, OH • Wheeling, WV
Steubenville, OH • Pittsburgh, PA • Perryopolis, PA
Confluence, PA • Frostburg, MD • Cumberland, MD
Little Orleans, MD • Williamsport, MD • Brunswick, MD
Potomac, MD • Washington, DC
JOIN THE TEAM! Milkweed Editions is proud to be Amy & Dave’s publisher. We’re based in Minneapolis and we’re a nonprofit. We support books like this one that encourage readers to think about the complex relationship humans have with the natural world around us.
The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, led by Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness based in Ely, MN, is a national coalition of more than 350 conservation organizations, hunting and fishing groups and businesses working to permanently protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining.
“Pedal to DC is only going to work if paddlers across the country get behind it. We need folks to join us in using this crazy adventure as a way to introduce more people to the Boundary Waters and to talk about the importance of clean water, wilderness, and public lands. The Boundary Waters belongs to all of us. And now, it needs our help. When we all speak loudly for this quiet place, our collective voices will be heard.” —Amy & Dave Freeman
And now . . . THE REWARDS!
STARTING AT THE $10 LEVEL, ALL REWARDS WILL INCLUDE THIS HANDY ADVOCACY PACK (print or digital), which will equip you with everything you need to know about the Boundary Waters, the threats of sulfide-ore copper mining, and how you can take action. Perfect for keeping on hand or sharing with your fellow wilderness lovers. Plus: stunning new artwork, created for Save the Boundary Waters by Geoff Holstad, of a howling wolf!
Note: Your backing of this Kickstarter supports Pedal to DC: Book Tour to Save the Boundary Waters, which is a joint effort by two 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations—Milkweed Editions and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness (the nonprofit that runs the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters). All donations to this Kickstarter project are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
✨ NEW REWARD! ✨
$18: BEN WEAVER’S BOUNDARY WATERS MIXTAPE
No trip is complete without a good mixtape! Jam out to an exclusive playlist from songwriter, poet, and adventure advocate Ben Weaver. Back in 2016, Ben biked/hiked into the Boundary Waters with 89.3 The Current to resupply Amy & Dave with poetry and music (and food!) during their year in the Wilderness. He even brought The Current’s DJ Bill DeVille and photographer Nate Ryan along to tell the story. Let Ben’s playlist be the soundtrack for your next adventure!
$20: DIGITAL PHOTO ALBUM
Get this Kickstarter-exclusive opportunity to download four images from Amy and Dave’s year in the Wilderness. One for each season, these images are perfect for your laptop or smartphone background.
✨NEW REWARD! ✨
$22: PADDLE ON ALBUM
Another friend of the Freemans, Jerry Vandiver is a Nashville-based folk musician and author (he’s also written songs for a range of artists, including Tim McGraw and Phil Vassar). Jerry will send you a CD of his latest album, Paddle On, which includes “This Quiet Place,” the song featured in the book trailer for A Year in the Wilderness (listen/watch above!). If you love canoeing, kayaking, camping, and the great outdoors, this album is for you!
$25: POSTCARD PACK
Call us old-fashioned, but we love a good postcard. Amy and Dave’s photos are ready-made for picturesque postcards you can send for any occasion—and are especially good for sending notes to your legislators in support of the Boundary Waters!
$25: WILDERNESS ADVENTURE BY BOOK
Books about the wilderness is kind of our thing at Milkweed. We loved sharing Amy and Dave’s story with thousands of readers, and we have a rich library of books waiting to be read by environmentally-conscious adventurers like you. We’ll pick one of our favorites and surprise you!
$50: THE PAPERBACK EDITION
COMING IN AUGUST: A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters—the story of Amy and Dave’s year-long adventure, now in convenient paperback form. Contains 150 full-color photos. Plus, every copy of the book comes with the Save the Boundary Waters advocacy pack!
$65: WOLF SWAG PACK
Join the pack and outfit yourself with a bounty of items featuring the Save the Boundary Waters wolf design! Includes a t-shirt, Klean Kanteen steel pint cup, tote bag, bandana (for your wolf!), sticker, and advocacy pack!
$75: TICKETS TO THE TWIN CITIES PARTY
Get two general admission tickets to the Pedal to DC Twin Cities Party in Minneapolis on May 1! (Starts at 6:00 p.m. and will be held at Rapson Hall at the University of Minnesota.) Hear from Amy and Dave about their trip, sign the petition canoe they’re towing behind their bikes, and enjoy live music and refreshments. Redeem your tickets at the event to get a signed copy of A Year in the Wilderness, the Save the Boundary Waters bandana, wolf sticker, and advocacy pack!
