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

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Sawbill Newsletter Archives: September 2013
Current Sawbill Newsletter | « August 2013 | October 2013 »

9/28/13 - Every fall, the late season Sawbill crew goes bowling at the Silver Lanes in Silver Bay. We all pile in the van right after closing and enjoy an evening of pizza and bowling. - Bill

The bowling crew: (f)Carl Hansen, Nils John Anderson (m)Jessica Hemmer, Crista Clark, Sarah Davidson, Meg Simon, Tsipora (guest), (r)Rachel Ter Beest, Jim Ter Beest, Cindy Hansen, Bill Hansen, Tyler Campbell.

Bowling shoe fashion.

Jim celebrates one of his many strikes.

Tyler reads Meg's final score sheet, much to the amusement of the audience.

9/23/13 - Will Decker and Sandy Zinn met when they were both Sawbill crew members back in the '80s. They fell in love, married and soon welcomed a son, Anders. Anders just returned from his first "real" canoe trip. Sandy sent along a couple of pictures from the trip that document Anders' canoeing genetics. - Bill

Anders Decker starting a portage on a day when it rained close to 2".

... and off he goes.

9/20/13 - Day by day I've been noticing distinct changes in the color of the landscape around Sawbill. According to Explore Minnesota's fall color report, about 10-25 percent of the trees and shrubs in northeastern Minnesota are now displaying their fall foliage. The change in color is primarily triggered by the shortening of days. As day length shortens chlorophyll, the pigment that gives leaves their typical green color, slowly stops production until it eventually halts all together. Once the chlorophyll dissipates other pigments begin to show through giving the typical gold, red, yellow, and browns. -Jessica

I snapped this picture of the sun shining through the cedars along the lake a few days ago.

9/16/13 - James Deloria (painter, sculptor, and master goldsmith) visited us this afternoon with one of his creations, a Kevlar Prism painted in the likeness of a brook trout. James was on his way to "Secret Lake" in an attempt to land a few brookies.
James has been painting fish on canoes for over eight years, and can be contacted for commission work by phone (213-330-9616) or email ( -Jessica

James with his brook trout.

9/13/13 - Yesterday Klaus Binder and Elke Scheruhammer, from Linz, Austria, completed a canoe trip that lasted just short of a month. They began August 17th through the Moose River North entry point, located northwest of Ely, and exited September 12th through Sawbill. Fantastic weather seemed to dominate their trip along with wildlife sightings including more than 20 bald eagles, many osprey, and a chipmunk that ate one of their candy bars. Lets just say all of us here at Sawbill Canoe Outfitters are a little jealous of Klaus and Elke. -Jessica

Klaus and Elke in front of the store.

9/11/13 - We received this wonderful note and series of pictures from Tim Petricek:

Hi Bill,

First of all, thanks for the wonderful post in August. I hope the readers enjoyed the pictures! Secondly, I don't know how to express it anymore; I absolutely love the Sawbill area and everything it has to offer. My dad and I ended the camping season on such a positive note and September is a beautiful time to be up there, even though we were there for just a few days. As usual, I have a few cool pictures of an assertive bald eagle on Bouder Lake. It WAS luck and a little anticipation on my part to get these awesome pictures of a bald eagle swooping down to catch small fish a couple of times. We've seen eagles and osprey "fish" in the past, but never this close! Feel free to post some of the pictures, if you would like. Of course, the fishing and the weather were great too. Bottom Line: We had the time of our lives.
See you in June.

Tim Petricek

Photo by Tim Petricek. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by Tim Petricek. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by Tim Petricek. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by Tim Petricek. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by Tim Petricek. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

9/10/13 - Whether picking up a permit, renting gear, or conducting some casual shopping, many notice our tiny Crazy Creek chair on display. Frequently we get asked the question, "Who or what is that for?" Yala, a sleepy nine week old border terrier, gave us a lesson in its use while his owners, the DeGrado's, were up for a canoe trip. -Jessica

As you can see, this Crazy Creek was obviously designed for small sleepy puppies.

Yala also modeled our pup tent.

9/8/13 - Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill

9/7/13 - Get ready for our late summer sleepy time used sleeping bag sale. All Slumber Jack bags selling at a LOW LOW price of just $25! All joking aside these sleeping bags still have a lot of life left in them, are freshly laundered and come with a brand new stuff sack.

You can buy them directly from the Sawbill Store online or give us a call at (218)663-7150. Stay tuned for other used equipment including tents and canoes. -Jessica

This sleeping bag is looking for a loving family to go home with.

9/5/13 - Long time customer Mike Tilden sent us this very nice email just the other day.

A very happy belated birthday to your mother! I'm grateful every year for your parents desire to make a go of it at Sawbill...and for you and Cindy keeping it going with the help of so many great people! We had another great trip - attached is the happy group at the end of our trip this past Monday morning.

Thanks for another great experience in the boundary waters!


9/1/13 - Amidst all of the Labor Day weekend chaos that is the families passing through the Sawbill store, I got to meet Cloud. While working the store, a couple, Dianna Bauer and Dan Jansen, came in with a dog they'd found on the Alton side of the Sawbill/Alton portage. The dog was sweet, peaceful, and very hungry. Turns out that the evening before, in an intense thunderstorm featuring some very loud thunder, the dog had run off. About fifteen minutes after the couple brought Cloud to the store, her owner, Chuck Hartell, came in. He'd been out since Cloud ran off, hoping to find her. He mentioned something about having lost his dog, but definitely didn't expect her to be waiting for him there. The two were then reunited and both Chuck and Cloud were so happy to see each other. - Nicole

The lost and found dog, Cloud!

Chuck Hartell and his beloved dog, Cloud.

9/1/13 - Mary Alice Hansen, co-founder of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters, is celebrating her 90th birthday today.

Mary Alice lives in Grand Marais now, is active and in good health and celebrated with her immediate family.

If you would like to send Mary Alice a birthday greeting, her email is

Current Sawbill Newsletter | « August 2013 | October 2013 »

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