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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: January 2006
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « December 2005 | February 2006 »

1/30/06 -
Driving home from Duluth yesteday morning, we came across these surfers on Lake Superior, at the Lester River beach. It looks like a lot of fun, but brrrr....

1/27/06 - Thanks to everyone who has written to express their sympathies about Sunnie. Here are a few excerpts:

We were up there last summer and had a blast but a lot of our fun came from playing with sunny and homer but sunny more. We had to let our black lab of 13 1/2 yr go too (ABBY) my dad had a really tough time with it. sorry to hear about sunny she was a lot of fun. Heres a picture of us at sawbill last year thanks for all the fun and sorry about sunny see you next summer. - Madison and Tedi Ramberg


Tom and I were saddened to hear about Sunnie. He and Homer were great greeters and ambassadors for Sawbill. We always enjoyed Sunnie's company when we camped at Sawbill in September. - Tom and Sue Jorgensen

That's terrible news about Sunnie. She will be missed by so many. It was a darned good life though. I hope everyone (including Homer) is holding up. - Max Wilson

I was sorry to read of Sunnie's death. Times that we have passed through Sawbill on the start and end of canoe trips have always been enhanced by one of Sawbill's friendly dogs greeting us.

I have a belief about dogs and their relationships with humans. I've had two bosses in my life who were horrible. Both were people who had no use for dogs. When one of our dogs died, I called in to say that I wouldn't be in that day and gave the reason. The response "What do you mean you won't be in? It's just a dog!" It's not just a dog, as you know. I believe that in job interviews, a lot could be learned by asking a future boss if they have a dog. If they talk about what a great dog they have, my chances of working for a good person go up. Extra credit if they have a picture of their dog prominently displayed with family pictures. If they talk of dogs with disdain, I should have the confidence to say "Thanks, but no thanks! I don't think it would work out." Thanks to all of you for being dog people - it tells us something about you when we see Homer and Sunnie on the website frequently!

We have a collie, Mackenzie, who is 10 years old. He's not getting around the way he used to. Thanks for the line in Sunnie's obituary on the web, "When her suffering seemed to outweigh her joy, we made the difficult decision to end her life." That's a difficult thing to do - but a courageous a thing to do. Our sympathies on the loss of your friend - and a friend of many paddlers over the years. How is Homer doing? I've seen our dogs grieve the loss of another. - Paul Grizzell

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Sunnie. I remember her fondly from my many trips to Sawbill. I've been coming up there since I was a kid. I grew up in Northern Wisconsin, but now live near Washington DC. When making the long trek from DC to the BWCA, I remember how I was always surprised to see Sunnie at your store to greet me. She made it feel as if some things never change, even though I'd been gone a thousand miles and many months from the wilderness. She was like a rock in a great river of transition and change that is life. What a wonderful dog, she will be missed, but always warmly remembered. – Brent Bolea

As a person who knows what the words golden retriever "really" mean, my heart and thoughts go out to you. As the Sam Cook article mentioned, "Unconditional Love." I sometimes think they are people trying to tell us something through all that fur and those white masks. Gust, Sunny and Harold, it brings smiles and tears to me. Take a long walk, breath some of that cold fresh air and be happy you had such a friend. - Dan Seemon

We're all so sad to hear of Sunnie's passing! But the pinnacle of beauty that exists (in the love we have for our pets) is when we can look at them and say that we wish to come back as one of them in our next life. A person could aspire to nothing more utopian & grand than to come back as Sunnie Hansen! (Or Boomer, our cat). Take care & know that we're all thinking of you! xoxoxo - Lisa Stanford, Jack, Michael & Melissa

1/23/06 - Sundown (Sunnie) Maggie Hansen 1993 - 2006.
With a heavy heart I regret to inform you that Sunnie, the elder of our much loved golden retrievers, passed away today. Sunnie was petted, ear scratched, and baby talked to by nearly half a generation of Sawbill customers and crew. She has been failing gradually over the last several months. In spite of being nearly incapacitated, she remained her sweet and friendly self right to the end. When her suffering seemed to outweigh her joy, we made the difficult decision to end her life. She was twelve and a half years old. She was a good dog.

By coincidence, one of our very favorite writers, Sam Cook, wrote this column on this very day.

1/18/06 - For most of the world, last weekend was Martin Luther King Weekend, but here it was Sawbill Babes Weekend. This annual event reunites several former Sawbill crew ladies for three days of skiing, wining (not whining), saunaing (is that a word?), and way too much laughing.

Sawbill Babes L to R: Cindy Hansen, Michele Thieman, Beth Rehfus, Patti Olson, Clare Hansen, Sandy Zinn. Not pictured: Annie Strupek - back at Sawbill suffering from an awful flu/cold, Ellen Lock-Bagnato - currently living in Oman and couldn't afford the airfare. They gathered around this sign because the "S" stands for "Sawbill Babes."

Here is a demonstration of the difficult art of synchronized skiing.

It is a little known fact that Cindy and Clare Hansen are huge fans of Professional Bull Riding, as seen on cable/satellite TV every weekend. They know every cowboy's name and story. More impressively, they know every bull's name and story. They sit on the couch and discuss bull riding strategy and tactics while wearing their cowboy hats. When the PBR recently came to Minneapolis, Cindy and Clare were there, cheering for their favorite cowboys and bulls.

Former crewmember Max Wilson commented: "If you asked me to name a thousand things that Cindy and Clare were passionate about, bull riding would not have made the list. Go figure!"

1/14/06 - We are getting a lot of worried phone calls from people who have noticed the "lottery" for BWCA Wilderness entry permits on the permit reservation website.

The so called "lottery" is not really a lottery. They just accumulate the permit applications and then process them starting on January 15th. In the unlikely case that they have more applications for an entry point on a given date than the quota allows, they randomly pick who gets the permits and reject the others. For all the entry points around here, it is very rare that anyone is rejected. The "lottery" really is only a lottery for the few entry points (none near Sawbill) that allow overnight camping with motor boats, and one or two small, but popular, entry points near Ely.

Once the "lottery" is over, you can reserve permits in real time at the permit reservation website or by calling toll free 1-877-550-6777. Or, you can call us at 1-218-663-7150 and we'll reserve a permit for you.

Now is a good time to be planning your canoe trip for the upcoming season, but you don't need to panic. In past years, the entry points near here have been available for even the most popular entry dates during the summer until near the end of March.

As always, if you have questions, need route advice, or just want to chat about the weather, give us a call at 218-663-7150 or email at - Bill

1/8/06 - The weather continues on an unbelievable streak of warmth. While the warmth has made outdoor activities more fun, it has been almost continuously overcast, which is a bit hard to take during these short days. In the last couple of days the sun has appeared from time to time, reminding us that spring is only three or four short months away.

Last week, former crewmembers John Oberholtzer, Charlie Helbling, Eric Frost and I skied the Banadad Ski Trail up in the Gunflint area. It is a 30 kilometer trail, mostly within the wilderness, that is allowed by the BWCA Wilderness Act to be groomed by snowmobile for skiers. We spent a very pleasant four hours skiing through snow covered trees while eating, drinking, and visiting. - Bill

1/2/06 - Happy New Year from everyone at Sawbill. We've had a lovely holiday with many visitors.

The traditional celebration on the shore of Sawbill Lake in the first moments of 2006.

Current Sawbill Newsletter | « December 2005 | February 2006 »

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