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Tofte, MN 55615

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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: July 2012
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « June 2012 | August 2012 »

7/30/12 - Yesterday evening Sawbill crew members participated in a festive dinner after closing up shop. The theme was dress like another crew member. The prior week we all drew names to see who we would impersonate. Lets just say the night involved lots and lots of laughing. -Jessica

From left to right; front row: Snowbaby as Roo, Sarah as Roy. Middle: Anna as Anna, Cindy as Jessica, Meg as Cindy, Britta as Snowbaby, Luke as Britta, Roo as Bill, Ellyn as Crista. Back row: Bill as Tyler, Leif as Carl, Carl as Leif, Nils as Luke, Crista as Ellyn, Jessica as Meg, Tyler as Nils. Wow did you get all that! Try saying that three times fast.

Some of my many favorite pictures of the night include...




7/29/12 - Cindy noticed a spike buck deer under the basketball hoop this morning. He was looking at the hoop, then looking around the ground just like he was looking for the ball. When the rest of us went to look at the buck, it turned out that his twin brother was there too. When they couldn't find the ball, they wandered into the clearing right in front of the store, in spite of barking dogs, cars driving by and people carrying canoes. - Bill

Looking west from the porch of the Sawbill Store.

Twin brothers think about shopping in the store.

7/27/12 - Wednesday evening everyone here at Sawbill got the opportunity to listen in on some very talented musicians jam. Songwriter/performer Jerry Vandiver, as well as local musicians Bump Blomberg, Eric Frost, and Bill Hansen entertained us for hours.
Some of you may recognize some of Jerry's work. He has co-written chart topping songs for country superstars such as Tim McGraw and Gene Watson. Fellow paddlers may enjoy one of his latest albums titled True and Deep - Songs for the Heart of the Paddler. -Jessica

Music being played on the front porch of the store.

The jam session eventually migrated to the campfire. From left to right: Luke Opel, Bump Blomberg, Jerry Vandiver, Eric Frost, and Bill Hansen.

7/25/12 - Britta and I went up to Kelso Lake this morning. We saw lily pads, loons and these pitcher plants!

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Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants that trap flies in their pitcher like cavity that is filled with liquid. The flies are lured in and drown in the liquid. They are then broken down by bacteria and used as food. -Anna

7/21/12 - The amazing visual events just keep coming here at Sawbill. Last night it was a thunderstorm over Lake Superior that was so big we could see the lightning all the way up here at Sawbill. - Bill

Looking south from Sawbill. Photo by Carl Hansen, all rights reserved.

Storm over the sheds that house our diesel backup generators. Photo by Carl Hansen, all rights reserved.

7/20/12- Two days ago we were lucky enough to have two fire performers visit us! Eddy Wilbers, crew member Meg's cousin, and Star Williams gave us a mesmerizing performance! They are part of the IGNITE! Fire Troupe out of the Twin Cities. Enjoy the photos - we sure enjoyed the show! -Anna

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7/20/12 - Here is the latest edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP North Shore Community Radio. - Bill

7/17/12- Two nights ago Sawbill crew was lucky enough to catch a beautiful northern lights show. The northern lights or aurora borealis is the charged atmosphere as a result of tremendous energy being ejected from the sun. The energy from the flare rushes towards our atmosphere and charges it up. When we see the northern lights we are seeing the sparks in the atmosphere from the charging.

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Carl captured some beautiful images of the show, while the rest of us sat on the dock star struck. -Anna

7/15/12 - These last two weeks we have been receiving visits from many former crew members! Just to name a few; Scott Nelson, Annie Strupeck, Michelle Thieman, Paul Lundgren, Jason Morse, Jeff Thompson, John Oberholtzer, Adam Hansen, Linda Olson, and Lida Storch-Casper have all stopped in to say hello!

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A few Sawbill Family Members In 1996 in the old office, now the rental department. From left to right- Jason Morse, Cindy Hansen, and Jeff Thompson. Must have been humid That day!


Cindy grabbed these Sawbill boys when they came to visit for a redo of the Big Hair Club picture! - Anna

7/14/12 - Traditionally, business is slower for about a week right after the 4th of July, so that's when I take my summer canoe trip. This year, my daughter, Ruthie, who lives in Chicago, joined me for a sea kayaking adventure on Lake Nipigon and Lake Superior in Ontario.

Sea kayaking was different than canoeing. We didn't do any portaging and all the gear is packed in the kayaks rather than packs. The kayaks are much more seaworthy than canoes on the long open water crossings and in high waves.

We had a wonderful trip with good weather. It is always good to spend some time with my talented and interesting daughter. We did agree that next year it's back to the canoes in the good old BWCA Wilderness. - Bill

Ruthie Hansen, ready to paddle.

Lake Nipigon's size makes you feel small and humble. It is a rare day that is this calm on the huge lake.

Relaxing on the beach at Alexandra Island.

The sun sets over Lake Nipigon.

We spent one night on Lake Superior out of Rossport, Ontario and came across this fishing boat that has converted to a tour boat.

On Battle Island, near Rossport, we visited this beautiful abandoned lighthouse.

7/11/12-Sawbill now offers naturalist programs! The USDA Forest Service and Cook County Visitors Bureau have co-sponsored a variety of naturalist programs throughout the Superior Naturalist Forest. At Sawbill, the program is held from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm on Saturday nights in the campground fire ring. Our wonderful rangers this year are Ranger Elizabeth and Ranger Tessa, who will cover a wide variety of subjects throughout the program. The talks will go until August 27th, and all are invited to attend.-Britta

7/10/12-Sawbill had a lot of visitors this weekend! On Saturday, Mary Alice Hansen, the original owner of Sawbill, came up for a visit and a paddle. At the same time Lida Casper, a former crew member, and her husband Kyle visited us as one of the stops for their honeymoon. Neither knew that the other group was coming, so everyone was pleasantly surprised. Luckily, the weather cooperated and all of our guests got to go out on a short paddle. We were glad to see them all!-Britta


Lida, Kyle and Mary Alice all happily sitting in the canoe. Photo by Lida Casper.


Two generations of Sawbill women show off their paddling skills. Photo by Lida Casper.

7/5/12- Yesterday three crew members and an honorary crew member participated in the 33rd annual Tofte Trek. Joe, Courtney, Ellyn and Meg reported they ran almost the entire 10K. They returned tired and muddy, but also all satisfied with their results. Good job, guys! -Britta

Ellyn and Meg triumphantly cross the finish line. Photo by Joe Daniels.

Joe, Courtney, Ellyn and Meg are all tired but happy after the race.

7/4/12- We've been having many campfires and it's the perfect season for star gazing. Some astral bodies that we have been viewing include the Milky Way, Venus, Mars and the full moon on the third. - Anna


This picture was taken by crew member Carl Hansen during our last campfire.

7/4/12 - We received this nice message and photo yesterday. - Bill

Doug Mangan & Carolyn Mattern were celebrating a milestone last week - their fifth decade canoeing in the BWCA. They were one-upped by their travel partners, Nick Kiggins and Anna Mangan, who anounced they had become engaged while camped at Alton Lake.

Current Sawbill Newsletter | « June 2012 | August 2012 »

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