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Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615

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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: August 2002
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « July 2002 | September 2002 »
8/31/02 - Over the past week Cindy, Carl, and Clare have been seeing an unusual large white bird in a pond along the road to Grand Marais. They brought the bird book along one day and identified it as a Great Egret. This is an unusual bird to see here as its normal range is much farther south. Its been hanging out with a Great Blue Heron in the same pond. Although there is a white morph of the Blue Heron which looks similar to the egret, this bird had the distinctive black legs and yellow beak of the Great Egret.

Starting Thursday, September 5th, we will be switching to our early fall hours of 8am to 8pm. -Beth

8/30/02 - Mark Peterson, Sawbill customer, sent us these amazing photos taken during his canoe trip to Beth Lake. The photo of the beaver was taken on Grace Lake, and not from a Biology book!

Sunset over Beth Lake. A Garter Snake coming through camp.

A beaver lunching on water lily blossoms. Flowers from the Pitcher Plant - a carnivorous plant found in bogs.

8/29/02 - Signs of fall are becoming more and more obvious every day. A few small maple trees along the Sawbill trail have lit themselves up in a brilliant shade of red, darkness arrives earlier each evening, and sweaters aren't an uncommon sight. The weather has been gorgeous the last week or so - warm, sunny days in the low 70s and cool, calm nights in the 50s. Fishing seems to be picking up as the water temperatures drop. We've had some good reports on walleyes and small mouth bass over the last two weeks.

8/26/02 - Sawbill customers David and Kathryn Olson took this photo of a mother moose and her twin calves on Weird Lake. The second calf is lying down on the right side and you can just see the tips of her ears. They were able to watch the moose for a couple of hours. They also had an otter visit them at their campsite on Weird Lake.

8/25/02 - Crew members Adam Hansen and Max Wilson just returned from a canoe trip out of Kawishiwi Lake. They headed north from Kawishiwi with the goal of reaching Kekekabic Lake, although they didn't quite make it that far (they spent three hours bushwhacking their way through a one mile "short cut" which was made up of blow-down, cedar swamps, cedar swamp blow-down, steep cliffs, and more blow-down), They had planned to do a little fishing, but forgot their fishing gear. But, being the resourceful guys that they are, they somehow managed to find some fishing line on a portage and two lures - one at a campsite and one strung up in a tree. They collected it all, found a suitable stick, and on the last day of the trip - when all the food they had brought was gone - Adam threw the line in and trolled through Malberg Lake. He had no sooner put the Rapala in the water than he was hauling out a 6 pound northern. Not wanting to reach down and grab ahold of a thrashing northern with large teeth, he yelled to Max to give him something to use to bring in the fish. Quick thinking Max threw off his shoe and handed Adam his sock. Adam successfully landed the northern and moments later brought in a good sized small-mouth bass. Once again, they realized they were missing an important fishing item - a stringer. Max contributed to the cause one more time and rigged up his shoelace as a stringer. They soon ran into another canoe out fishing. They guys in the other canoe had a huge tackle box, expensive rods and reels, and not a single fish between them. With smug grins, Adam and Max held up their homemade pole, two big fish, and said they thought it was a fine day for fishing. -Beth

8/24/02 - Exciting news to share - Former Sawbill crew member Karen Blackburn and her husband Mark Till had a baby girl on Tuesday. Although we haven't gotten all of the details yet (such as what they named her), we do know that she was somewhere around 6 lbs. and both mother and baby are doing well.

8/21/02 - Sawbill customer, Kurt Sedler, sent us this photo taken on Malberg Lake.


8/20/02 - We've been getting some interesting stories from people who were on canoe trips over the weekend and experienced the strong winds on Saturday. Many reported conditions that were impossible to travel in. Crew member, Shannon Grace, and her mother were on a trip and were camped on Frost Lake when the winds hit. They said the winds were so gusty that water spouts were forming on the lake. Their well-staked rain fly was blown off - and they were in a very sheltered site. When they began traveling back the next day, they encountered a huge cedar tree across the Unload to Gordon portage that had blown over the day before. Shannon estimated it must have been close to a one hundred year old tree. Luckily there have been no reports of any injuries or serious damage. -Beth

Recent rains have raised the water levels on Sawbill Creek, as well as on Sawbill Lake.

8/18/02 - Former Sawbill crew members Sandy Zinn and Will Decker gathered their family and friends at the old Sawbill Lodge site yesterday and celebrated their wedding. Will and Sandy met while working at Sawbill in the early '90s. Everyone bundled up against the blustery, cold weather and enjoyed a beautiful outdoor ceremony officiated by Dave Schudt, a family friend of the Deckers and an old Sawbill customer. Bill, Clare, and Carl fired up their guitar, accordion, and drums respectively and provided some great music for the wedding. Afterwards, everyone came inside and warmed up a bit before traveling to the Schroeder Town Hall for a great dinner and dance called by Terrence Smith, father of current Sawbill crew member Laura Smith. A number of former Sawbill crew traveled up here for the big event, including John "OB" Oberholtzer, Jon Robertson, Karen Blackburn, Paul Lundgren, Katy Harris, and Mike MacMillan. Congratulations Sandy and Will!

