12/9/18 – Thanks to calm, sunny, 20 degree weather I was able to hit the lake yesterday for my first ski of the season. There was just enough snow (2 to 4 inches) to make skiing fun without feeling like I was slogging through it. I’m also happy to report the slush was overall minimal. Luckily, with the high sun, I was able to see the darker slush pockets from a distance and meander my way around them. I wonder if the wolves who passed through a day or two ahead of me had used this technique as well? Their tracks seemed, for the most part, to zig and zag around the slush too. -Jessica
12/4/18 – This past Sunday Carl Hansen, Crista Clark, Cindy Hansen, and myself assembled to assist Clare and Kit in their Christmas cookie baking extravaganza. Dan provided vital support by cooking us up some freshly smoked salmon, and Bill lent his ski trail grooming expertise for the first groom of the season (key ingredient to keeping off those cookie pounds later on). -Jessica
11/28/18 – I was lucky enough this past holiday weekend to have my family gather together right here at Sawbill. It was a ton of fun to have the group together in a setting only the snow covered northwoods can provide. Thanksgiving included the obligatory tonnage of food, card games, a million piece puzzle, lots of bird watching, and great company.
Black Friday was celebrated by hitting the great outdoors in search of those coveted door buster bargains. Some of our scores included; fresh snow the perfect temperature for snowman assembly, short lines at the sledding hill, and a solid 5-6″ of ice on the lake perfect for a stroll along the shore. -Jessica
11/14/18 – As of four days ago, Sawbill Lake is completely iced over. In addition, it now has a powdery coating of snow to boot. This afternoon I measured about 2″ of ice after briefly chiseling through the frozen lake. Don’t worry, my feet were firmly planted, safe and sound, on the landing. -Jessica
10/31/18 – A couple weeks ago the fall crew got together to carve these very intricate pumpkins in preparation for today’s big day. As you can see, all of our painstaking research regarding the art of the classic jack-o’-lantern clearly paid off resulting in these beautiful works of art. -Jessica
10/24/18 – Over the past week we’ve been getting quite a few reports of substantial ice on some of the smaller area lakes, making travel quite difficult. As a result we’ve put most of our canoes away for the season and almost completed winterizing the store.
A couple nights ago we witnessed ice crystals beginning to form on the south end of Sawbill Lake. Most of that ice disappeared the next day, but if you look close enough today, you can see a swath of ice floating to the left of Mouse Island. It sure seems winter is now knocking on our door. -Jessica
10/12/18 – After 4″ of wet sloppy snow a week ago today, we’ve had a good amount of rain and a few dusting of snow leading to higher than normal water levels for this late in the season. To add to the fall fun, temperatures have been quite chilly as of late. Lows in the 20’s and highs in the 30’s mean proper clothing to keep you warm and dry is a must.
With consistent freezing temps, especially overnight, we had to quickly scramble to turn off our outdoor water yesterday (including the shower house and laundry) to avoid broken pipes. The campground water remains on, but the Forest Service is scheduled to turn it off sometime today. If you plan to stay in the campground yet this fall, be sure to bring your own water or have a plan to treat/filter it from the lake. On the plus side, there is no charge for camping after the water is turned off. If you reserved a site ahead of time you can request a refund by logging back onto your recreation.gov account or calling 877-444-6777. Stay warm! -Jessica
The 4″ of snow we received last week quickly melted throughout the day, but the most recent dustings have been able to hold strong in shaded areas.
When the clouds finally broke yesterday I was able to get outside for an afternoon grouse hunt. I didn’t see any grouse, but the tamaracks and sunshine made the hike more than worth it.
10/6/18 – Sawbill customers Rose and Jordan recently became engaged to be married while paddling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They shared the following tid bit with us along with the photo.
“We started dating 6 1/2 years ago. Our first trip to the BWCA was in Spring 2012. We have been going to different areas in the BWCA yearly ever since. The BWCA gave us space and time to get to know each other and discover how well we work together as a team. Jordan proposed on Cherokee Lake on an island campsite. We will continue coming back to the BWCA every year! “
Congratulations and we wish you many more Wilderness trips together.
10/1/18- One of the more popular hiking attractions on this part of the shore is Carlton Peak. It’s a crew favorite and should definitely be on your list. The trail is best accessed 2 miles up from Tofte on the Sawbill Trail at the Britton peak trailhead. It’s a short 1.5 mile hike to the summit with 550 feet vertical elevation gain. The summit itself sits 924 feet above the lake and offers a commanding view of the shore from north to south.
Stop on by and let us know where your adventures are taking you!
9/29/18- The BWCA saw its first snow of the fall last night and into this morning. We were greeted with 29 degree temperatures and a light dusting on the leaves. The day has turned bright and sunny, melting the remnants of last nights storm. With the newly welcomed snow I thought it would be a good time to remind folks of the importance of wearing appropriate layers and life vests as the weather and water cools. Canoeing in the shoulder seasons can be rewarding with the spectacular colors and lack of traffic but there is also increased risk. Keep your life vest on at all times while on the water and wear layers that will insulate when wet like wool and synthetic blends.
Have a great time out there!