Posted on

March 2001

3/28/01 – Many things are happening at Sawbill this time of
year. The weather is altering the landscape dramatically.
Although, looking out the window, it still appears to be full
blown winter. In spite of having a solid 30" of snow on the
ground, the warm sun is making its power felt. The snow has
crusted over with a layer so dense that ski or snowshoes allow a
person to stay right on top. We have taken advantage of this
condition to enjoy a few wild skates down the rivers that drain
into Lake Superior. The snow has formed itself to the contours of
the river, so a skier flies along over a smooth but rolling
terrain with frequent open holes filled with running water.
Yesterday on the Temperance River, we found the remains of a
deceased great gray owl. A little farther down stream we found a
half eaten white tail deer. Life and death on the river.

Former Sawbill crew members Steve and Kate Surbaugh have
announced that they are expecting their first child. This is very
exciting news for two reasons. first, because Steve and Kate will
be wonderful parents and they are very happy about their
impending parenthood. Second, because it represents another
generation of potential Sawbill crew members 🙂

I have been privileged recently to participate in the Blandin Community
Leadership Program
. The program is designed by the Blandin
Foundation to cultivate and strengthen leadership in rural
Minnesota communities. It starts with a week long retreat with
twenty four members from a single community. The training is very
well done and it was great to spend so much time networking with
twenty three interesting members of my community. – Bill

3/9/01 – Today is Ruthie Hansen’s 19th birthday. Happy
birthday Ruthie 🙂

I saw a pine marten while skiing last night. It was only about
a mile from here. This morning there was a fishing rod
mysteriously displaced from its shelf in the store. A feeling of
pine marten dread crept over me, but I could find no other sign
of a marten in the store.

The Forest Service dog team was here yesterday hauling planks
up to the Ada/Scoop Lake portage. Extensive boardwalk work will
be done on that nasty little portage this summer. This is good
news for those of us who have slogged through the slime there
during the last decade.

The Forest Service musher reported very little slush on the
lakes between here and Ada,

3/6/01 – We had a visit from a Barred Owl in the middle of the
day yesterday. This morning, on the excellent radio program,
"For The Birds", Laura Erickson reported that many owls
are hanging around houses and bird feeders. They are apparently
starving due to the deep snow and a downturn in the small mammal
population. Many people are finding dead owls, although our owl
flew off under its own power.

Sawbill Outfitters is a proud member of Northeastern Minnesotans For
which is working to organize the many people who
support the wilderness and happen to live in northeastern
Minnesota. Visit their site for more information on BWCA
Wilderness issues and what you can do to help protect the BWCA