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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: May 2009
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « April 2009 | June 2009 »

5/31/09 - Ellyn Phearman, a current Sawbill crew member, took some great photos this evening after we finally received some much needed precipitation. Spring is an exciting time here because the greens are becoming greener and the buds are quickly beginning to bloom. Beautiful. - Lida

The marsh marigold grows in standing water in marshes, creeks, swamps and ditches. Its bright gold color is vibrant in this sea of greens and browns.

Reindeer lichen forms in large patches typically in old growth forests. Interestingly enough, we also learned that it is commonly used to represent miniature trees and shrubs in scale models.

The large-leaved aster is the most common ground cover in the Sawbill area. Eventually, many little purple flowers cluster at the top of the plant. Fun fact: the aster is also nicknamed lumberjack toilet paper (for obvious reasons).

These residual water droplets remain from this afternoon's showers.

The Sawbill Trail looks beautiful in any season. To so many of us it's a symbol of happiness, friendship, peace, quiet and escape.

5/28/09 - Memorial Day weekend was fantastic. Both the weather and fishing reports were great and customers were happy. We couldn't ask for more. - Lida

Pine Martin 5_27_09.jpg
We received this beautiful photograph of a pine marten from Gary Erickson of Chisago City, MN. He and his Boy Scout troop were just leaving their campsite on Flame Lake when this little guy hurried through. The troop comes up every Memorial Day weekend, and every time something new surprises them.

5/24/09 - Customers of Sawbill aren't the only ones who love it here and return year after year. The employees also have a tendency to become completely enamored with this life, the people, as well as a shared love for the Boundary Waters. Customers return year after year and so do the majority of the crew. This year, like many others, there was very little turnover in our staff. Luckily we gained two great new people (and Dan, who arrived mid April). - Lida

Gerrit Wood Haul1 5_24_09.jpg
Gerrit Duys is a brand new crew member this year. Originally from Northfield, Minn., Gerrit has spent many vacations paddling with his father in the Boundary Waters. He just completed his freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where he's pursuing a degree in Apparel Design.

Brian Outfitting 5_24_09.jpg
Brian O'Neill is originally from New Prague, Minn. He just finished his junior year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he is working toward a degree in Recreation/Outdoor Education with a minor in Biology. He's an avid outdoorsman and spends many evenings fishing and kayaking around Sawbill Lake. He'll obviously fit right in!

5/23/09 - Last year at this time, Bill had shimmied himself into Sawbill's water supply tank with the pressure washer to spray the inside clean. This year, Adam was gutsy enough to squeeze himself through the circular opening with just an eight-inch radius. For those of you who have never met Adam, he is 6 feet 6 inches tall, so getting into the tank required some serious maneuvering, but now, thankfully, our water tank is clean! - Lida

This photo was taken from inside of the normally full water tank. The opaque shadows of trees and brush give the photo an interesting quality.

5/22/09 - Like so many loyal Sawbill customers, Grant and Janis Friberg of Wyoming, Minn., return each year ready to make the most of their time while here at Sawbill. They happily spend their days kayaking and fishing in and around Sawbill Lake. Janis said that it's their favorite place, referring to it as a "mini Montana," another one of their choice destinations. The Fribergs make it a point to return every spring and fall with their beautifully crafted wooden kayaks that they built themselves, and every spring and fall we're so happy to see them. - Lida

This evening I watched the Fribergs launch from the landing. The sun was glistening off the water and the breeze was warm. Another perfect day for a paddle.

kayaks 9_22_2009.jpg

The perfect end to an ideal day.

5/17/09 - What a difference a day makes! Today is a beautiful Boundary Waters Wilderness day with blue skies, light breeze, and warm temperatures. All the canoeists who spent the day pinned down on their campsites yesterday were smiling today.

Today is also a great day because it is the day that our own Cindy Hansen was born. Some would call it coincidence, some would call it fate, but today is also Norwegian Independence Day and the day that crew member Pat Nash was born. - Bill

Cindy Hansen, still a teenager at heart.

5/16/09 - I know that marketing gurus would chastise us for writing so often about the bad weather we've been having, but it is truly awful here today. After a relatively balmy day yesterday it is snowing again and the high temperature won't crack 40 today. Worse than the snow, the wind is howling out of the west at nearly 30 mph.

This kind of weather, although not ideal for relaxing, reminds us that wilderness needs to be taken on its own terms. The wild weather is as much a part of the fierce joy of wilderness travel as the warm sun on a calm day. We are all frail vessels that must use our wits to adapt to the awesome power of nature. - Bill

5/14/09 - After a lovely afternoon yesterday with temperatures in the 60s, we awoke this morning to a biting wind and falling snow. Most of it has already melted, but it was a sharp reminder that it is not quite summer yet even if we did open the Sawbill Beach Club! Fortunately the forecast for the rest of the week looks much more enjoyable. - Caitlin

This view of the Sawbill Trail is more common in October or November, but we got a little reminder of it this morning.

The new spring buds did not seem to mind the light dusting.

5/10/08 - We were a few days late this year in our traditional opening of the Sawbill Beachclub. Finally, this afternoon, everyone was free and the "swim" took place. It requires split second logistics to get the camera shutter timer set and get in the water while not spending an extra second in the drink. Everything went like clockwork, until Roy walked in front of the camera. Dan Shirley and I were in the water, but are out of sight behind the dog. I am typing this with cold stiffened fingers as proof! - Bill

The pause that refreshes for the spring crew.

5/10/09 - Ed Dallas, Sawbill poet laureate, sent along the following:

a hungry south wind
small waves join the rebellion

5/9/09 - Happy opening of fishing!


5/7/09 - The ice is gone from Sawbill Lake this morning, at least as far as we can see from the canoe landing. We'll know more this evening after we go for our first paddle of the season. Four days ago it was 17.5" thick and safe to walk on. Last year it went out on the evening of May 6th. - Bill

Roy contemplates the peaceful, watery scene at Sawbill Lake this morning.

A few steps away from the canoe landing, this snowbank reminds us of the hard winter just past.

This was the scene yesterday afternoon.

5/3/09 - 17.5" of ice on Sawbill Lake on this fine, cold, sunny, breezy morning. - Bill

Lee Noble, veteran Sawbill crew member, returns for another year.

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