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First Customers of the Season

5/4/18 – Today we welcomed our first customers of the season! Despite Sawbill Lake still holding onto 9 inches of rotten ice, Lake Superior College’s Boundary Waters class made the trip up for some time in the north woods. In anticipation of their arrival, the Sawbill Crew has been scouting area entry points for signs of open water and determined that Baker Lake would offer at least the opportunity to get on the water.

The two eager groups of mostly novice paddlers, launched onto the mostly open Baker Lake in hopes of finding more open water on Peterson and Kelly Lakes. The Temperance River drains down from the Temperance Lakes through Kelly, Peterson and Baker, so hopes were high that the moving water would provide some paddling lanes leading to Wilderness campsites.

Members of Lake Superior College’s Boundary Waters Class listen in on equipment orientations on the screen porch at Sawbill.

To add to the bustling day, we were visited by our friends at Souris River Canoes with 8 new Quetico 16’s to deliver. We are really excited to have the 16 back in our fleet after a few years hiatus. The 16′ canoe is a great option for two smaller people with minimal gear who want to travel light and fast. The 16′ is a breeze to portage and handle while on and off the water.  Without a thwart behind the front seat, it can be paddled “backwards” as large solo or with a small child.

New Souris River Quetico 16’s in the canoe yard, fresh off the truck.


Luke measuring the ice on Sawbill Lake, May 4, 2018. He reports 9 inches of rotten ice and that he will not be walking out on the ice again this year.