1/28/10 - Long-time Sawbill paddler Matt Caton kindly sent a link to this slide show of his canoe trip last summer. - Bill
1/27/10 - A ruptured steam line in Duluth cut off almost all communication here in Cook County yesterday. A fiber optic cable was melted by the steam and we were all without long distance telephone, cell phone and internet service. The exceptions were phone calls within your own exchange (hello neighbor!) and satellite internet except for websites that are hosted locally. For us, that meant only one phone call and no email for the day. It is interesting to be brought up short and realize how dependent we have become on modern communication.
Over the weekend we had a nice snowstorm that dumped 10" of fresh snow. Much of the state had rain, but we had really wet snow for the first 3" then fluffy snow on top of that. A perfect combination to refresh the trails and hills for skiing, snowboarding and this weekend's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. - Bill
Our sauna looks cozy under fresh snow in the dawn's glow.
The pine grosbeaks are puffy and colorful at -4 degrees.
The snow gauge standing at 19".
1/20/10 - Starting today BWCA Wilderness overnight entry permits can be reserved on a first come, first served basis. You can check permit availability and make a reservation online at www.recreation.gov or by calling toll free 1-877-550-6777. You can request to pick your permit up from us rather than the ranger station in Tofte. Permit requirements, reservations and fees are available on the web.
As always, if you would like us to reserve a permit for you, just give us a call, or email us with the information requested on our Permit Reservation Form.
We are also happy to help with route planning or any questions you might have. - Bill
1/13/10 - Nathan, Jorgen, and Wyatt Holt were camping here at Sawbill last week during the serious cold snap. They pitched a double-wall canvas tent with a wood stove on campsite #1. They reported that it was easy to get the temperature up to 60 degrees. Nathan was kind enough to send along these great pictures from their adventure. - Bill
Proud fisherman on a nearby lake.
1/9/10 - The North American Bear Center has installed a live webcam in the den of hibernating bear "Lily." She is expected to give birth sometime in the next month. they got some national coverage yesterday and the traffic crashed their website, but they should have it fixed up soon. - Bill
1/7/10 - You know it's January when you walk out the door in the morning into zero degree temperatures and it feels warm! The cold snap that followed our Christmas snow continues, but has moderated enough that I am looking at the short sleeved side of the closet again. We still only have a foot of snow on the ground, but it is (just) enough for good skiing and snowshoeing.
Cindy saw three wolves yesterday along Highway 61 near Grand Marais and all three had signs of mange. We can't imagine how wolves survive in extreme cold normally, much less without all their fur. - Bill
1/2/10 - Over the New Year holiday we hosted the annual reunion of our summer crew members, current and present, along with some partners and special friends. We had about twenty people this year. They are just the finest group of young women and men that you can imagine - accomplished, committed, friendly and fun! We ran through the whole menu of fun: skiing, hiking, board games, foosball, feasting, conversation, and, of course, sliding. Thanks to the talented Alison Bents for these photos.
Part of the sliding crew traipses down Sawbill Lake toward the sliding hill.
The group confers on sliding strategy at the top of the hill.
Jessa's face says it all...
Caitlin, Liz and Lida show how it's done.
This wonderful photo was taken under natural moonlight just a couple of minutes into the new decade. If this group is any indication, the future of the world is bright. - Bill