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Mail: 4620 Sawbill Trail
Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615


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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: January 2004
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « December 2003 | February 2004 »
1/29/04 - Adam and Dave have been up on Frost Lake for the last four days on a training trip before they depart for northern Manitoba. They have had a good test with 10" of snow on the first day and temperatures of -30F last night. They were actually due back yesterday, but the heavy snow and slush between the lake ice and snow cover slowed them down. You can read their journal entries on-line.

My regular sunset ski was a chilly one last night with temperatures at 5 PM reading -16F and dropping. A 25 mph northwest wind added to the face numbing conditions. Part of our ski trail runs on an old logging road. As I crested a small rise I was surprised to see a large, black animal about 20 yards ahead. It was late twilight, that time of day when objects appear in silhouette, with all detail lost. At first I thought it was the large black wolf that has been a regular visitor for the last year. It turned out to be a moose calf. It stopped when it saw me. We looked each other over and it ambled off behind a row of spruce trees. On my next loop around the trail, the calf's mother was standing in the same spot. She was unwilling to move, so I respectfully skied around her. I was happy to return to a warm, inviting house after my ski, instead of spending the night bedded down in the snow like the moose. - Bill

The Sawbill Store hunkers down under 3' of snow and -30F temperatures.

1/20/04 - We have been enjoying some real northwoods winter weather and activity recently. Last night the temperature dipped to -26 F. Adam and Dave's dog team has been living on the Sawbill parking lot for the last couple of weeks. Every day they take a run out into the wilderness as they toughen up man, beast, and equipment for their big WildernessClassroom.com adventure to come. With the cold temperatures and 18" of new snow in the last week, conditions have been perfect for sub-arctic training. The dogs are friendly and well socialized. They each have a distinctive personality and several are real characters. - Bill

Adam feeds the team. L - R: Thistle, Daisy, Munchkin, Fennel, Saylex, and Lichen. Homer lounges near the sled while the "working" dogs eat dinner.

Adam gives Munchkin a hug. She is the mother or grandmother of the other five dogs.

1/7/04 - The howling of sled dogs is floating through the air as the thermometer heads for -20 degrees F again tonight. Dave Freeman and Adam Hansen of WildernessClassroom.com are living at Sawbill as they train for their two month sled dog adventure in northern Manitoba. Beginning in February, the six alaskan huskies and two men will be in the deep frozen wilderness while staying connected to hundreds of school children via satellite phone and the internet. I will be putting more information about their journey here in the near future.

Lynx are being sighted with regularity all over northeastern Minnesota in the last couple of years. The University of Minnesota has managed to live trap a few, including one quite near Sawbill, and track their movements via radio beacon collars. You can see the maps of the lynx' travels at the Canada Lynx of the Great Lakes website. Lynx #5 is the one that was trapped near here. We saw it ourselves several times during the last year.

Canada Lynx are again fairly common in Northeastern Minnesota. (Photo from U of M)

Here are a few more pictures from the fun we had over the holiday season:

Holiday greeting on Sawbill Lake for passing satellites courtesy of Tess Dornfeld.

(L-R) Nathan, Belinda, Max, Kari, Ruthie, Carl, Lida, Homer, Tess, Clare, Carol, Kirk, and Britta. Sawbill crew - past, present and future - on Sawbill Lake at the stroke of midnight 1/1/2004.

Kari and Clare return from a snowmobile ride. Lida showing the effect of a 16 kilometer backcountry ski to Smoke Lake at -10 degrees F.
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « December 2003 | February 2004 »

 


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