Sawbill Newsletter

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Updated: 7 hours 12 min ago

9/18/14 - Used Equipment Sale

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 4:13pm

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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9/13/14 - Former Sawbill crew member, Beth Lynch, visited us a few weeks ago.

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 9:24am

9/13/14 - Former Sawbill crew member, Beth Lynch, visited us a few weeks ago. She took a short canoe trip with some friends and had some great wildlife encounters. - Bill


Beth's group was walking a portage when they heard wolves howling nearby. Beth knew that wolves sometimes use the portage trails for travel so they stepped off the trail and waited. They were rewarded by seeing this little guy trotting down the trail.


Moose.


Beth Lynch is comfortable in a canoe.

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9/12/14 - We've been remiss in failing to introduce our newest Sawbill crew member.

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 9:17am

9/12/14 - We've been remiss in failing to introduce our newest Sawbill crew member. Brian Henry comes to us via a full career in the U.S. Forest Service. After retiring a few years ago, he terrorized the walleyes in area lakes before offering to help us out during our busy season. We threw him into the deep end of the pool on August 1st and he never looked back. His deep knowledge of the area and unflagging good cheer have been a welcome addition! Thanks Brian. - Bill


Brian Henry in a rare moment when he doesn't have a smile on his face.

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9/10/14 - Today is the unofficial first day of fall.

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 6:38pm

9/10/14 - Today is the unofficial first day of fall. A cold, steady rain fell all last night and the temperature was in the low 40s with a cold, gusty north wind and steel-grey overcast skies. It's days like this that make the bluebird days so fine.

Not to worry though, the forecast for the next five days is sunny, calm and cool.

The fall colors are just beginning, but the light frost predicted for the next few nights will ignite a storm of leafy reds, oranges and yellows. It's going to be a great year for color! - Bill


This is not the most enticing invitation to canoe country, but tomorrow promises blue skies and calm winds.

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9/8/14 - Here are a few more pictures of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association camping trip at the Sawbill Lake Campground last weekend.

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 6:24pm

9/8/14 - Here are a few more pictures of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association camping trip at the Sawbill Lake Campground last weekend. - Bill


Wood and canvas canoes on Sawbill Lake.


Canoe ballet, solo style.


A happy group of wooden canoe fans, led by Alex Comb of Stewart River Boatworks.

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9/7/14 - This isn't something you see every day in the Sawbill Lake Campground boat storage area.

Sun, 09/07/2014 - 10:20am

9/7/14 - This isn't something you see every day in the Sawbill Lake Campground boat storage area.

The Minnesota Chapter of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association is having a camping gathering here this weekend. It's been a treat to see so many beautiful and functional wooden canoes gracing the waters of Sawbill Lake. - Bill


Six hand crafted wooden canoes at peaceful repose in the Sawbill boat storage area.

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9/6/14 - Last week, we enjoyed the 35th visit from a group that calls themselves "The Consortium."

Sat, 09/06/2014 - 10:08am

9/6/14 - Last week, we enjoyed the 35th visit from a group that calls themselves "The Consortium." They took the name because several of them were in business school together back in the day. The annual wilderness canoe trip started as a school reunion.

All have gone on to varied and distinguished careers, but their annual canoe trip provides the opportunity, in their own words, "to relive adolescence." - Bill


Consortium XXXV, 2014. Trail name (l-r): Portager, HMFIC (His Majesty First in Command), Sugarbear, and Marmaduke.


All good consortia have a great logo.

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9/5/14 - Paddling through the burn.

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 10:27am

9/5/14 - The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a spectacularly beautiful area with rich diversity in species and habitat. From the calm, blue glacial lakes spanning across two continental watersheds, to the exposed, colorful, granite and basalt rocks painted over with ancient Native American pictographs, the BWCAW offers no shortage of dramatic scenery.

With all this rich and beautiful biodiversity comes some of mother nature's most excited reactions, one of these being wildfires. Many of the areas in the boundary waters that you can paddle through show the remains of a recent fire, and these areas can be some of the most picturesque. Here at Sawbill, we have close access and transportation to some of these gorgeous areas. If you are worried that burned areas may be a little lackluster, then let your worries be put to rest.

A recent crew member of ours took a 5-day/4-night trip through some of the burned areas and photo documented her trip.

Burned areas of the boreal forest allow you to see the rich flora hidden on the forest floor. Carla took a series of pictures of several wildflowers growing in the burned area. This picture depicts one type she saw on Townline Lake.

Portaging through burned areas can also be quite the adventure. Though we absolutely love being shrouded in a sea of green, burned portages offer a more unique portrait of the land. Carla described the portage from Townline Lake into Kawasachong Lake as "hands down" her favorite portage. You can view the rich colors and foliage, while also seeing farther off in the distance through the trees and witnessing the changing rise and slope in the land.

Another great feature is that lakes often provide as halts for the burns. This means lakes in burned areas usually offer distinct sides, one that is burned, and one that is flourishing with the rich boreal forest. Seeing these gradients can be surreal, as this picture from Crooked Lake shows.

And, let's not forget the sunsets over these areas.

A beautiful sunset sky begins over Kawasachong Lake

Seriously, they are gorgeous.

A red sunset, reminiscent of the fire that shaped this scene over Crooked Lake

A big thanks to Carla for sharing her experience with us. Come check out some of the burned areas in the BWCAW the next time you come to Sawbill. Ask the crew about some of our favorite spots, we have a whole list of them.

Carla and her crew, Catie and Eric, on Kawasachong.

Happy paddling folks! - Mark

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