11/29/12 - Well, I've spent most of the last few days boxing up orders and sending them out. Thanks for the big response. The Cherokee Lake pint glasses proved so popular that we are now sold out and won't have them again until spring. Cindy says it is not a surprise that the overwhelming sentiment for which lake goes on next year's glass is Alton Lake. It was runner up to Cherokee last year by just two votes, so it blew away all other lakes this year.
We still have plenty of the Sawbill Lake pint beer glasses. We also have Wine Lake wine glasses, Leave No Trace coffee mugs and Sawbill Canoe Outfitters shot glasses.
In regular Sawbill news, the lake now appears mostly safe for travel. I chopped two holes today. The first was right off the landing where I found the ice to be 6" thick. The second was about 200 yards off the landing toward the middle of the lake where I found 5" of ice. Early season ice can be unpredictable, so carry safety gear if you go out.
6" of solid ice on Sawbill Lake today.
Phoebe inspects the frozen lake.
11/26/12 - We try to keep the newsletter informative and rarely promote our services or products here, but several people have contacted us regarding Sawbill holiday gift opportunities, so here are a few things we've added to our online store offerings. - Bill
11/17/12 - Sawbill's own Carl Hansen and his good friend Beau Larson are independent filmmakers. They have been quickly building a reputation for high quality and creative film work. They were featured this week on "The Playlist" which is the local arts show on WDSE Duluth Public Television. - Bill
11/15/12 - Here is a news release from the "Sled Dogs To St. Paul" organization about showings of their documentary film made by Grand Marais filmmakers and friends, Kelly Schoenfelder and Patrick Knight. I also appear briefly in the film. - Bill
Grand Marais, Minn., Nov. 12, 2012 - "Sled Dogs to Saint Paul: The Race for Clean Water," a documentary film created by Grand Marais filmmakers Kelly Schoenfelder and Patrick Knight, will be shown at the Red Star Lounge in the Fitger's Complex in Duluth on Thursday, November 15th at 7pm and at the Midwest Mountaineering's Outdoor Expo Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. at the U of MN Humphrey Center Cowles Auditorium. The public is invited.
The 40-minute film follows the dogsled run of former Minnesota State Representative Frank Moe, who mushed his team of 10 sled dogs from Grand Marais to the Capitol in St. Paul in March, carrying with him nearly 13,000 petition signatures opposing sulfide mining. Frank guides his team through fresh, deep snow, slogs through slush and rain, rudders across muddy farm fields, and finally navigates his sled over busy city streets in order to deliver the petitions to the governor's office.
As they follow Frank's journey, the filmmakers take a closer look at sulfide mining through the lens of many people who have a stake in the proposed expansion of mining in northeastern Minnesota. Those interviewed include business owners, property owners, legislators, wild ricers, tribal officials, community activists and many of the people who helped Frank along the way. It's a fast-paced, artfully presented examination of local economics, environmental activism, corporate might, Minnesota's mining legacy and the role that clean water resources play in the future health and wealth of the state known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Moe says, "It's been a pleasure to work with our all-Grand Marais area team to make this film. Seeing it, it's like being back on the trail for me and an inspiring reminder of why we made the trip in the first place."
The film will also be shown on dates to be announced in Ely, Bemidji, and Northfield.
For more information, contact Frank Moe or Staci Drouillard, above, or go to www.sleddogstosaintpaul.com. Film clips are available on the website.
11/11/12 - Dave Hemmer is a long-time Sawbill camper and the grandfather of current Sawbill crew member Jessica Hemmer. Dave is a retired phone company engineer and is a very active community volunteer. He worked on the construction of the handicapped fishing piers at the Sawbill and Crescent Lake, among many other good works.
Dave is an enthusiastic participant in the annual MS TRAM Ride Across Minnesota, a 250 mile bicycle trip that raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He recently helped produce this video, which I'd like to share. - Bill
11/10/12 - Will Rhodes was kind enough to send along this picture of his daughter Kira on here first canoe trip in July. - Bill
Will writes: After trotting the Sawbill-to-Alton portage this summer, 2 year old Kira Sky Rhodes enjoyed the summer day on Alton lake, but then the snoozing got to her before the return portage...sleeping up to the portage, sleeping across the Alton to Sawbill portage, then sleeping padding onward onto Sawbill. Power napping in the toddler wildernessset.
11/9/12 - Good friend Tom Heinrich from Hayward, Wisconsin, has an annual tradition of canoeing and camping on Brule Lake very late in each season. He was kind enough to send some pictures from his latest trip. - Bill
Photo by Tom Heinrich
Photo by Tom Heinrich
Photo by Tom Heinrich
11/4/12 - Sawbill Lake is about 60 - 70% covered with skim ice this morning. Historically, the first week of November is normal for a freeze-up date. In the context of the last decade, it is a little early. It remains to be seen if it is frozen for the season. The forecast predicts warm and rainy weather later this week. - Bill
Looking south from the Sawbill Lake canoe landing at about noon today. It sure looks like November.
11/2/12 - I've been getting calls and emails from people wanting to take canoe trips. Sawbill Lake is mostly unfrozen, but all the smaller lakes and many of the sheltered bays are frozen. I think Sawbill will freeze as soon as the wind drops. It is not safe for canoeing because it could freeze quickly, trapping you in the wilderness. Of course, there could be a big thaw before winter arrives, but only time will tell. - Bill
Phoebe inspects (and tastes) the frozen foam that piled up on the canoe landing during yesterday's strong north winds. It has the texture of meringue, but Phoebe didn't comment on the flavor.
Crista Clark and Carl Hansen enjoy a hot cup of coffee on the very cold and windy floating dock at the Sawbill Lake canoe landing.