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March 2003

3/29/03 – If its trying to follow the old adage of "In like a lion, out
like a lamb", March seems to be a bit dyslexic this year. A snowstorm
descended upon us yesterday and dropped almost 6" of snow, covering any
bare ground that had poked its way out and blanketing the trees. -Beth

What a difference a day makes. The
early spring sun holds plenty of warmth and is already softening up the snow.

3/27/03 – Every bird in the neighborhood seemed to be out and about
yesterday, zipping here and there, signing so loudly and cheerfully – a
winter’s worth of gossip to catch up on, I guess. Today a change in the weather
brought a few snowflakes flying through the early morning breeze. A couple of
inches of snow have been predicted for tonight. -Beth

Bare ground and a slushy lake made
yesterday feel even warmer than it already was.

3/25/03 – Yesterday, as we sat at the kitchen table enjoying lunch, a bit of
movement in the woods outside the window caught Bill’s eye. A few hundred feet
back, a small moose wandered through the swamp. We kept watch for his
companions, but he must have been bringing up the rear of the moose train since
he was the only one we saw.

Continued warm weather has melted much of the snow on the ground. The lake
has a few inches of slush on top of the still thick ice that is making any
skiing on the lake impossible right now. If the temperatures drop and the slush
sets up it could make for some great spring skiing. An incredibly strong west
wind blew most of the day yesterday and took down a couple of big trees across
the Sawbill Trail. Between the downed trees and the spring run-off creating
huge ruts in the road, it was a bit of a challenge making it into town. -Beth

3/23/03 – Walking down to the lake tonight after a warm weekend, I saw the
earliest signs of spring emerging. The afternoon light hung around until early
evening, a faint smell of pine trees floated in the damp air, Homer and Sunnie
were wet and muddy up to their hips, and the ski tracks on the lake had started
disappearing into puddles. The most telling sign that its time for spring to
arrive was the smile that these changes brought to my face. -Beth

3/20/03 – I skied on the lake last night after several days of very warm
weather. I was able to navigate about 10 K, but it wasn’t the best of
conditions. The lake ice is still nearly 4 feet thick, but there is water
standing on top of it. In some places there is 4" of slushy snow, while in
other places there is standing water is nearly 6" deep. I skied home with
wet feet. This morning it started to rain and it rained steadily until 3
o’clock when it turned to wet snow. More snow is predicted tomorrow, so maybe
winter isn’t done with us yet. – Bill

Freezing rain coated every twig this

3/16/03 – Sloppy, drippy, and gloriously warm pretty much sums up Sawbill
this weekend. Its around 55 degrees today and even the slight breeze feels
warm. The sound of melting snow dripping off the roof seems to be keeping a
measured beat for the (quickly?) approaching spring. The forecast is calling
for temps to remain above freezing all week, with chances for rain almost every
day. -Beth

3/12/03 – While in the Twin Cities this past weekend, Cindy had a chance to
get together with a large group of former crew members. Jon and Laurie
Robertson hosted the Sawbill reunion. The former crew members who have learned
that they need to show up at these affairs to defend themselves amongst all the
Sawbill storytelling were Ellen (Lock) and her husband Greg Bagnato, John
"Obie" Oberholtzer, Sandy Zinn and Will Decker, Kristin (Lundgren)
Ferrier and her daughters, Paul Lundgren and Gina Isaak, Peter and Megan
Glashagel, and Katy Harris and her husband Shannon along with their new son.
Cindy wanted to assure everyone who couldn’t make it that yes, they did tell
that story with you in it that you keep hoping everyone has forgotten about and
you’ll just have to show up next time to set the record straight. -Beth

3/10/03 – The John Beargrease Sled Dog Race crossed the Sawbill Trail a week
or so ago. A checkpoint is located on the Trail so the teams stop and rest
there, often using straw to bed down. There must be remnants of dog food and
whatnot left in the straw as dozens of ravens were congregating in that area
for a couple of days after the race ended. While driving through there a few
days ago, the herd of ravens lifted off as my car passed by. A flash of white
caught my eye and I focused in on the blur. A bald eagle had joined the ravens
in looking for food. The ravens had all flown directly up into the trees above
where they had been scavenging, but the eagle launched itself about 15 feet in
the air and followed the roadway. It stayed just above my windshield for a
couple of hundred feet, allowing me a great up close view of this large and
impressive bird. It finally spotted a tree to its liking and turned off the
trail to settle on top of a nearby pine tree. -Beth

3/5/03 – A couple of more news items about former Sawbill crew members. Sue
Hankins (’86 – ’89), and her husband Russ Meller announce the birth of their
first child, daughter Grace Nash Meller.

Another future Sawbill crew member,
Grace Nash Meller, born Sunday, March 2nd at 6:23 a.m.. She tipped the scales
at 7 lbs., 5 oz and is 20.25 inches long.

Paul Lundgren (also ’86 – ’89) visited this week with his girlfriend, Gina
Isaak. They ventured out in the bitter cold for some cross country skiing.

Paul Lundgren and Gina Isaak. Gina shows the proper attitude toward Paul’s

Sawbill Outfitters is a proud member of Northeastern
Minnesotans For Wilderness
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 Wilderness.