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Phone: (218)663-7150
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Mail: 4620 Sawbill Trail
Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615

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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: June 2006
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « May 2006 | July 2006 »

6/29/05 - This week the reunion gang has slowly started to trickle in and all of us current crewmembers are getting the chance to meet all the veterans. The reunion preparations are coming together nicely and everyone is anticipating a wild and wonderful weekend! -Corey

Crewmember Molly Breslin poses with her dad, John Breslin, after their canoe trip down the Lady Chain.

Crewmember Pat Nash dazzles us with his special lasagna dish.

Our very own Clare Hansen demonstrates her ability to walk on water. What's your secret, Clare?

Here's a photo of a gypsy moth trap, part of a Forest Service prevention campaign in our area.

6/25/06 - Another beautiful day here at Sawbill. The temperature is soaring into the 80's again and a gentle breeze is keeping away the bugs!!! Not too shabby! -Corey

Second generation crewmember Tess Dornfeld reported for duty this past week. Here she is all smiles on the store.

Sawbill customer David Zeigler displays the antique Hamm's beer can he found at a campsite during his recent trip.

6/24/06 - The last few days have been action packed as usual at Sawbill. We've had visits from friends and family as well as the arrival of two veteran crewmembers, Molly Breslin and Tess Dornfeld. Add to that a hail storm, Carl Hansen's half-marathon, a wild ladies night in Grand Marais and a dysfunctional internet connection and you have the recipe for an eventful week! -Corey

Cindy's cousin Johnny and his family drove all the way from California and came by for a canoe trip.

Crewmember Matt Hartmann sits with the wildflowers alongside the Sawbill Trail.

All of our Sawbill ladies dressed to the nines enjoying dinner at the Angry Trout in Grand Marais.

The quintessential Cindy Hansen living it up on Ladies Night.

A handful of hail. A twenty minute hailstorm hit Sawbill on Thursday causing dismay amongst canoeists and wreaking havoc in our flowerbeds!

6/21/06 - Longtime former crewmember Adam Hansen recently went on a canoe trip with his friends. They camped on Frederick Lake and day tripped into an undisclosed location where the lake trout flowed like Wine. After catching more than their share of fish the group returned to their site to prepare their feast.

Here is Adam holding one of the many fish he and his friends caught on their excursion.

A Christmas clad Adam displays and takes credit for the huge fish his friend Nathan Johnson caught. Way to go Nathan!


Jack Brenegan and his group, ranging in age from 58 - 73, have been coming through Sawbill Outfitters for almost 25 years now. Each year the group of six surprise new crewmembers with their kind spirits as well as their themed team hats. The men are divided into three teams of two: Team U-Boat, named after a WWII submarine, Team Norski is named for the Norwegian brothers of the group and Team F.U.B.A.R. is an acronym too inappropriate for even the Sawbill website. The teams have a fishing competition each year. This year Willie caught the biggest Walleye at 30", but Fred caught the largest smallmouth at 19". I asked Jack which team ended up winning the fish-off this year and he sheepishly replied, "I have to be careful about what I say, but Norski probably had the biggest Walleye...we always do." A biased conversation or not, we're already looking forward to the return of our favorite competitors. Each year they entertain us with their wit, happiness and love for their time together in the wilderness.

from left to right: Willie Schwefel, Jerry Keiser, Fred Escher, Derrell Parker, Jack Brenegan and Duane Brenegan...Teams U-Boat, F.U.B.A.R. and Norski

6/18/06 - Frank and Mary Alice Hansen have been keeping busy as usual. Frank maintains his position as President of the Board of Directors of the Grand Marais Clinic and continues to write his weekly column for the local newspaper. In his moments of free time Frank can be found sitting with the storekeeper, chatting with customers and sharing his many years of entertaining wisdom with everyone. Mary Alice also manages to keep her days booked by keeping up her gardens, playing weekly bridge games and has recently been spending her free time scrapbooking for her grandchildren. Her book, Sawbill: History and Tales continues to be our best seller!

This summer Frank and Mary Alice celebrate their 60th year of marriage as well as 50 years as successful business owners.

