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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: June 2005
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « May 2005 | July 2005 »

6/30/05 - Many loyal Sawbill customers remember our old rental dome with a great deal of fondness. Sure, it was sometimes referred to by customers as the "rental shack," "outfitting shanty," "gear kiosk," "equipment hole," "quonset hut," and other less-than-flattering monikers. But many still consider quixotic dome an important Sawbill icon.

Some of the more nostalgic members of the Sawbill family have lately been wondering and asking about the fate of the ol' Sawbill dome. So here you go:

The dome--still standing, and only a little worse for wear. The old equipment area of the dome is now the Power Dome, a center for weightlifting, aerobics, yoga and wellness.
Remember the video viewing area? It's now been converted to the Sawbill band practice area and recording studio. Don't forget the laundry room; it's now a brewery. As you can see, the quonset hut of old is as multidimensional as ever.

6/28/05 - With the Fourth of July just around the corner, the Sawbill family has finally reached full strength. Straggler Shannon Grace is our last crew member to arrive for the 2005 season. Shannon graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison this spring with a degree in nursing. She will be studying for her boards this summer, so direct all medical stumpers to Shannon. To learn more about the Sawbill crew, including staff members' favorite BWCA routes, check out our staff profiles.

Sawbill Campground hosts Jim and Rachel TerBeest arrived yesterday after a stressful 2-day drive from Omaha, Neb., during which they lost a wheel off their 32-foot trailer. Fortunately, no major damage was done and Jim and Rachel are settled in on campsite 17 and ready for another relaxed summer at Sawbill.

Welcome back to Shannon, Jim and Rachel.

6/25/05 - The prescribed burn started by the Forest Service on June 17 reignited today, after eight days of heat, wind and drought.

After returning from her afternoon walk at 3 p.m., Cindy Hansen called the Forest Service to report large plumes of smoke at the site of the prescribed burn, about a mile south of Sawbill.

By 5 p.m. today, three separate fires had sprung up. The first of a dozen or so Forest Service vehicles arrived at the scene shortly after 5 p.m. and began to control one of the blazes.

As we stood on the Sawbill Trail, large gusts of wind breathed greater life into the unattended fires, which moved slowly from west to east burning up brush and trees left unconsumed from the original prescribed burn.

By 7 p.m., the Forest Service had more or less put out all the hot spots. But as we learned today, this fire will never really be out until Sawbill gets a long, saturating rain.

At 3 p.m. today, Cindy Hansen observed large columns of smoke coming from the sight of last week's prescribed burn.

By 5 p.m., the burn had fully reignited, drawing concerned and quizzical looks from passing motorists.

Duane "Bear" Cihlar, a senior Forest Service fire technician, observes the blaze minutes before the full fire crew arrives.


6/22/05 - Summer has arrived at Sawbill. After a week of sunny 70 to 80 degree days, it feels as if the season has finally begun. The fishing is also picking up. In the photo above, Joshua Swensen proudly displays his recent catch at Cresent Lake. The small mouth was caught using a worm and a #6 hook. With many members of the Sawbill crew enjoying time each day at the lake, it looks like it's going to be a beautiful summer.


6/19/05 - Lida, Sonya and Alison work to decorate a cake for Sawbill's first festive dinner of the year. The theme for the dinner was cliches and the crew dressed for the occasion. Notable costumes included "once in a blue moon" and "not the sharpest crayon in the box". The party was held a month late in honor of Cindy Hansen and Pat Nash's birthdays, both of which were on May 17.

Two forest rangers gamely pose for a picture.


6/18/05 - In an attempt to combat forest fires in the Boundary Waters, the Forest Service initiated a prescribed burn just off the Sawbill trail on Friday, June 17. The burn covered approximately 74 acres and was meant to burn primarily the fine fuels, the smaller woods (3-inches thick or smaller) which greatly increase the risk of a massive, rapidly-spreading forest fire. The dedicated fire crew worked for two days to ensure that the fires wouldn't greatly affect travel in the area and stayed well under control. A big thank you to the Forest Service.

6/16/05 - After spending the off-season working on a farm in Vermont, crew member Laura Smith returned to Sawbill yesterday, immediately putting her spud hauling skills to work.

Laura returns to Sawbill for her fifth summer, making her one of our most experienced staff members.

Laura and fellow crew member Jeff Green are engaged to be married next summer. Congratulations to Laura and Jeff and welcome back to work!

6/13/05 - Former Sawbill crew member and newsletter contributor Beth Rolf (now Beth Rehfuss) was married yesterday to Bill Rehfuss at the lovely Gale Farm Park in Minnetrista, Minn. Bill, Cindy, Clare, Carl and Adam Hansen and Lida Storch attended the event and even contributed by playing the "Beer Barrel Polka" after the ceremony. A pig roast and wedding dance followed the nuptials and continued into the wee hours. Congratulations Beth and Bill!

Bill, Carl, Cindy, Adam, Beth and Clare celebrate the momentous occasion.

Weddings are just more fun in a big, red barn.

6/9/05 - Kari "Karli" Anderson-Hermann, another of Sawbill's seasoned employees, returned to the northwoods a few days ago. My apologies to Kari's mother for not reporting this event sooner! Kari spent the past month rock climbing, backpacking, white-water rafting, and otherwise having a good time winding her way through Southern Utah and Arizona.

Never too busy to help, Kari assists a late evening caller with his upcoming canoe trip. Great work Karli!

6/7/05 - OK, check this out: Internet search giant Google unveiled a map and satellite imagery service a few months ago. On a whim, I decided to look up Sawbill Lake. If you zoom in all the way, you can actually see an individual canoe pulling away from the Sawbill landing--scary. The high resolution satellite photographs appear to have been taken early in the morning during the summer of 2003 or 2004. Click here to see the maps for yourself!

6/4/05 - It feels like summer has finally arrived at Sawbill. Most of you, living in places other than Northern Minnesota, might already be used to trees with leaves and 80 degree days, but up here we're still enjoying the novelty of it all. Down at the Sawbill boat launch, groups are steadily heading into the wilderness--bound for Cherokee, Phoebe, Little Saganaga, and dozens of fishing holes with top secret locations.

At the Sawbill Lake canoe landing, canoeists test the waters before heading north to Alton Lake.

They just keep coming! Sawbill veteran crew members Alison Behm and Jeff Green recently arrived here for another summer of grueling labor. Alison and Jeff both like to spend some of their spare time in the Sawbill shower house. While Alison takes advantage of the excellent acoustics for her nightly cello practice, Jeff uses an abandoned water pipe to do pull-ups--part of his strenuous daily workout regimen.

Alison tunes up and digs in for another summer of shower cello. In time with "Bach's Prelude to the First Unaccompanied Cello Suite," Jeff does pull-ups. Welcome back Alison and Jeff.

6/1/05 - Contrary to long-standing Minnesota tradition, we experienced a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend at Sawbill, with warm temperatures throughout and only one small rain shower on Saturday. Groups of happy friends and families reported good fishing for walleye, northern pike and lake trout. Crew member Jasmine Hanson helped us celebrate Memorial Day right with a monster platter of hamburgers, hot dogs and brats off the grill, plus the usual potato salad, corn and chili.

Crew member Lida Storch arrived for work a few days ago. She just finished her senior year at the University of Minnesota and will be practicing her Spanish often this summer in preparation for her trip to Spain in the fall. Welcome back!

Jasmine prepares our Memorial Day feast. Meanwhile, Lida works 'round the clock keeping our canoe fleet squeaky clean.
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « May 2005 | July 2005 »

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