12/4/13 - Just a quick update. There is a major winter storm going on in northeastern Minnesota, but we seem to be just outside of the heavy snow fall. We've received about a foot of snow so far and it's supposed to continue all night tonight.
Nearby Two Harbors already has nearly 30" with more on the way. Here it has been a nice dry, fluffy powder, creating a winter wonderland at just the right time of the season. - Bill
11/30/13 - Quiet times have descended on Sawbill. Winter seems to be here for the long run. The snow is 8" deep in the woods and the lakes are safely frozen. - Bill
These two pictures were taken last weekend, before we had much snow on the ground. Lower l-r: Leif Gilsvik, Nils Anderson, Dan Seemon and Cindy Hansen.
This was taken yesterday. It was our first ski up the lake for this season.
Mike Mazzoni, long time Sawbill customer, wrote this beautiful blog post celebrating his family's long association with the BWCA Wilderness. The Mazzoni has a long tradition of Sawbill canoe trips.
Here are the November 28th edition and the November 21st edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.
Dave and Amy Freeman, Sawbill's wonderful and experienced guides, have been nominated to be National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year. There is a very nice interview with Dave on the National Geographic website.
We are thrilled to have Amy and Dave as our Sawbill guides, offering both guided day and overnight trips in the BWCA Wilderness. Dave worked for us as a crew member in high school and college. After he met Amy, they started guiding for us. I think it's safe to say that they are the most experienced canoeing guides in the world. They are also two of the nicest people I know.
To become National Geographic Adventurers of the Year, Dave and Amy need to collect votes from the public. Voting for them does not require any registration or revealing your email address. You can just go to the voting site and vote. You are allowed to vote once a day. Voting continues until January.
11/19/13 - The ice covering Sawbill Lake survived the recent warm spell. Although not safe for travel yet, in a few days it should be plenty thick enough to walk on. - Bill
Sawbill Lake in that twice a year state when it's too thick to paddle and too thin to walk.
Here is the November 14th edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.
Here is the November 7th edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.
11/13/13 - Sawbill Lake froze over on the auspicious date of 11/12/13. There is some warmer weather in the forecast, but I'll be surprised if it isn't frozen for the winter.
Phoebe presents a frozen Sawbill Lake.
Our good friend, Tom Heinrich, from Hayward, Wisconsin, likes to visit Brule Lake on the weekends before freeze up every year. This past weekend (November 8 - 10) he reported that good campsites were readily available on Brule. He also reported that stiff winds make the open water crossings "adventurous."
If it were anyone else, I'd be worried about them paddling on Brule so late in the season, but Tom is among the most experienced wilderness canoeists in the world. - Bill
Brule Lake on a classic November day.
Approaching the canoe landing on Brule Lake.
Zip, Tom's distinguished black lab, enjoying one of his many late season forays onto Brule Lake.
11/11/13 - Winter has arrived with a vengeance. We've accumulated 3" of snow over the last couple of days. Today's high temperature is 18 degrees and the forecast is for 0 degrees tonight. - Bill
Sawbill Lake is still open, thanks to steady, around the clock winds.
The Sawbill Lake Campground looks like winter and it feels like it's here to stay.
11/8/13 - Yesterday was Roy's 6th birthday. His best present was being promoted to Chief Deputy of Outfitter Security. He now has the main responsibility for protecting the property from snowshoe hares. This has been his passion for many years. He remains second in command on squirrel and chipmunk operations. Happy birthday Roy! - Bill
Roy Wonder, born 11/7/07.
11/4/13 - The most common question that we get during the summer season is "What do you do in the winter?" The answer is that we have to shut everything down, count everything, put everything away and then say goodbye to our wonderful seasonal crew members.
Once it is down to just the two of us, we have more than enough work to do taking care of the business and preparing for the next season. However, we do have a little more time for hiking, skiing and relaxation.
Here are a few pictures of activity in the early off-season. - Bill
Meg brushes snow and leaves off a Kevlar canoe before we put it indoors for the winter.
A parade of canoes in the snow.
Cindy and I standing up the canoes.
Canoes always look much bigger when the are inside.
Here are three angles of the same golden tamarack tree on our daily hike with the dogs:
Tamarack tree are conifers that lose their needles every year.
Cindy, commenting on high the water is for this late in the season.
Tamarack tree silhouetted against the November sky.
Roy cools off after chasing a rabbit around the campground. (The rabbit was not harmed.)
Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.
10/25/13 - Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.
By the way, WTIP (in my opinion, one of the best radio stations in the world) is in the midst of the Fall fund drive. If you are a listener, you can quickly and conveniently show your support. - Bill
10/24/13 - Snowy weather brings out the skis and snowboards here at Sawbill. After receiving 2.5" of snow Monday, and a dusting each night following, crew members Tyler and Meg just couldn't resist taking advantage of the fluffy white stuff. Monday night they set up a makeshift rail on a steep section of the ski trail. Here they are showing off their mad skills yesterday afternoon. -Jessica
Tyler kicking off his snowboarding season early.
Meg hitting the rail.
10/24/13 - Here is the latest edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill
10/19/13 - Every year the Fall crew at Sawbill has a pumpkin carving party. This year we saw a wide variety of artistic styles ranging from UFOs to resident penguin Roscoe.
Hank is eager to carve a pumpkin of his own!
The fall crew hard at work.
Master pumpkin carver Bill Hansen.
The final result.
10/19/13 - Here are some photos of the Aurora Borealis from October 1st taken by resident photographer Carl Hansen.
Photo by Hansen International Productions. All rights reserved.
Photo by Hansen International Productions. All rights reserved.
10/15/13 - Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill
10/8/13 - The federal government shutdown has finally had some impact on us. The drive-in National Forest Campgrounds at Sawbill Lake, Crescent Lake and Temperance River will be "officially" closed starting tomorrow.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is still fully open. Permits are free, unlimited and self issued right at each entry point.
The drive-in campgrounds, although officially closed, will still allow you to camp there, but the outhouses will be locked and the water will be turned off. Of course, there will be no charge for camping.
Here at Sawbill, we will have water and toilet facilities available at the store, which any campers are welcome to use, as always.
By the way, it looks like the next week or so is going to be unseasonably warm and pleasant weather-wise. Although the peak of the fall colors has passed, it is still quite colorful and beautiful here. - Bill