North American Odyssey

12,000 Miles Across the Continent by Kayak, Canoe, and Dogsled
Preorder now for October!

From the acclaimed authors of A Year in the Wilderness, an extraordinary account of a 12,000-mile, human-powered journey across the continent.
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“Deep down, there is just something that draws us to the land, to wild places. We were there to listen to the land.”

When National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Amy and Dave Freeman marry, they set out on an unusual honeymoon: a three-year, 12,000-mile journey across North America. From Alaska’s Inside Passage to Florida’s Key West, they traverse the continent by kayak, canoe, dogsled, and skis, encountering wildlife, sublime landscapes, and harrowing challenges.

Along the way, the Freemans also bear witness to environmental degradation and climate change—from plastic-covered beaches to forest fires to retreating glaciers. And as they engage with Native and rural communities most impacted by the changes resulting from modern industrial society and meet individuals and organizations dedicated to protecting the natural world, their adventure deepens in ways they never imagined.

From the white-knuckle rush of paddling white water to the wonderment of dogsledding across a frosted landscape where caribou and wolves roam, North American Odyssey is a celebration of our interconnectedness to the natural world and to each other. Beautifully written, engagingly told, and inspiring throughout, Amy and Dave Freeman’s story is a clarion call for change in the way we live.

Publish Date
9 × 6 × 1 in
18 oz

Amy & Dave Freeman

Amy and Dave Freeman have traveled over 50,000 miles through some of the world’s wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic.

Praise and Prizes

  • “An absolutely epic journey—and against a backdrop of climate change that makes it all the more monumental. Perhaps it will help impel us to act so that trips like this might be possible for our children and grandchildren as well.”

    Bill McKibben
    author The End of Nature
  • “This is a view of North America that you’ve never seen before and aren’t likely to forget, a trip that ignited the fire of activism in the Freemans and that’s likely to inspire the same in you. From the temperate rainforests of the West Coast to the sunny beaches of Key West, through deep boreal forests of the north, the bitter cold of winter, the steamy swamps of the Florida Everglades, the magical company of humpback whales, and the pounding heart of grizzly country, Amy and Dave’s North American Odyssey is a grand adventure that spans 12,000 miles and three years through wilderness and front country. It’s simultaneously an epic journey of high adventure and a meditation about what it means to be a consumer and an advocate of wild places. A prequel to A Year in the Wilderness, North American Odyssey is adventure on a scale that’s difficult to comprehend—and even more challenging to put to words. But what they’ve accomplished is extraordinary and inspiring, presented both humbly and openly. This is an epic journey that I didn’t want to end.”

    Alex Messenger
    author of The Twenty-Ninth Day
  • “Adventure on a grand scale! Trekking coast to Arctic to coast by kayak, foot, dogsled, ski, and canoe, the Freemans draw you deep into their wild world—body and soul—with a well-paced balance of action stories and stirring reflection. Whether entranced by a rainforest coast aglow with nighttime bioluminescence while kayak camping or facing heart-pounding fear upon meeting both a grizzly bear and bull moose while bushwhacking the Yukon, their awe is palpable. So is their heartfelt despair at the industrial devastation and climate change impacts found all along this sweeping arc of our continent. Yet woven through is a love story: on this three-year honeymoon Amy and Dave listen to the land, find their voices, and are inspired to launch their tireless advocacy for our beloved Boundary Waters. As someone who’s shared many great adventures with the Freemans, I envy them for this one!”

    Paul Schurke
    adventurer and author of North to the Pole
  • “We are in deep need of more stories like this one, more humans like Amy and Dave Freeman, who stretch the limits of the possible in search of vital contact with the living land. This account of their incredible journey across the continent is a potent dose of what the poet Richard Hugo called ‘the right madness.’ For our sake—and the earth’s—here’s to more of it.”

    Chris Dombrowski
    author of The River You Touch
  • “A beautiful narrative with a keen eye on the majesty and austere beauty of the wilderness, entwined with the complexities of the communities and human impacts along the way. Told with a tender measured pace, their enthralling observations weave together their adventures in extraordinary landscapes and wisdom gained from traveling with open eyes and hearts.”

    Ann Bancroft
    Arctic explorer and founder of the Ann Bancroft Foundation