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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: January 2007
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « December 2006 | February 2007 »

1/26/07 - For the past couple of weeks, there had been some loose talk of putting together a short winter camping trip. After getting busy schedules synched-up, OB, Jessa, and I were able to get a few days off and head out into the wilderness.

It was fantastic: perfect skiing conditions, warm weather, and a good group of folks. Jessa and I skied out Saturday evening, under a starry night, with the quintessential sliver of a moon peaking out from clouds rolling in from the south.

OB and Bill had skied out that afternoon and set up the tent in a pre-determined location on the south end of Alton. We arrived around 6:30 or 7:00 PM. Another friend, Sally, skied out to meet us about an hour later, just as Bill was heading back to Sawbill for the night. Night-skiing on the lakes can be surreal, with a headlamp lighting up the previous ski tracks, but very little else.

A proud OB shows off his canvas tent which offered plenty of room for us to sprawl out and bask in the wood stove's heat. Bill was nice enough to help him set it up, despite having work drag him back to Sawbill.

"Real nice." OB digs into his high-calorie, deep-fried burrito. Even though it wasn't very cold, we sure ate like it was.

The next morning after a very leisurely breakfast, we threw on our skis and set out for a nice day trip through Beth, Ella, and Grace Lakes. Conditions were very fast, making skiing nearly effortless. While the lack of snow in the forest has made for rough trail skiing this winter, the typically slushy conditions of the Boundary Waters proved to be stellar. - Frosty

Before starting across the Alton to Beth portage, we stopped to admire this giant Red Pine. We estimated it to be close to 100' tall, with the first limbs nearly 60' from the forest floor.

While this photo wasn't taken during our short trip, we've been blessed with some beautifully clear skies that offer dramatic sunrises and sunsets. Taken Wednesday morning at -14 F.

1/26/07 - Carl Hansen has been an exchange student in Hamar, Norway for several months now. He is now speaking Norwegian as he hangs out playing video games with his friends. He really likes his host family and is challenged by taking chemistry in Norwegian! He won't be back to Minnesota until July.

(l - r) Andreas, Carl, Johannes, Hendrik and Trons.

1/14/07 - Yet another reunion tradition at Sawbill: Sawbill Babes Weekend. Several ex-Sawbill crewmembers of the female persuasion gather each winter for skiing, games, wine appreciation, and general good times.

A new tradition was added to "Sawbill Babes Weekend" this year - a ridiculously choclatey triple layer chocolate cake from The 50's Grill in Minneapolis. Clockwise starting at 1 o'clock: Michele Thieman, Jessa Wallendal, Sandy Zinn, Annie Strupeck, Clare Hansen, Beth Rehfus, and Cindy Hansen. Not pictured: Patti Olson, who was in bed with strep throat :-(

The Babes prepare to work off chocolate cake.

1/9/07 - Every year we get several calls at this time of year from people who are worried about reserving permits for the upcoming season. The Forest Service sometimes gives the impression that the permits will all be gone soon. Actually, the vast majority of the permits are still available and there is no reason to panic. Reserving a permit allows you to enter the BWCA Wilderness on a given day at a certain entry point. The number of people, exit date, exit point, etc., can all be flexible. As soon as you know you entry date and entry point, go ahead and reserve a permit. You can reserve a permit online, or call toll free (after February 1st) at 1-877-550-6777. As always, if you have any questions, or want us to reserve your permit for you, drop us an email, or give us a call.

Here are a couple of more pictures from our New Year's celebration, courtesy of Molly Breslin.

Clare, Nathan, and Adam plummet toward certain death on a plastic toboggan.

Davey inspects the hole that was cut in the ice for some very chilly swimming. Apparently, several people swam, but aren't willing to share pictures! Brrr.... I can almost see Davey thinking, "No way in hell...."

1/2/07 - During the New Year's holiday, we always welcome visits from current and former Sawbill crew members. We had a great turnout this year. Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, snow games, saunas, food, drink, and even dancing are a few of the activities that go on nearly 'round the clock.

A hard rain on the morning of New Year's Eve threatened to dampen the festivities, but it soon turned to snow and ended up covering every twig and branch with a coating of white, creating a wonderland that provided the perfect backdrop for the celebrations. - Bill

The Sawbill crew, past and present, toasts the arrival of 2007 from the frozen surface of Sawbill Lake.

After the toast, sparklers were broken out. This turned out to be mildly hazardous in the stiff wind that was blowing, but no injuries were recorded.

Current Sawbill Newsletter | « December 2006 | February 2007 »

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