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Phone: (218)663-7150
Fax: (218)663-7980
Mail: 4620 Sawbill Trail
Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615

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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: June 2010
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « May 2010 | July 2010 »

6/29/10 - On Saturday, June 26, former crew members Eric Frost and Jessica Wallendal (affectionately known as Frosty and Jessa) were married here in Tofte. Needless to say, Sawbill was an exciting place this weekend with former crew members passing through before and after the wedding. Sawbill's own Reverend Bill Hansen conducted the ceremony in Tofte Park on Lake Superior. Blessings were given by Bill, but also by nature as the weather finally cleared up for the ceremony after a long spell of dreary weather.

Congratulations Frosty and Jessa, and best wishes from all of us here at Sawbill!

Beautiful setting, beautiful wedding!

Sawbill babes, past and present.

6/28/10 - Recently, four members of the Sawbill crew returned from a short trip into the BWCAW. Reports of excellent fishing and delicious wild strawberries made the trip a true success. Strawberries have also been seen growing in the campground as well.

- Luke

Tyler with a largemouth bass, quite rare in the area.

Wild strawberries, small but packed with flavor.

6/26/10 - Ben Hauser, from Sun Prairie, WI caught and released two nice small mouth bass (18 5/8" and a 18") on Sawbill Lake on Sunday, June 20, 2010. Ben is the grandson of Jack Brenegan who has been coming to Sawbill for over 30 years.


6/21/10 - This morning, while driving to-and-fro from a transportation, I was happily surprised by the amount of wildlife I saw. On the way to pick up my passengers I spotted a cow moose, three deer, and at least a dozen rabbits. After delivering my passengers to their entry point I witnessed about six wolf pups walking down the road. I was only lucky enough to snap a picture of the moose, but seeing all the wildlife made the four hour drive well worth it.


Moose standing in the brush along the side of the road.

6/19/10 - Over the past week there have been sightings of adolescent moose, deer, and merganser trying to put up with the soggy weather.

Today, Sawbill crew member Carl Hansen spotted a baby rabbit nestled into the corner of a bike rack. With quick thinking he snapped a few choice pictures of the cute ball of fur.


Baby rabbit trying to stay warm.

6/15/10 - Ed Erickson, from Chetek, Wisconsin, sent us these amazing pictures of his encounter with a loon on Alton Lake. In more than 50 years here at Sawbill, I've never heard of a loon trying to take a fish off a stringer. Here is photographic proof that anything is possible. - Bill

(All photos by Ed Erickson)





6/14/10 - Recently Sawbill Canoe Outfitters has welcomed a new crew member, Kaj Snow. Kaj is originally from Decorah, Iowa, but will be attending his Junior year at Carlton Collage in Northfield, Minnesota where he is majoring in Chemistry.

After a few long days of cutting and splitting wood, Kaj says that the thing he most enjoys about Sawbill so far is the sauna.


Kaj taking a break from cutting wood.

6/12/10 - Yesterday, while waiting out the rainy weather, some of the Sawbill crew members made it a point to practice their knot tying abilities. First, they started out with one of the most important knots for a crew member to know, the trucker's hitch. This knot comes in handy when tying down a canoe to a vehicle because it is easy to untie without leaving a tangle of leftover knots.

Once mastering the trucker's hitch they moved onto a more difficult knot, the bowline, which is just as handy. They also practiced lashing as well as the butterfly knot.


Sarah patiently trying to teach Pat and Tyler the bowline.

An example of Tyler's handy lashing ability.

6/12/10 - Greg Braun from Mason City, Iowa, sent along these great pictures that are typical of things you can see in the BWCA Wilderness at this time of year. Greg and his cousin, Scott, also saw a bull moose, ruffed grouse, ducks, geese, osprey, eagle, turtle, possible pine martin and a wolf swimming across Cherokee Lake.

Pink lady slipper orchid.

