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Happy Belated Spring!

3/22/23 – As of today the snowpack has officially outgrown the yard stick with an average depth of 37 inches. -Jessica

Yep, that’s right. We now have over 3 feet of snow on the ground…
Snow Measuring Paddle getting brought in for relief in the late innings.
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Yurt vs. Snow, Round 2

3/15/23 – Over the past couple weeks I’ve been looking at the yurt wondering if I should do another round of snow removal. Ideally the snow will slide off by itself in warmer weather, but no such luck so far. Hearing about the Duluth mall’s partial roof collapse yesterday was all the motivation needed to get the job done…

My afternoon point of view.

In other news, we now have a snowpack of 32″ in our neck of the woods. Each Wednesday I measure the snow depth and send the total off to the Minnesota DNR. They use this measurement, along with others throughout the state, to put together a snow depth map published every Thursday afternoon (see link for the most up to date map). Also interesting to compare and contrast are the past snow depth maps which go back to 2016. -Jessica

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The Art of a Tie-Down

2/14/23 – Have you, or someone you know, been stopped flat in your planning tracks due to Sawbill Lake permits being fully booked for your prospective entry day? Fear not! Here at Sawbill we specialize in the art of tying canoes onto vehicles, so you can take destiny into your own hands and explore a different entry point in the area. Three canoes you say, but only one vehicle? We can handle it! Compact car? We’ve got you covered! No roof rack? No problem!

Long story short; if your trip has you starting somewhere other than Sawbill Lake we’ll secure the canoe(s) onto your vehicle and provide all the ropes, straps, foam pads, racks, etc. needed to get where you’re going. This comes with all rentals at no extra charge. -Jessica

We are happy to pass on our tricks and tips.
Yep, that’s right. Three canoes, one vehicle.
This one got us thinking a little outside the box.
The Prius de résistance.
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The Roofs Around Sawbill Sigh in Relief

2/8/23 – Tis the season for removing snow from the buildings around Sawbill. Like most things around here there’s a particular process for getting the job done. I cut snow blocks using an old campground sign and then Dan comes in with a giant shovel to break them loose and push them off the edge. It’s one of those things that’s a decent amount of work, but pretty darn rewarding once you see the progress and think about the weight of each block being removed.


A block of snow about to join it’s friends in the debris pile below.
Shower house before…
and after.
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Now Hiring – Sawbill Campground Host!

1/28/23 – If you’ve ever stayed at the Sawbill campground, there’s a good chance you’ve interacted with one of our fabulous hosts. Our most recent hosts have found themselves new jobs with less summer availability, so we’re on the search for the right person or people to step into that role.

If you’re interested, send us an email at and we’ll send along the job description and a link to the application.


Site 17 – home sweet home for Sawbill hosts
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Intel from the Lake

1/19/23 – This morning Huck and I decided to put on our reconnaissance hats and head out on the lake. It was a bit breezy but we persevered north past Mouse Island (gotta get the information out to the masses). We were the first tracks on the lake since the most recent snowfall (Tuesday/Wednesday) and are happy to report relatively easy travel through 6-12″ of fluffy snow and very minimal slush. If I really dug down I could find slush, but I had no problem walking around in my mukluks. -Jessica

Huckleberry collecting a full scent profile.
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Sawbill New Years

1/3/23 – This past weekend a few of us gathered to ring in the new year on Sawbill Lake, as is tradition. Too much fun ensued. -Jessica

Dan rode the snowmobile down this trail earlier in the day and came across a big bull moose. Lets just say we were not quite while trimming back the snow-laden alder that blocked some of the trail, so we did not see said moose, but did come across it’s tracks.
The New Years Crew ringing in 2023 on the lake. Cast of characters includes (left to right); me, Paul (back), Mongo (front), Kevin, and Dan.
New Years Day we headed out for a ski on the lake. First things first, gotta fill out that permit.
Conditions were so good Paul couldn’t help but showoff his ski ballet moves. We ran into a little slush, but nothing too bad. The lake was windswept after that crazy storm just over a week ago so the snow was minimal making skiing pretty darn easy compared to the usual mid winter trudge through snow and slush.
Lastly, we finished out the weekend with a campfire. Good stuff.
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Happy Winter!

12/22/22 – Nothing says winter solstice celebration like a rip roaring campfire as the last light dwindles from the shortest day of the year. With the complete lack of wind yesterday how could I not?! -Jessica

Last light.
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Canoe Delivery

12/19/22 – Bill Pfoha, with Wenonah Canoe, must have been a postal carrier in a former life. Literally hours after the snow stopped dumping last week he arrived with a load of ten shiny new canoes. After a brief pitstop in the freshly fallen snow the canoes made their way into the shed to ride out the rest of the winter with their compatriots. -Jessica

The rookies posing with me, Dan, and Huckleberry (photo courtesy of Bill Pfoah).
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Photo Dump after the Snow Dump

12/17/22 – Until this morning the snow’s been off and on (mostly on) since Wednesday afternoon. Here are some pictures showing the final results. -Jessica

Yesterdays yurt snow removal.
Front of the store this morning.
Road to the canoe landing (featuring Huck).
10am at the canoe landing.
Thursday afternoon the snow was perfect for sculpting a snow masterpiece.