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Phone: (218)663-7150
Fax: (218)663-7980
Mail: 4620 Sawbill Trail
Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615

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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: September 2002
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « August 2002 | October 2002 »
9/27/02 - The Forest Service announced yesterday that the partial fire ban that had been in effect for much of the summer has been lifted. Campfires within designated firegrates are now allowed at anytime throughout the entire BWCAW.

9/25/02 - Each day brings a little more fall color to Sawbill. The leaves are still about a week away from being at their peak. The past few nights have been chilly with the thermometer dipping just below the freezing mark. Today has been a cloudy, drippy day. For a brief period we even had some sleet coming down. Lots of hats and mittens have been pulled out of the closet today.

9/23/02 - We have sorted and priced a good selection of our used equipment. You can shop at Used Equipment For Sale.

9/18/02 - A final breath of summer drifted our way yesterday and the cloudless sky warmed the day into the 70s. The clock loudly ticked its way to 3:00, quitting time for me, and I felt like a kid waiting for the final school bell to ring. I rushed out the door of the store, grabbed a canoe, and headed for the lake. I had no destination in mind. Distance wasn't the goal, just being on the lake was. I paddled my way across the lake, found a sheltered bay and just floated. My skin wanted to re-live the suntan it had in July and soaked in the rays. I drifted along the shoreline and startled a Great Blue Heron. It gave me a look and launched itself into the air, flying almost directly above me. I paddled a bit more, racing a cluster of water bugs scooting their way along the lake's surface. As I headed back in, a solitary loon floated in the middle of the lake. His impending flight south seemed to be far from his mind on this lazy summer-like day. -Beth

9/15/02 - Former crew members Eric Frost and Dave Freeman are beginning a new adventure for the educational program they have founded, Wilderness Classroom Organization. Last fall, the pair canoed the entire Mississippi River and had school classrooms following and interacting with their trip. This fall takes them on the Jiime Adventure (Ojibwa for "to go by canoe") where they will paddle from Thunder Bay, Ontario all the way to Lake Winnipeg, following the routes of the Voyageur fur traders. This winter they will continue the journey via sled dogs and snow shoes on the Bimaadagaako Adventure (Ojibwa for "to walk along on the ice"). You can find out more info on their website, Their trip begins tomorrow and they are up here at Sawbill taking care of some final details. - Beth

Frosty and Daver at Command Central in the Dome.

9/14/02 - There's a dying jack pine behind the store building which has been a big attraction for a black-backed three-toed woodpecker lately. The woodpecker, which is only found in northern boreal forests and isn't often seen around here, is about the size of a hairy woodpecker but has solid black color on its back and no red on its head. The woodpecker angles its head to the side and chips off the scaly bark of the jack pine in search of juicy insects. He must have found some tasty ones since we saw him for a few days in a row chipping away at that tree. -Beth

9/13/02 - Sawbill's poet laureate, Ed Dallas, sent this haiku today:

deep autumn magic

suddenly maples appear

in the oak forest

We've had a number of calls inquiring about used equipment and canoes for sale. It will be a couple of weeks yet before we're ready to start selling anything. We'll post it on here when the time comes and it will likely be late September - early October before we've got things ready to go. -Beth

9/11/02 - I am very sorry to report that it appears I have lost the election in my race for the Minnesota House of Representatives to my opponent, David Dill. The votes haven't all been counted yet, but it seems likely I will lose by about 200-300 votes with more than 10,000 votes cast.

Looking back, I wouldn't do anything differently. I had wonderful backing from my family, a great election committee, hundreds of volunteers, more than 600 contributors, strong support from the DFL Party, organized labor, environmental groups, and thousands of my friends and neighbors. We ran a clean, honest campaign that focused on the issues. Elections are often a matter of luck and timing. I had good luck, but my timing was slightly off.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who contributed in one way or the other. This has been a great experience for me and I am much the richer for it. - Bill

9/10/02 - Today is a busy day around here. Our annual group from Carleton College came off the trail today, which kept us hopping all morning.

Today is also primary election day in Minnesota. As most of you know, I am running for the Minnesota House of Representatives. If I survive the primary election today, will represent the Democratic, Farmer, Labor Party in the general election on November 5th. I am nervous and confident at the same time. The campaign has gone very well, with party endorsement, labor endorsement, and help from many fine public servants, not the least of which is U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone. I have had over 500 contributors and volunteers working hard for the last three months, all pointing toward this day. In this district, the Democrats are the majority, to the primary election is very important. I am humbled and gratified to have had so much support. Win or lose, it has been a great experience so far. I will post the election results here tomorrow morning sometime. Wish me luck! - Bill

9/3/02 - We were enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the store yesterday, as most people had headed back home from the Labor Day weekend and there was a nice steady rain playing its music on the metal roof of the building, when an unexpected lighting bolt and clap of thunder sent everyone a flying a few inches off the floor. Once the hairs on the back of our necks had settled down, we realized that the phone lines weren't working and neither were the computers. That's right - we had been hit by lightning AGAIN. This time it seemed to take out everything it left the time it hit earlier this summer. We had power, but no phones and the computers were fried. The phones are back up today but our modem was blown out, so it may be a few days before I'm even able to post this entry on the website. If you've sent an e-mail it may be a few days before you receive a reply. The most frustrating thing is that the inverters that were blown out when we were hit in August were minutes away from being replaced by new ones that had been hand built by Chad, one of the guys responsible for our power system here at Sawbill. The new inverters were hooked up for a test run when the lightning hit yesterday and were blown out before ever being used.

Crew members Eric Frost and Max Wilson left today, as well as Sawbill campground hosts Fran and Jim Sampson and Crescent campground host JoAnn Koski. Well, almost all of them left. Max Wilson tried to leave but was unsuccessful in his attempt. For the second year in a row. Last fall when he left, he got to the end of the Sawbill Trail and his car kept stalling. He stopped by Randy's (Sawbill's favorite mechanic) in Tofte and discovered that there was diesel fuel mixed in with his gas. A few hours later, he was back on the road. Today, he started his long drive back to Massachusetts around 9AM and by noon he was enjoying lunch right back here at Sawbill. When he reached the end of the Sawbill Trail this morning, his brakes quit. He again stopped by Randy's and was told this time it would be a few days before he could get back on the road. So he warmed up his thumb and headed back up the trail. Luckily crew member Pete was returning from town and picked up the shady looking character, pillow case and all.

Anyone heading towards Lexington, Mass.?

9/1/02 - A busy Labor Day is in full swing and the highlight of the weekend has been celebrating Mary Alice's 79th birthday today. Candles were lit, the song was sung, and huge pieces of cake were devoured.

Mary Alice makes a wish...
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « August 2002 | October 2002 »


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