Just before Katie, Amelia, Nora, and Mia went back to college, the Sawbill Babes had a night out on the town! They left Sawbill in the hands of Kit (who assured them that she would keep Sawbill running and the boys in line) before they headed into Grand Marais for an afternoon filled with shopping, fudge eating, and relaxing! Before heading back up the trail, they stopped to eat at the Angry Trout where they enjoyed a waterfront dinner outside on the deck! It was a night to remember for the Sawbill babes and there definitely wont be another one like it!
9/11/19 – There is a lot going on under our feet. Tree roots, insect colonies, pixie villages, and the mycelium network. Mycelium is the main body of most fungi. Here in the northwoods we don’t often see the actual fungus itself save for it’s fruit, mushrooms. Mushrooms range from mighty to tiny, from beauty to slimy. What we see as mushrooms are usually the reproductive strategy of the fungus and picking them does not hurt the living part of the organism.
With fall settling in some new specimens are poking up through the piney duff including some edible species such as Lobster and Chanterelle’s. Consult an expert and a mushroom guide if you are interested in identifying these delights.
9/9/19 – Have you ever seen the sun go down to the haunting call of a loon? Have you stayed up and watched an ocean of stars appear above and below your rocky lake view camp? Has the sound of a beaver slapping it’s tail woke you in the middle of the night?
“The days are getting shorter,” a simple phrase but does it hold true? With the sun setting earlier and rising later it is a great time of year to embrace that you do not have to stay up past 11pm to start appreciating the darker side of the BWCA. If you have a strong knowledge of where you are and an adventurous spirit try going for a night float. Something as simple as drifting in your canoe just off shore of camp can be a life changing experience. Just be sure to bring a good strong light and keep track of where you are so you can make it back to your cozy tent at night.
9/2/19 – Happy Labor Day folks! It’s been a busy weekend up here at Sawbill with everyone trying to get trips in before it gets too cold or having to return to school. Busy but good! A special thank you to those who participated in the annual fish n’pick weekend – the music was fantastic both nights. To accompany the music, campers and crew members gathered on the landing dock to see a good show from the northern lights on Friday night! It was truly something special. A great holiday weekend and introduction to fall!
8/30/19 – As September approaches, it’s clear that the cool weather has joined it. We’ve definitely noticed a significant drop in temperature in the last couple of weeks! Even so, there have still been some beautiful and clear days. Be prepared if you’re taking a trip soon and bring layers along with a warm sleeping bag – and of course don’t forget your rain gear. With the weather changing, we’ll also be starting our fall hours this Tuesday, September 3rd. We’ll be open from 8 am – 7 pm daily.
In other news, labor day weekend has our campground completely full through today and tomorrow! There are options for campgrounds nearby though if you are worried about finding a site. Up here, it’s also known as fish n’pick weekend. A long time tradition, musicians come up to fish during the day and play tunes by a fire at night. All are welcome to join and listen to them during their jam tonight or tomorrow night in the canoe yard. Typically, they start around 8:30. Additionally, tomorrow marks the last US Forest Service naturalist program event of the summer! As always, they’ll be discussing Minnesota wildlife around a campfire with s’mores from 7:30-9. Plenty going on around here this weekend! Happy beginning of fall!
8/27/19 – Portaging a giant boat on your shoulders is a pretty impressive feat of itself, let alone when you’re 75 years old. Yet Frank & Roxy Janezich make it look pretty easy! These two have surely had plenty of paddling experience and are not letting age get in the way of their canoeing. Thanks for the inspiration, you two!
8/18/19 – Though we’re best known for the abundance of canoeing opportunities at Sawbill, there are plenty of other outdoor recreation opportunities nearby. We often get asked about hiking trails in the area and there are some great options! Eagle Mountain is probably the most popular choice, about a 40 minute drive from Sawbill down the grade. It is a moderate ~7 mile hike that summits at the highest point in Minnesota. The trail winds through forest, marshes and lakes before the relatively steep climb to the top in the last half mile or so.
A closer option to Sawbill would be the Carlton or Britton peak trails. The trailheads are just a few miles down the Sawbill Trail from Tofte. Britton peak is a short hike (only .5 mile or so), while Carlton peak is 3 miles round trip. Another option about 5 miles north of Tofte are the Oberg and Leveaux Mountain trails. Each trail is about 3 miles, both with amazing views overlooking Lake Superior and the surrounding national forest. These hikes can be extended for longer trips as they coincide with the Superior Hiking Trail, a 310 mile foot trail along the north shore from Duluth to the Canadian border. There are plenty of chances to hop onto the Superior Hiking Trail along Highway 61. If you’ve already done these hikes, don’t fret! The abundance of state parks on the north shore provide even more opportunities. I recently hiked next to waterfalls on the Cascade river and potholes of the Temperance river, both discovered on Highway 61 pulloffs. Wherever you go, it’s sure to be beautiful. Happy hiking! -Allison
8/15/19 – If you’re having trouble pushing through to the weekend, hopefully this will help a bit. This is an appreciation post for the sweet boy that is Huckleberry. If you don’t know him, he’s the springer spaniel that belongs to Sawbill owners Clare and Dan Shirley. Looking closely, you can see that his name tag gives away his occupation: the official Director of Public Outreach. Unofficially, he is the store greeter, bodyguard, therapy dog, Olympic swimmer, professional snuggler, and Sawbill mascot. On behalf of the entire crew, we’re all happy we get to spend time with him while we’re here. Friendly reminder that he does have severe food allergies so please don’t give him any of your treats or snacks. He also loves to swim with folks on the dock, but practice caution if you have a fishing line in. The poor guy doesn’t understand the concept that bobbers are attached to hooks. Besides that, feel free to give him lots of love if you see him around the campground! Cheers to Huckleberry (aka buns, hucklebuns, bunners, huck) for being the best boy!
8/9/19 – Though things are still hectic around here, a few crew members have found time to escape for some berry picking. Perfect timing too! Peak strawberry season has passed, but we’re expecting the raspberries to start ripening very soon. The blueberries are the real star of the show right now. Clare and Kit did some picking earlier this week and report that the blueberries are about 60% blue with 40% green still. Definitely time to start heading to your favorite patches! It appears the weather will provide a near perfect few days, with mostly clear skies and mid 70s expected through Sunday. Whether it be berry picking, hiking, or canoeing, we hope you get the chance to be outside this weekend. Happy Friday!
8/3/19 – Thanks to everyone that showed up for this years’ annual Dome Dance! It was a great time. Terrence Smith showed everyone the ropes of square dancing accompanied by some fantastic lively music. What a great way to break in the new square dome! Though the new building is definitely not circular, it’ll always be a dome to us. Being peak busy season, everyone could use a little dancing release. If you’re sad you missed it, there’s always next year!