Two Harbors, MN - This week, musician, poet and Granite Gear Go GetterBen Weaver will travel via bike and skis to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to deliver a resupply to A Year in the Wilderness team Dave and Amy Freeman.
In September 2015, Dave and Amy Freeman paddled from the Kawishiwi River into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to stay for a full year in order to raise awareness for the Save the Boundary Waters campaign. Camping at approximately 120 different sites during the trip, the Freemans will travel more than 3,000 miles by canoe, foot, ski, snowshoe, and dog-sled team. Granite Gear exclusively supplied the Freemans with portage packs, dry sacks and other waterproof canoe and portage essentials. Last summer, Granite Gear also hosted a discussion and fundraiser for the campaign with Amy Freeman at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2015.
Weaver will bike from Ely, MN, to a BWCA entry point. There, he will hike in with food and clothing for the Freemans, as well as his banjo and guitar to share entertainment through song and poems. Bill DeVille, host of Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current will travel with Ben to document his resupply and performance.
“We often talk about water and forests as resources. We forget about the restorative and healing merits they possess,” Weaver said. “In the same way, we often only think about a resupply in terms of the food to fill our bellies and the various other technical supplies needed, frequently forgetting about the subtle things that risk running dry.”
Weaver will travel with a Lutsen 35L, Event Sil compression dry sacks and other gear essential to an organized trip that will allow him to efficiently reach the Freemans with all the supplies they need. The Freemans have used the innovative Vapor Flatbed barrel storage system to keep food dry and safe throughout their trips.
Weaver had planned to ski into the Boundary Waters Area, but due to Minnesota’s unseasonably mild winter, there isn’t enough snow on the ground to do so. Weaver and the Freemans take this weather as an urgent reflection of the climate change that has drastically damaged the Boundary Waters.
“I had high expectations of a snowy winter trip, but had to change elements of my trip due to our lack of wintery precipitation,” Weaver said. “This climate change will not only impact my trip, but how the Freemans spend the rest of their time in the Boundary Waters.”
Save the Boundary Waters is a broad-based campaign led by Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, which is based in Ely, Minnesota. This local organization aims to protect the BWCA from the threat posed by proposed sulfide-ore copper mining operations, from Twin Metals and others, which will pollute the pristine waters and unspoiled forests of the Boundary Waters
Additional Support for this trip has been provided by Bent Paddle Brewing, Big Agnes, Salsa Cycles, Banjo Brothers, and Swrve.
About Ben Weaver
Ben Weaver is a Saint Paul, Minnesota-based cycle touring troubadour, poet, letterpress printer and environmental steward. Last July Weaver rode 1400 solo, unsupported miles around Lake Superior in partnership with the Great Lakes Commons to raise awareness about the state of our nation’s fresh water supply. Weaver’s journey included 15 unique performances around the big lake. A non-profit environmental group, state or provincial park hosted each performance, providing Weaver with a venue to share his unique mix of music, storytelling and poetic advocacy. He has released 8 full-length studio albums and published 4 books of poetry.
About Granite Gear
For 30 independent years, Granite Gear has brought cutting-edge products to the outdoor marketplace. Their award-winning backpacks, adventure travel gear, extensive variety of storage sacks, lifestyle accessories, and canoe gear offer excellence in design and construction. Granite Gear’s desire is for all outdoor enthusiasts and travelers to experience the incredible durability and comfort of their products. Located in Northern Minnesota, just minutes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior Hiking Trail, they have a rugged and beautiful testing ground for their products.