Mr. and Mr. Hansen all smiles on the store (Carl and Frank)

Mary Alice keeps close to her rose bushes

6/15/06 - We weren't so much surprised as excited when former crewmember Jasmine Hanson breezed in for an unexpected visit recently. She brought her boyfriend Derek with her so the ladies at Sawbill could gush over him. Crewmember Pat Nash made a beeline for the door as he was "having flashbacks" of summers past when the ladies of Sawbill reigned in full glory and the wild and riotous laughter never ceased. Jasmine and Derek just bought their first house together and will move in over 4th of July weekend.

Jasmine Hanson is back on the ball at Sawbill with her boyfriend Derek

6/13/06 - The graduations just keep on coming. Ruthie Hansen, long time Sawbill crewmember, graduated Saturday from the University of Chicago. She is currently job hunting and the scope of her search is world-wide. If you have a job for an excellent writer with lots of practical business and people skills - or if you just want to congratulate her - send her an email at:

A happy graduate in her beautiful graduation dress.

Ruthie with her proud father.

6/11/06 - Fellow crewmember Corey Belt and I recently used our vacation days to cover a few of Sawbill's most frequented canoe routes. The weather was great, the bugs were minimal and lots of ground was covered making for an exciting adventure.

Vibrant colors of the lily pads sparkle in the bright sun on the Frost River.

Lida leaps off the cliffs on Beth Lake.

Corey was thrilled to reel in our Lake Trout dinner on Little Saganaga Lake.

Cirrus clouds disburse across the beautiful night sky on Polly Lake.

The variety of waterfalls seems to be an endless exploration on the Hazel Lake portage.

6/10/06-Finally after what seemed like weeks of waiting the dragonflies are out. Their colorful bodies can be seen zipping through the air eating the numerous black flies and mosquitos (much to the relief of everyone at Sawbill). Our newest crew member, Matt Hartmann, also arrived after making the long drive from Fremont, NB. -Kari
Matt issues his first BWCA permit!

6/6/06 - I was ready to scoff at the superstitious people who attach significance to this date being "the mark of the beast." But, while on my daily run down the Sawbill trail, I had three separate "beast" encounters.

The first was a not very threatening spotted fawn complete with wobbly legs and Bambi eyes. I had to stop and feed the mosquitoes for a minute while the fawn dithered around, until a subtle signal from its mother sent it trotting into the woods.

The second was a brown fury that erupted from the underbrush and viciously attacked me, beating me around the head and attempting to claw my eyes. A ruffed grouse hen defending her nest is an amazingly intimidating attack machine. No injuries were sustained, although her strategy seemed to be mostly aimed at giving me a heart attack.

The third was a streaking woodchuck that came sprinting out of the woods straight for me. I was still jumpy from the recent grouse attack, but it turned out that the wood chuck just had bad timing. As soon a he saw me, he applied the emergency brakes and headed back the way came at high speed. - Bill

6/4/06 - This week has been full of excitement. We've had three new crew members arrive (plus one old one!) and Clare graduated from high school. Add to that a Splinter's gig and some post-graduation parties and you have one rockin' weekend! -Corey

Our newest crew member Liz Foot gets an outfitting lesson from Lida.

Clare and friends celebrate their freedom.

6/2/06 - The summer crew is starting to materialize with the arrival this week of Kari, Johnny and Carl. The blackflies are also back in full force and driving us all a little crazy!

New crew members Johnny Anderson-Hermann and Carl Geving.

Here's Alison (Kathy) working away as GM.

Corey and Nash sitting on store.

Just another blissful sunset from the Sawbill dock!

6/1/06 - A thunderstorm capped off a warm day at Sawbill and left Carl stuck on the trail behind a downed tree and Cindy just behind him with a flat tire. Bill came to the rescue and all made it home just as the rain abated! -Corey

Clare, Lida and Kari spent the rainy hours reading trashy magazines in the store.

Bill had a chat with former crew member, Patti Olson, who showed up this weekend for Clare's graduation festivities.

Current Sawbill Newsletter | « May 2006 | July 2006 »

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