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

10/22/14 - Last night was the Sawbill crew's annual pilgrimage to the Silver Bowl in Silver Bay, Minnesota for a night of pizza, beer and bowling. - Bill

Bowling nicknames: (l-r front) Bilbo, TC, NilsJohn, (l-r back) Puckerman, Hammypops, Cindy Lou Who, Mongo, Carlita.

Hammypops demonstrates proper form.

Mongo's patient mate, Mary Henry, who lives nearby, was kind enough to join us and share her score-keeping skills.

One of the many amenities at the Silver Bowl are the black lights that make an already challenging sport even more challenging.

TC is carefully watched by the owner's baby.

We didn't catch the baby's name, but she's obviously very comfortable in a bowling alley.

10/21/14 - Gene Dale Kalligher sent along this wonderful picture of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters and our refurbished canoes for sale after a recent visit. He has an excellent photography blog at:

When I saw this picture I thought, "I want to live at this place... oh, wait..."

I snapped this shot of a couple embarking from the Sawbill Lake canoe landing a few days ago.

The weather in October can be lovely, but it can also be nasty. I always advise to plan for the worst and hope for the best. - Bill

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

10/17/14 - Current Sawbill crew member Brian Henry captured this calm day optical illusion a couple of days ago when we were enjoying a gorgeous stretch of Indian summer. - Bill

Which way is up?

10/12/14 - Our very own Cindy Lou Hansen got back today from a four day shoemaking class taught by Jason Hovatter at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais. "I can't even begin to tell you how many steps went into making these," she said as she showed off her beautiful new pair of shoes, "No pun intended!" - Peter


We're trying to convince Cindy to switch careers from canoe outfitting to shoemaking. She could call her business Lou's Shoes!

10/10/14 - Here are the two latest segments of the Cook County West End News aired on October 9th and October 2nd on WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill

10/8/14 - Curt Iverson, from Decorah, Iowa, was the lone camper in the Sawbill Lake Campground last night. He is enjoying the solitude and the wild beauty of October, in spite of some challenging weather.

Curt was kind enough to share some of his photos with us. - Bill

Campsite #34 is looking pretty cozy. Photo by Curt Iverson.

The view from the Sawbill Lake canoe landing early this morning. Photo by Curt Iverson.

The view from Curt's Wenonah Prism on Sawbill Lake yesterday. Photo by Curt Iverson.

10/7/14 - We had a pleasant visit today from longtime Sawbill campers Gaelynn and Paul Tressler and their Cocker Spaniel, Clara. Gaelynn is a well known violinist from Duluth, so she and Sawbill dobro player Bill spent many quiet afternoon hours in the store talking about local musicians, opportunities, and events. - Peter

Paul, Gaelynn, and Bill in front of the Sawbill store.

10/5/14 - Farmers used to note the first snow on the pumpkins. Here at Sawbill, we celebrate the first snow on the Wenonahs.


10/4/14 - The first snow of the season fell today. We've had snow showers off and on all day, but no accumulation. - Bill

Chuck Aase, from Prior Lake, Minnesota, is one of our most loyal Sawbill campers. It's hard to see, but the white spots in the picture are the first snowflakes of this season.

10/1/14 - We are so proud of former Sawbill crew member, Clare Hansen, on her official swearing in as an attorney in the State of Montana.

Clare is the daughter of current Sawbill Canoe Outfitters owners, Cindy and Bill Hansen. She is the granddaughter of Sawbill Outfitters founders, Mary Alice and Frank Hansen.

Clare Hansen - newly minted attorney - in front of the Montana Legislature.

Today is the day that permits no longer need to be reserved for overnight BWCA Wilderness canoe trips. Permits are still required, but you can self-issue them for free at any entry point.

You will be able to make an overnight permit reservation for the 2015 season starting in the third week of January at - Bill

9/27/14 - Here is the latest edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio.

9/23/14 - We are having perfect Indian summer weather, with brilliant red maples and golden birch set against a background of evergreens and cedar. - Peter

The Honeymoon Trail has some of the best local fall colors.

This afternoon I hiked to the summit of Eagle Mountain (the highest point in Minnesota) for a breathtaking view.

9/21/14 - Last night our local band The Spruce Roots treated us to a homegrown concert at the Gunflint Tavern in Grand Marais. Good company, good music, good food, and good beer - what could be better? - Peter

Jim Elverhoy on the harmonica, our very own Bill Hansen on the dobro, former crewmember Eric Frost on the guitar, and the amazing Jessa Frost with the fiddle.

9/20/14 - Joe Daniels, Peace Corps member and former Sawbill crew member, sent us this picture rocking a classic Sawbill t-shirt at the rim of an active volcano in Nicaragua.

Joe Daniels relaxing on the edge of the abyss in his stylish Sawbill t-shirt.

9/18/14 - It is the end of the season, which means that it is time to phase out some of our older but still perfectly useful equipment. We now have a large assortment of lifejackets, packs, tents, and miscellaneous gear for sale at our online store.

As for used canoes, we know that many of you are anxiously waiting for our annual canoe sale. Don't worry, we are hard at work prepping the sale canoes and will post them online in the coming weeks once they are ready! - Peter

Electric shears are handy for cutting out a new skid plate for one of the Wenonah Minnesota II sale canoes.

Here I am using a popsicle stick to saturate the skid plate with epoxy. All of those air pockets need to be worked out!

Once the skid plate is ready, I gently lay it in place to protect the stern of the canoe.

A gouge in the bow gets filled with kevlar paste. Any excess can be sanded off after it dries.

All done! Once these repairs have dried, we will recoat the hull with a fresh layer of epoxy and post it online for sale.


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