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Email: info@sawbill.com
Phone: (218)663-7150
Fax: (218)663-7980
Mail: 4620 Sawbill Trail
Box 2129
Tofte, MN 55615


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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: March 2011
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « February 2011 | April 2011 »

3/25/11 - Here is my most recent West End News from WTIP-FM. - Bill

3/23/11 - Whoops, I forgot to post last week's West End News. I read it live on the air during WTIP's fund drive, so it might sound a little different. - Bill

3/22/11 - We've been riding the weather roller coaster for the last couple of weeks. It varies from warm, melting and raining to cold, freezing and snowing, and back again. As a result, the lakes are getting very good for travel - at least until today when they are too slick to walk or ski and too rough to ice skate. As always, conditions will be changing fast, so we're keeping close track.

Yesterday, I skied around the Kelso Loop by myself. It was warm, calm and beautiful. I spotted a big otter on Alton Lake, but didn't get close enough for a picture. - Bill

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A ski-eye view of Alton Lake looking south on a warm late afternoon in March.

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This is the hole in the snow that the otter I saw disappeared down. It was a well used access to get beneath the lake ice. Otters swim under the ice and breathe from large air pockets that are trapped under the ice. The little dark bits on the left are the pincers from crayfish claws.

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This is a pile of otter scat nearby. If you look carefully you can see it is made up mostly of the exoskeletons of crayfish. The red coloring is from the red pigment of the crayfish.

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The Alton side of the creek that flows from Alton to Sawbill Lake.

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The distinctive rock face and white pine that mark the Alton to Sawbill portage.

3/11/11 - Here is today's West End News from WTIP-FM, Cook County Community Radio.

3/10/11 - Last weekend, we had a lot of fun. For 30+ years we've owned antique, unreliable snowmobiles that we use to groom our little 5K cross country ski trail here at Sawbill. Our most recent snowmobile is actually a relatively late model (~10 years old), low mileage machine that is reliable enough to take for a ride without a high probability of getting stuck or stranded. Our good friends, John and Sue Davies, invited us to join them for trail ride on the excellent snowmobile trails near Lutsen. We had a great time, as it was a beautiful, sunny day and the trails were in perfect shape. The next day, Cindy and I snowshoed up the Onion River from Lake Superior through the intriguing canyons that that river is known for. - Bill

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A pause on the trail. Notice the guy on the right wearing his snowboarding helmet and goggles.

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Cindy ducks under a white pine windfall that spans the Onion River during our magical snowshoe outing during a twilight snow fall.

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The frozen waterfalls have created ice palaces in the canyons.

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Cindy navigates a tight corner.

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Beauty in beauty.

3/6/11 - This week's broadcast and text of the Cook County "West End News" on WTIP-FM.

3/2/11 - Here is something you don't hear every day. The Forest Service has just lowered the non-refundable BWCA Wilderness entry permit reservation fee from $12/permit to $6/permit. We had no idea this was coming and heard about by reading the blog of the Duluth News Tribune outdoor writer, Sam Cook. Apparently, the contractor who handles the permit system for the Forest Service, the National Recreation Reservation Service, has a lot less work to do now that the vast majority of permits are made online.

It is very strange timing to make this change two months into the reservation season when outfitters and Forest Service offices have already published the now incorrect $12 price for this season. The people who reserved their permits already this year are apparently stuck paying the higher fee, which doesn't really seem fair either.

Just to add to the confusion, the toll free phone number to reserve permits has changed too. If you want to reserve your permit by phone you should now call 1-877-444-6777. Also, the permit reservation web site has been acting strangely for the last week or so, but it seems to be working OK now.

As always, we are happy to reserve a permit for you, so you don't have to deal with the sometimes erratic reservation office. Just give us a call (218-663-7150) or send an email and we'll take it from there.

By the way, there are still permits available for every day of the season at all the entry points around Sawbill, so pick your entry day and start planning your next wilderness canoe trip! - Bill


Current Sawbill Newsletter | « February 2011 | April 2011 »
 


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