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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: August 2012
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « July 2012 | September 2012 »

8/31/12 -

We are big fans of North House Folk School in Grand Marais. Folk schools are common in Scandinavia and are designed to teach traditional crafts at a very high level. North House is not only a fascinating place, but the program director is former Sawbill crew member, Jessa Frost.

North House has just launched an online fundraising auction that features items and activities from Cook County, including a 5-day Kevlar canoe rental from Sawbill Canoe Outfitters.

Here is their news release announcing the auction:

The adventure is underway. Bidding has begun for the first-ever Points North Online Auction! Over 100 items celebrating the beauty, history, tastes, traditions, and adventures of the North. Inspiring opportunities whether this is your first or your fiftieth journey North.

- Lodging Packages
- Shopping & Dining Certificates
- Unique Experiences from bike tours to catered dinners

The Points North Online Auction can be found at this link. The auction culminates Sept 16 at 10pm. Proceeds benefit North House Folk School.

8/30/12 - We received this press release from former Sawbill crew member and guides, Dave and Amy Freeman. - Bill

Husband and Wife Team Successfully Cross North America by Kayak, Canoe and Dogsled

(Lubec, Maine)- Wilderness Classroom leaders Dave and Amy Freeman have spent the past two years working their way across North America by kayak, canoe, and dogsled – and yesterday they reached the Atlantic Ocean. While they have finished crossing the continent, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, they still have about eight months of kayaking left to go. The adventurous pair are not content to just reach the Bay of Fundy; their final destination is Key West, Florida which they expect to reach in April of 2013.

On Earth Day (April 22) of 2010 Dave and Amy Freeman began the North American Odyssey, a three year, 12,000 mile journey across North America by kayak, canoe, and dogsled. The purpose of their expedition is to highlight North America’s waterways and wild places while actively engaging over 100,000 elementary and middle school students in their journey though their website and school assemblies.

The Wilderness Classroom is a non-profit organization that strives to improve students' core academic skills and appreciation for the environment by introducing students to the wonders of exploration and wilderness travel through live, web-based expeditions and school assemblies. For more information about the Wilderness Classroom and to see where Dave and Amy are right now, visit

Amy and Dave Freeman at home.

8/29/12 - Sawbill has been visited by many bees as of late. The most frequently sighted bee has been the Common Eastern Bumble Bee. Like other species of bumble bee, the Common Eastern is a social critter. Nesting in abandoned rodent burrows and bird nests, this bee exists in an annual colony with only the recently fertilized queens surviving through the winter to repopulate. -Meg

The Common Eastern Bumble Bee gathering pollen. Keep an eye out for them in the next few weeks!

8/28/12 - Ladies Night 2012 was a great success! With fabulous food from the Angry Trout, frozen custard from Sydney's, and a beautiful summer stroll to the lighthouse, we were allowed the chance to dress up and enjoy a night in Grand Marais. - Meg

Sawbill babes of past and present near Artists Point.

One of many scrumptious meals at the Angry Trout.

8/25/12- Crista, Carl and I did the Frost River loop this last week. It always feels like we don't have enough time out there, but we had a blast!


With help from Carl, Crista and I managed to catch two lake trout our first night on Frost Lake. Tasty!


We spent our last night on Wine Lake. We raced this hail storm and made it just in time to set up tents and a tarp before it started to rain and hail. - Anna

8/20/12 - Last night Bill and Cindy held the annual Dome Dance. Caller Terrance Smith is a master at keeping everyone involved and up to speed with the contra dancing. Luckily we had a great night with perfect weather and a great turnout. -Jessica

Musicians from left to right: Eric Frost, Bill Hansen, Jessa Frost, Laura Greensmith, and Terrance Smith.

8/18/12 - For all you wilderness geeks, here is a law review case summary of the recent Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling on a proposed AT&T cell tower near Ely, authored by Sawbill's very own law student, Clare Hansen.

Clare in her former career as Santa's helper.

Clare is visiting Sawbill now during a break between her summer legal internship and her second year at the University of Montana School of Law. It's good to have her back at Sawbill, where she grew up. - Bill

8/17/12 -

A video blog of our good friend, Jerry Vandiver's adventures in Minnesota this summer, which includes mention of a really fun jam session here at Sawbill.

Also, here is the latest edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill

8/16/12 - Why did the mushroom go to the party? Because he was a fungi. Why did he leave the party? Because there wasn't mushroom!
It must be evident that I have mushrooms on the brain. Over the past week or so various mushrooms have been sprouting up everywhere, and our field guides have been getting quite a bit of use. Here are a few pictures of some that I noticed just walking around the store. -Jessica

This White Pine Bolete, or Slippery Jack, is proudly displayed in front of our paddle rack. It is about an inch and a half in height. So if you are visiting in the next few days be careful not to knock this little guy over.

This behemoth stands a good five to six inches in height and is located behind the shower house.

This little mushroom I found hiding beneath a garden cart behind the store. It stands about an inch and a half in height.

8/14/12 - All of us here at Sawbill are very proud to be the recipient of a very lovely review provided by The Paddle Junkie. The Paddle Junkie is a website dedicated to all things related to paddling. They take trips into the Boundary Waters each year testing different gear and routes. -Jessica

8/11/12 - Over the past week or so I have noticed a variety interesting caterpillars navigating their way around Sawbill. Up until now I have not taken the time to notice these sometimes brightly colored or hairy blobs of goo. This week I made it a point to pay more attentions to these little guys. -Jessica

Anna snapped a picture of this Fawn Sphinx caterpillar a few weeks ago.

This Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillar was found wondering down a path.

This Polyphemus caterpillar looks like it would be a tasty morsel for Timon and Pumbaa. A big thanks to the customer who helped me identify it!

8/9/12 - Chris Monnens was kind enough to send along this photo he snapped from the fishing pier here at Sawbill early one morning a couple of weeks ago. - Bill

It looks like the "Hallelujah Chorus" should be playing.

Here is this week's edition of Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

8/8/12 - The Ross family from Merrillville, Indiana, has been camping at Sawbill for many years. This year, the three Ross sisters spent a hard day fishing to provide a fish fry for their extended family.

Michelle - 21, Jill - 19, Julie -17 with their impressive catch. They report that they never fight with each other while they're fishing because it is too noisy and scares the fish.

8/5/12- Though it has been busy up here, we have still found time to make it down to the dock for sunset watching and fish catching. - Anna

I took this photo down at the dock the other night while fishing with former Sawbill Crew member Nathan, his wife Belinda and their son Lucas. What a beautiful night!

8/1/12 - Well its that time of year again. Time to get your blueberry picking on. A few crew members took a trip down the trail to participate in some good old fashioned gathering. Sadly I can not brag up the crop this year, but if you are patient, it is possible to get a respectable amount of berries. -Jessica

Tyler shows off some of our blue treasure.

Current Sawbill Newsletter | « July 2012 | September 2012 »

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