Will Decker and Sandy Zinn - Just Married! Carl and Clare Hansen provide some great after ceremony music.

Bill breaks out his guitar and plays while everyone gathers at the Lodge Site. Dave Schudt officiates the ceremony as family and friends look on. (All photos by Adam W. Hansen)

8/17/02 - High winds are causing problems today at Sawbill. Its an extremely strong south wind, so it makes getting back to the canoe landing difficult. A few canoes have swamped - everyone was fine, but soggy. Bhupesh and Laura drove to Kawishiwi to pick up a group and on the trip home had to move a number of downed trees that weren't there on the drive to Kawishiwi. Its also been raining on and off - in the past week we've had almost 2.5" of rain. Water levels are beginning to rise a bit - but are still below normal. No word from the forest service if the partial fire ban will be changed.

JoAnn Koski, the Crescent Lake Campground Host, stopped by a couple of days ago and reported that they've been hearing wolves howling at all hours of the day and night from their campsite. She said that no only can they hear the adults, but also the young ones trying to imitate the grown-ups. -Beth

8/16/02 - With fall creeping closer, many of the crew are heading back to school or on to new places. Betsy Moyer and Nathan TerBeest have already left and Emily Stewart is leaving tomorrow. Its always a sad time to see them leave. Luckily, we have a new employee to help with the late summer/fall season.

Yesterday was crew member Jeff Green's 21st birthday. He celebrated in style during a crew outing to Tofte. Happy Birthday Jeff!

Jeff recovering from his big birthday celebration.

8/14/02 - Clare, Jitesh, and I went blueberry picking a couple of days ago and stumbled upon a huge blueberry patch. Every direction we turned had bushes full of plump, sweet berries. We waded around for an hour or two and filled up our buckets and our bellies. The crew has feasted on blueberry pie and blueberry pancakes for the last two days. And, like any good fisherman would guard his secret fishing spot, we'll never reveal where the blueberry patch is! -Beth

8/13/02 - We had a spectacular glimpse of the northern lights about a week ago. The crew had spent an evening out in Grand Marais and we were treated to a blue and green light show for the entire ride back to Sawbill. There's been no sign of them since but we're keeping an eye out for them.

8/10/02 - Signs of fall are beginning to creep in. The evening air has a crispness to it, its dark by the time the store closes, and crew members will soon begin leaving. Jim and Rachel TerBeest, the Sawbill campground hosts, have already left. Fortunately, our second set of campground hosts, Jim and Fran Sampson, arrived last week. They will be at Sawbill through Labor Day and are spending their 5th summer here as the campground hosts. -Beth

Sawbill Campground Hosts, Jim and Fran Sampson

8/8/02 - Things seem to be back on track after losing power last week. The replacement parts arrived two days after the lightening hit and Bill and the power guy, Jerry, had the place back up and running at full power within minutes. A collective sigh of relief was emitted by the entire crew.

Tonight is the annual Dome Dance. Every year Terrence Smith, father of crew member Laura Smith, comes to Sawbill and calls a dance. He instructs us in the dances, Laura plays the fiddle, Adam Hansen plays the upright bass, Bill plays the guitar and other crew members join in with whatever instruments they play. The dome has been cleaned up and is just waiting for the music to start. Another tradition is that on the day of the Dome Dance, the crew picture is taken, as the dance is planned on a day when all crew members are here. Unfortunately this year, Peter Jordan is gone today and is missing from the picture. (Left to Right, starting in the front row, Homer, Laura Smith, Sunnie, Jitesh Pattni, Row 2: Betsy Moyer, Jeff Green, Max Wilson, Carl Hansen, Emily Stewart Row 3: Cindy Hansen, Clare Hansen, Mary Alice Hansen, Shannon Grace, Beth Rolf, Eric Frost, Frank Hansen Row 4: Justin Hoekstra, Adam Hansen, Bhupesh Pattni, Bill Hansen, Nathan TerBeest).

Sawbill Crew of 2002

8/1/02 - Our power system was struck by lightning last night. We make our own power here at Sawbill and the lightning killed our main generator, back up generator and half of our solar system. One component of the solar system survived and was able to operate our big walk in cooler. Cindy and I were in Duluth, and came back early in the morning to try and pick up the pieces. After three hours of frantic work, it looks like one power inverter ($10,000) is fried. Both our diesels seem to have broken voltage regulators ($150 each). Hopefully, that is all that is wrong. The good news is that all our computers, and the very expensive radio telephone system is fine. If you tried to call this morning and got no answer, you can call back now. We pulled out our little 6 KW portable Honda generator and used it to get the critical computer, communications and refrigeration working.

Excuse me while I go seek treatment for my ulcer (joke). - Bill
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « July 2002 | September 2002 »


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