Tiger swallowtails.

6/11/10 - We received this nice note and amazing picture from frequent Sawbill paddler Le Vong Lo:

Hey Sawbill staff,
I just wanted to say thanks for another excellent trip. We brought two new guys with us this year and they can't stop talking about the trip and about next year.

Just wanna share a picture and brag a little :) about a 45 inch monster northern I caught. We almost tipped the canoe pulling him on board.

Looking forward to catching him again next year.

Le Vong Lo

Le Vong Lo and (wow) big fish.

6/11/10 - Last weekend we welcomed a new crew member to Sawbill, Jessica Hemmer. Jessica, in the fall, will be entering her Junior year at Saint Cloud State University, where she is majoring in ecology and field biology and takes an interest in studying animal populations and behavior.

Jessica grew up in St. Cloud, but has spent a lot of time in the Boundary Waters, visiting at least once a year for the past five years. She visited Sawbill for the first time last year, and she traveled the Kelso Loop with her family. She loved the experience and the area so much that she decided to come back and work at Sawbill for the summer.

Her favorite job so far is administering the Sawbill campground, mostly because she likes being outside and enjoys the quiet, almost ascetic serenity of the area. She most enjoys the sites that are close to the lake, and the privacy that all the sites provide.


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Jessica rolling sleeping bags.

6/8/10 - It's another rainy day here at Sawbill, which is still much needed but has begun to extend a rainy weekend into a rainy week. In spite of the rain, though, many visitors have seen wildlife in abundance, both around Sawbill and in the Boundary Waters.

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Recent visitor Shawn Peyton took this moose picture on Cherokee Creek just north of Sawbill.

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This playful loon pestered crew member Luke Opel on Alton lake during the fishing opener.


6/7/10 - Recently Sawbill received flowers to decorate around the store, and Cindy, Luke, and Liz have been hard at work planting, mulching, and beautifying the area. The plants have been put all around the store, mostly in pots and in hanging baskets. Many different types of flowers, including petunias, geraniums, and many other varieties have now been planted around the store; make sure to check them out when stopping by for a visit.

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Some pictures of the new plantings.

In addition, new flowers are starting to bloom in the woods, including roses and other wildflowers. - Patrick

6/6/10 - This past weekend, the Tofte area received some much needed and overdue rain. On Friday especially, it rained pretty much all day, which helped break the dry spell in the area. Sawbill saw a little over half an inch of rain, and some additional rain fell on Saturday and today. Hopefully, a steady amount of moisture will continue to fall in the coming weeks in order to catch up for the year and stop the coming of a very dry late summer.


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Jessica Olmanson snapped this picture on a rainy Friday morning from a campsite on Cherokee Lake.

6/2/10 - Cindy Hansen and Brian O'Neill recently did some late afternoon trout fishing on a nearby stream. Fishing was very good, but they had a little trouble holding on to their catches long enough to snap the picture. All the fish went back in the water anyway, so it didn't really matter. - Bill

Oops... oh well.

I told Cindy that her hat would scare the fish, but she said "unh uh" and I'll give you three guesses who was right.

6/1/10 - Sawbill welcomed two new members to the crew this week. First to arrive was Joe Daniels, who just finished his freshman year at Illinois Wesleyan University. He is studying environmental studies, and some day hopes to work for a non-profit on sustainability projects. He spends most of his free time in photography, running, and canoeing the BWCA, and so far he most enjoys the proximity (or surroundings) of wilderness at Sawbill. He also loves the food.

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Joe filling out his first ever work credit sheet.

Leif Gilsvik arrived second. He graduated from Two Harbors just a few days ago, and he will be attending Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan in the fall, where he plans to study exercise physiology. His hobbies include Nordic skiing (which he will also be doing at school), fishing, and camping. His favorite parts of Sawbill so far include the fishing, the variety of jobs available, and, like Joe, the great food.

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Leif washing life jackets.


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