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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: November 2008
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « October 2008 | December 2008 »

11/23/08 - Skating! This is a day we wait for every year. I would call the conditions very good this year. There are large expanses of black ice more than 4" thick. Due to high winds there are some cracks that allowed some up-welling. Those areas have now refrozen, creating periodic rough spots that have to be crossed carefully. Plenty of room for uninhibited skating though. Snow is forecast for tomorrow, so this may be the only opportunity of the year. - Bill

Roy, Cindy, Homer and Phoebe exuberantly taking advantage of smooth ice on Sawbill Lake. You can see the campground's boat storage area in the far background.

Broad swathes of black ice.

A view of Alton Lake from the Sawbill portage. Alton is even smoother than Sawbill.

11/18/08 - Sawbill Lake froze over for the second time today. This time it looks like it's frozen for the season. Sadly, enough snow has fallen recently to mess up the possibility of good ice skating.

The ice on Sawbill Lake is (barely) thick enough to walk on. I didn't dare go out over deep water and there were ominous cracking sounds underfoot.

On my daily run I noticed large, fresh wolf tracks running along ahead of me. At my turn around point I glanced up just in time to see the wolf emerge onto the road less than 100 feet in front of me. He was a perfect specimen of a grey wolf - wooly, healthy and alert. He was slightly startled to see me, but didn't run away so much as strolled across the road a disappeared into the woods. It is a tremendous thrill to see a wild wolf at such close range. - Bill

11/16/08 - Sawbill Lake has thawed out again after being frozen completely over with nearly an inch of ice. This relatively rare phenomenon occurred due to somewhat higher temperatures, but also to the typical ceaseless November winds. The water is super-chilled now and will freeze, probably for good, as soon as the wind drops. The forecast calls for low single digit temperatures tonight, which likely means clear skies and calm winds. As always, our fingers are crossed for smooth skating ice. - Bill

Roy, who just had his first birthday, inspects newly thawed Sawbill Lake.

11/11/08 - Sawbill Lake froze last night. We saw a canoeist paddling up Sawbill late yesterday afternoon, causing us to worry that he might get frozen in. His car was gone early this morning, so apparently he was just taking the last little day paddle of the season. Our low temperature was 10 degrees last night and the wind was calm for the first time in days. - Bill

Looking north on Sawbill Lake.

11/8/08 - We have another fine addition to the Sawbill extended family! Graham William Oberholtzer was born this morning to John and Kat Oberholtzer. Most of you probably remember John as "OB", Sawbill's longest tenured crew member. OB and Kat live right here in Cook County. This is their third child. Congratulations!

Graham William Oberholtzer - Sawbill crew 2026?

11/6/08 - Big trucks started rolling into Sawbill this afternoon and soon the Sawbill Campground had a spanking new double outhouse near campsite #4. - Bill








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