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Mail: 4620 Sawbill Trail
Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615

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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: May 2003
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « April 2003 | June 2003 »
5/29/03 - Spring flowers are beginning to spread splashes of color everywhere. The marsh marigolds have been in bloom for over a week and the swampy area at the very south end of Sawbill Lake is full of the bright yellow flowers. Purple and yellow violets are in bloom as well as woodland anemonies. I also stumbled across three nodding trillium in bloom near the Sawbill Creek. Their delicate white flowers hang just under the three large leaves that give the plant its name. -Beth

Marsh marigolds and nodding trillium are just two of the plants in bloom around Sawbill.

5/26/03 - Today completes the finest Memorial Day weekend, in terms of weather, that we have ever had. Balmy temperatures, light breezes, blue skies and even the fish are biting. We are seeing nothing but happy faces around here this morning.

Two new Sawbill crew members have arrived in the last two days.

Alison Behm is from Rosemount, Minnesota and attends the University of Minnesota. Patrick Nash is from Middleton, Wisconsin and will be going to school in Pocatello, Idaho this fall.

Frank Hansen is recovering from his long ordeal of repeated hip surgery. He is cruising freely around the property and spending hours visiting with canoeists in the store.

Steve Snyder, who was a guide at Sawbill Lodge back in the 60s, came in from Malberg Lake last night. He had the privilege of seeing a new born moose nursing from its mother.

Speaking of moose, my friend Sue Abrahamsen of Grand Marais was injured last week when she surprised a mother moose and a new calf on a trail near Grand Marais. Sue found herself suddenly very close to the pair and the cow kicked out and broke Sue's leg. It was one of those very rare and fluky accidents with what are normally peaceful and placid animals. You can read the full story in the Cook County News Herald story.

A Sawbill camper had another fluky accident yesterday. While crossing the Sawbill to Alton portage carrying a loaded canoe in the upright position, a man fell and caught his hand between the falling canoe's keel and a rock. He sliced off the tips of two fingers. His friends picked up the severed pieces and rushed him back to the Sawbill store. Luckily, a Cook county deputy sheriff was visiting in the store and was able to rush the man to the hospital in his squad car. Dr. Paul Terrill reattached the finger tips and gave a hopeful prognosis for full recovery. - Bill

5/16/03 - Sawbill crew members have begun arriving for the summer! Kari Anderson-Hermann, a new crew member from Minneapolis, was the first one to arrive last week. She's been cheerfully doing all of the spring dirty work like scrubbing outhouses and shuttling a dozen canoes at a time to different entry points. Kari has spent many summers paddling with Camp Menogyn, including their 50-day Hudson Bay trip last summer. She just finished her freshman year at the University of Redlands in southern California. Max Wilson, long-time crew member and Jayco resident, arrived from Massachusetts yesterday and is hard at work already. -Beth

Kari doesn't seemed the least bit phased by the huge pile of canoes she has to drive to Kawishiwi (where do I take that first right?).

5/15/03 - The June issue of National Geographic Magazine, on newsstands today, contains an article on the Boundary Waters Wilderness by virtuoso photographer/writer Jim Brandenburg. The online version of the article includes a link to Sawbill Canoe Outfitters! - Bill

5/14/03 - On May 4th, big happenings were afoot here at Sawbill. Bill Hansen was one day away from turning FIFTY YEARS OLD. Cindy, as always, was one step ahead and had planned a surprise party with exactly 50 friends and family in attendance. And, while Bill was delighted with the unexpected guests that kept pouring through the front door, he had no idea what was still in store. This past fall a friend of Bill's had offered to sell his 1978 Moto Guzzi 850 T3 motorcycle to Bill. Bill thought about it for a few weeks and finally called the friend back and said he'd take it. The friend apologized but said he'd sold it to "some other guy" because he hadn't heard from Bill. A few weeks later Bill went to visit the friend and got to see the bike and realized it was exactly what he had wanted. Bill was disappointed but then snowboarding season started and Bill got distracted by that. So, last Sunday during the party, right after Bill's friends and family spent an hour roasting the old guy, Cindy placed a blindfold on him, marched him outside, and after much suspense revealed his birthday present - the 1978 Moto Guzzi. She had been "some other guy" all along. - Beth

Bill is a bit nervous at what Cindy has cooked up as a present.... Bill in utter disbelief - be careful with big surprises, he's 50 now, it may be too much for him.... After Bill picks his chin off the ground, the party goers and the present pose for a picture with the coolest guy in town.

5/8/03 - Wandering outside with a bright moon hanging in the warm night sky, I paused to breathe in the sweet spring air. After a moment or two I realized what was different - the frogs were noisily having their evening choir practice for the first time. It was a very summer-like noise and made the night air feel a little bit warmer as I headed for home. -Beth

5/6/03 - The Forest Service announced a fire restrictions beginning May 8th. As in the past few years, fires will only be allowed between 7 pm and midnight in the blowdown areas. Outside the blowdown areas, fires are allowed in the fire grates any time of day. It is dry here right now.

Greg Fangel, who lives part-time in Tofte, was driving up the Sawbill Trail last Saturday and came across a cow moose with a yearling calf. This is not so unusual in itself, but Greg was startled to see that the cow was missing one of her legs. This is the first I have ever heard of a three legged moose. - Bill

Greg Fangel reported that this mama moose hobbled into the woods on only one back leg

Ed Dallas, Sawbill's Poet Laureate, sent this short poem this morning.

first smells of spring rain
a low rumble of thunder
through the loon's call

5/2/03 - It appears that the ice is gone from Sawbill Lake as of Thursday, May 1st. We haven't had time to paddle up to the north end, but everything is open as far as we can see. The statistical average ice out date for Sawbill Lake over the last 50 years is May 2nd. The earliest I can remember is April 11th and the latest is May 22nd.

Cindy saw a very large black bear on the Sawbill Trail this morning as she was driving the kids to the bus. As she drew nearer, one, two, and then three tiny cubs ran across the road. She pulled to a stop and watched the tiny fur balls as they bumbled around trying to get safely up a tree. After finally agreeing on a tree, they all shinnied up a few feet and then stared at Cindy. She said they were nothing but ears. After a few minutes, mother reappeared, called them down, and led them off into the woods. - Bill

5/1/03 - The south end of Sawbill Lake is substantially clear of ice. We can see some ice up near the first narrows. Typically, the larger, deeper middle section of Sawbill goes out a day or two after the south end. It is warm, sunny and windy here today, so I am guessing Sawbill will be clear by this evening. - Bill
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « April 2003 | June 2003 »


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