$500: *VIP* TICKETS TO THE TWIN CITIES PARTY
A limited group of supporters will get to meet with Amy and Dave Freeman at an exclusive pre-reception at the Twin Cities Party in Minneapolis on May 1. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at how joint efforts like this one come together when you meet a few staff members from the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters and Milkweed Editions. Added bonus items: two *personalized* copies of A Year in the Wilderness and tons of Save the Boundary Waters swag: bandanas, tote bags, pint glasses, stickers, and advocacy packs. Plus special updates throughout the Pedal to DC tour!
$100: SPREAD THE WORD TWO BOOK DEAL
A Year in the Wilderness isn’t just a great read—it’s a great tool for introducing friends and family to the Boundary Waters. Help spread the word far and wide about this special place with these two complete advocacy-ready sets, bundled together to make the perfect gifts!
$125: NATURE LOVER BOOK BUNDLE
Ready to take your library to the next level? Get four acclaimed, wilderness-themed books published by Milkweed. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s classic Braiding Sweetgrass encourages us to see plants as living beings and has already inspired numerous land restoration projects. Seth Kantner’s Ordinary Wolves will take you to the far corners of Alaska. Chris Dombrowski’s Body of Water will take you bonefishing in the Bahamas—and will also make you wonder if it’s possible to love a place to death. Elizabeth Rush’s Rising will take you out to the shoreline communities of the United States, where residents are already responding to rising sea levels.
✨ NEW REWARD! ✨
$150: PEDAL TO DC BIKE JERSEY
Show your support by sporting this limited edition bike jersey! Designed by the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, this jersey features a beautiful aerial shot of the BWCAW. Available in styles for women and men, sizes XS-XXL.
$250: SPONSOR A DAY
ONE ENTIRE DAY of the tour will be all thanks to you! To show their appreciation, Amy & Dave will mail you a personalized postcard detailing where they were and what they did that day!
$350: BOOK CLUB SPECIAL
Read A Year in the Wilderness with your book club! Don’t have a club yet? This package makes starting one easy. You’ll receive ten signed copies of the paperback edition along with a discussion guide created for you by the Milkweed team. Amy & Dave will also include a list of their favorite books (including those that inspired A Year in the Wilderness), so you’ll have plenty of ideas for what to read next!
✨ NEW REWARD! ✨
$600: ONE-STOP SHOP—PACK, PADDLE, AND LIFE JACKET
Amy & Dave's outfitters want to outfit YOU for your next adventure! Get your very own Granite Gear pack, Northstar Canoes paddle, and MTI life jacket (safety first!). Just two sets available, so don't delay!
$1,000–$2,500: SPONSOR THE PAPERBACK
Give a gift in honor of the paperback edition of A Year in the Wilderness! Your support will be recognized within the pages of every copy of the book, which will be available in August 2018 (you can choose to be recognized anonymously, if you prefer). A gift at these levels also includes a *personalized* copy of the book from Amy & Dave and either a collection of special, limited edition LOON apparel from Save the Boundary Waters OR the entire WOLF Swag Pack!
A Note on Nonprofits
Your backing of this Kickstarter supports Pedal to DC: Book Tour to Save the Boundary Waters, which is a joint effort by two 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations—Milkweed Editions and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness (the nonprofit that runs the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters).
All donations to this Kickstarter project are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Translation: we’ve assigned a “fair market value” to each reward, and any amount you give above that value is a tax-deductible donation to Milkweed Editions. Once the Kickstarter is completed, your credit card will be charged. The charge will show up from Kickstarter, and Milkweed Editions will send you a letter with the tax-deductibility information for your gift for your records.
Risks and challenges
This tour combines some of the challenges facing both a more traditional book tour and an ambitious biking trip.
Biking with large boxes of books would really slow Amy & Dave down, so we are identifying partners all along the proposed route who will stock books and promote each event to their local community. In addition to equipping Amy & Dave with tools and materials they will need for a safe journey and any required repairs, we are also identifying supporters who can help out in a pinch to make sure the tour stays on track and on schedule.
Amy & Dave are experienced adventurers in the wildest of places. Together, they have traveled over 30,000 miles by canoe, kayak, dogsled, and bicycle; they have the knowledge and the wisdom gained from these past endeavors to expertly navigate this tour.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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