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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: November 2002
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « October 2002 | December 2002 »
11/30/02 - Tim Velner and Gus Gustason, Duluth, spent the Thanksgiving weekend camping in the Sawbill Lake campground. This is an annual tradition with them, including many more specific traditions. One of those is the Sawbill Bowl football game, usually played on the lake, but this year on the unplowed parking lot due to slush on the lake. Other traditions include mountain biking on area lakes with studded tires, beer kept from freezing in a cooler with hot water bottles, and drinking good scotch with Frank.

The huddle.

Play action.

Carl is flattened by aggressive blocking.


11/26/02 - This past weekend was the annual Christmas cookie making frenzy that Cindy, her mom, and her sister have been doing for many years. Cindy's sister was unable to come up this year and we discovered that her presence is essential for successful cookies. The first batch (a batch being SIX times the single recipe) of spritz cookie dough was as hard as a rock and tasted an awful lot like paste. We quickly disposed of this and made more. The dough appeared fine this time, but when we were adding food coloring to the dough, we somehow ended up with two batches of red instead of one red and one blue - so we decided purple cookies would be festive. When we baked the cookies, they had an odd sort of texture (some of the cookies shapes look more like modern art than cookies). The sugar cookies never got vanilla added to them and the cookies that have been nicknamed SOB's (yes, the initials stand for what you think - the cookies are a bit tedious to make) were under-cooked. But we just filled up our wine glasses and took it all in stride. So, if you stop by Sawbill this holiday season and are offered some cookies, be careful what you choose. -Beth

On your mark, get set, decorate! Clare, Cindy, Carl, Cindy's mom Arlene and her husband Keck prepare for a cookie decorating marathon. We decided not to post the picture of Bill being dragged, kicking and screaming, to the table for the decorating. On the right, the final results.

11/23/02 - There's just the right amount of snow on the ground to find out what's been roaming around in the woods. The snow is deep enough (about 4") to record the footprints of all the critters, but shallow enough to make it easy to get through the woods without snowshoes or skis. I walked along the lake yesterday and saw tracks along the hillside, tracks heading straight for trees, and many tracks leading down to the lake in search of water. Birds, squirrels, mice, and snowshoe hares had all been recent visitors. I also came across the wing marks of a ruffed grouse that had left its imprint as it flew away. -Beth

Winter has arrived at Sawbill - a solidly frozen lake. A snow angel made by grouse wings.

11/22/02 - Returning from two busy weeks in different cities riding planes, trains, buses, and subways makes me pause and soak in what winter at Sawbill can be like. Where an unfamiliar car in the winter is rare and prompts a lengthy conversation on who it could possibly be. Where coffee breaks include ice skating. Where a busy social life means I had more than one mouse in my living room at a time (Yesterday a huge fat mouse was just sitting in the middle of the living room staring at me - have the mice gotten so arrogant in my absence that they think they can just lounge around the living room, or was this an act of surrender? Either way, he was quickly relocated deep into the woods). When you live in a place where many people come on vacation it seems ironic to leave there to go on vacation. But it sure makes coming home a treat. - Beth

11/18/02 - Jim Sampson, campground host at the Sawbill Lake Campground, is having knee replacement surgery today. Jim and Fran are long time Sawbill campers (~ 50 years) and their daughter Dee was one of the first Sawbill employees back in the early '60s. Dee's husband, Steve Hedman, also worked here. They were the first Sawbill romance that resulted in marriage. Jim and Fran's address is: 324 Lakeview Dr, Osteen, FL 32764. Phone: 407-323-9425. Email: if you would like to send get well wishes.

11/11/02 - We received the following email the other day:

I just read your newsletter entry about lynx in your area.  I was driving to Sawbill in September and, about a mile from your store, I saw an animal cross the road in front of me.  I stopped the car and looked into the trees on the side of the road and there was a large cat, perhaps 25 feet away.  We stared at each other for a long time.  He didn't seem very afraid.  I assumed he was a bobcat because I didn't see pronounced ear tufts, but now I am having doubts.  Had I a zoom lens on my camera, I could have taken some nice pictures.  As it was, this is all I was able to get. - Jeff Thieret

11/09/02 - John "OB" Oberholtzer, who worked at Sawbill for 13 years, called last night from St Johns, Virgin Islands. This was surprising in itself, but all the more surprising when he announced that he had married Kathleen Heikes that morning! We are delighted for OB and Kathleen and wish them all the best. We are also slightly jealous about the next 8 days they get to spend on St Johns.

11/07/02 - Canadian Lynx are very rare in this area. At least they were until recently. We had a great lynx sighting on the way to school late last week. We saw is cross the road near a river crossing. We were less than 100 yards away and got a good look at the big cat. We stopped abreast of where it had gone in the woods, and there it was, less than 20 feet away and in plain view. We were able to watch it for about five minutes before it ambled off. It was the first lynx I have seen since I was a little kid, more than forty years ago. For more lynx info, follow this link (sorry for the pun):

Former Sawbill crew member, Kate Ferguson-Surbaugh saw a lynx in her back yard about a month ago. She was brushing her hair and spotted the lynx in the bathroom mirror. She watched it for 20 minutes. Kate, her husband Steve (also a former crew member), and their son Will, have recently relocated from Minneapolis to Grand Marais. - Bill
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « October 2002 | December 2002 »


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