5/3/16 - Just in time for the open water, Sawbill's new Wenonah canoes have arrived. For excited paddlers, this is better than Christmas! -Clare
Another sure sign of spring in the northwoods.
4/28/16 - It's official, the ice is out on Sawbill Lake! One small holdout sheet of ice is being blown around the south end of the lake, but it's not big enough to impede travel. There's still some snow in the campground but paddling season is upon us.
Cindy and Dan jump for joy after seeing the first loon on Sawbill this afternoon.
4/27/16 - It appears the sun is finally setting on another winter season here at Sawbill. Sawbill Lake, as you can see below, is nearly free of ice. I expect we'll be able to make it official sometime tomorrow. We also stopped in at Homer Lake today, which is ice free. Brule, on the other hand, is still covered but shouldn't be more than a couple days behind. The ducks are back in full force, and we heard the first loon of the season on Homer. -Clare
4/25/16 - Paddling season is so close you can almost smell it. That's what Huckleberry tells me anyway. The ice technicians are reporting that there are 8 inches of ice on Sawbill, but that it is better described as "8 inches of mush." It is so deteriorated it won't hold a person anymore and they have resorted to measuring from a canoe. -Clare
Huck anxiously awaits the opening of the Sawbill Beach Club.
4/24/16 - Grey skies and light rain is the name of the game at Sawbill today. While the rest of us retreated to focus on inside jobs, intrepid crew member Brian headed out to check the ice. -Clare
Looking North from the canoe landing, ice is measuring at 9". Open water is creeping in from the South though, and quacking ducks can be heard urging it along.
4/23/16 - Welcome back to crew member Brian Henry!
Brian is busier than ever getting Sawbill ready for summer. Not one to miss out on anything, he took a quick break for the all important ice measurement. We are happy to say there are now only 9 inches of ice on Sawbill. We are even happier to say that the ice is OUT on Kawishiwi. -Clare
4/21/16 - Your wish is our command here at Sawbill. We've heard the many requests for warmer weather and melting snow and ice. We are happy to report that Mother Nature has obliged and the lake ice is now measuring at a mere 12 inches. The countdown to summer paddling is on! -Clare
Phil and Dan needed to use the canoe to get over the thin ice along shore to get a good measurement on Sawbill.
4/12/16 - Attention Sawbill crew! We are seeking contact information for all former employees. Whether you think we probably have it or not, please update us with the best way to get a hold of you. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call if you want to catch up. We have important Sawbill reunion details to share and we don't want to miss anyone!
We look forward to hearing from you all :)
4/8/16 - We spoke too soon! After giving us a quick taste of spring, Mother Nature brought back winter with a vengeance. We've had 10 inches of snow in the last few days, and it's still coming down. We've at least learned enough throughout the years to keep the shovels handy until May so we were well prepared to dig out the wood pile this morning.
Between splitting, stacking, shoveling, hauling, and stoking, heating with wood keeps you warm in more ways than one.
3/28/16 - The recent warm temperatures, and the discovery of a mostly ice free Kelso Lake, have inspired us to start the yearly spring ice measurements on Sawbill. Sawbill's newest ice technician, Huckleberry, is pleased to report that there is still 17.5" of solid ice.
Spring fever also inspired us to refurbish some of our Kevlar canoes, which are now listed for sale in our online store. There are more to come and we will be posting canoes as they are finished.
3/7/16 - Are these the last days of winter at Sawbill this year? It feels like it right now, but we've sure seen plenty of March and April blizzards in the past.
We had a normal amount of snow this year. I measured 40" on the ground a few days ago, but the heat wave has already reduced it by nearly 10". The warm weather is predicted to hang around for awhile, including the possibility of a thunderstorm tonight. I'm quite sure I've never heard thunder here in the first week of March.
We had a wet fall, with a lot of rain in early December, so water levels should be very good once the ice goes out. - Bill
This is our house a few days ago, just before the heat wave arrived.
This is the workshop roof after the temperature soared to 47 degrees just a couple of days later.
2/10/16 - Phil Lindgren, friendly and helpful Sawbill crew member, sent this picture of himself enjoying some time on Baker Lake, the closest BWCA Wilderness entry point east of Sawbill.
Phil's note said, "20 below didn't stop me from enjoying the woods!"
2/2/16 - Here are the last three weeks of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio:
West End News: January 14th
West End News: January 21st
West End News: January 28th
Amy and Dave Freeman, Sawbill guides and former crew members, are spending a year in the BWCA Wilderness, without coming out, even once. You can read their blog to keep up with their life in paradise!
Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill
12/31/15 - Here is this week's edition of the Cook County West End News from WTIP, North Shore Community Radio. - Bill
Everybody's favorite non-traditional Sawbill crew member, Brian Henry, made this sweet composite picture of every crew member who worked at Sawbill in 2015. The paddle was a gift to Brian from the crew to thank him for being his awesome self.