A musical adventure in the Boundary Waters

In March, Bill DeVille and Photographer Nate Ryan joined Twin Cities musician Ben Weaver on a trip into the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. Explorers and educators Dave and Amy Freeman are spending a year living in the Boundary Waters to raise awareness about that wilderness. Wanting to support the Freemans with a delivery of poetry and music, Ben Weaver planned a trip, and he invited The Current along to tell the story. (MPR/Nate Ryan)
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Ben Weaver performs live in a tent in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
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Explorers and educators Dave and Amy Freeman are spending an entire year living in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in an effort to raise awareness about the pristine wilderness. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the Freemans receive provisions every few weeks to help sustain their endeavor.

Recently, Twin Cities musician Ben Weaver had the idea to deliver something beyond the usual food and other supplies. As the six-month milestone of the Freemans' stay in the BWCA approached, Weaver thought it would be good to bring the Freemans some spiritual sustenance in the form of music and poetry.

When the idea struck him, Weaver invited The Current's Bill DeVille and photographer Nate Ryan to take part in the journey and to document it for others.

Here are photos and video from this musical adventure in the Boundary Waters.

On Thursday, April 14, at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Ben Weaver (together with Mike Munson) will play a benefit show for Save the Boundary Waters. Show and ticket info is available on the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater website.

32 Photos

  • BWCA 2
    Levi Lexvold, expedition manager of A Year in the Wilderness and coordinator of Sustainable Ely, loads his pickup with supplies for the journey. Lexvold served as the group's guide into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the journey to and from the Dave and Amy Freeman's campsite. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 3
    Ben Weaver arrives at Snowbank Lake on a fat-tire bicycle. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 4
    Ben Weaver travels via fat-tire bike (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 4b
    Snowbank Lake was the group's entry point to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 5
    Ben Weaver arrives at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area entry point on a fat-tire bicycle. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 5b
    Levi Lexvold is the expedition manager of Year in the Wilderness and the coordinator of Sustainable Ely. Lexvold also served as the group's guide as it ventured into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to meet Dave and Amy Freeman. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 6
    Bill DeVille fills in his visitor's permit before venturing out into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 7
    Bill DeVille in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 8
    Levi Lexvold guides the group across a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 9
    Ben Weaver trekking across a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 10
    Trekking across the frozen (and slightly slushy) lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 11
    Crossing a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 12
    Levi Lexvold, expedition manager of Year in the Wilderness and coordinator of Sustainable Ely, guided Bill DeVille, Nate Ryan and Ben Weaver in and out of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and to the Freemans' camp site. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 13
    Crossing a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 14
    Crossing a lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 15
    Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 16
    Mushing across a frozen lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 17
    Dogsled is a preferred form of transport during winter in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 18
    Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 19
    Amy and Dave Freeman (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 20
    Campsite in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 21
    Campsite and woodpile in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 22
    Bill DeVille and Dave Freeman share a laugh. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 23
    Amy and Dave Freeman (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 24
    Enjoying hot coffee by a wood-burning stove inside a tent in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 25
    "You are here" -- Ben Weaver and Dave Freeman look at a map of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 26
    Ben Weaver entertains Dave Freeman and others in a tent in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 27
    Campsite in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 28
    Boundary Waters Canoe Area (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 29
    Amy Freeman (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 30
    Trekking across the frozen lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Bill DeVille carries a microphone to capture the sounds of the journey. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • BWCA 31
    Trekking across the frozen lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

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