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6/18/05 – In an attempt to combat forest fires in the Boundary Waters, the Forest Service initiated a prescribed burn just off the Sawbill trail on Friday, June 17. The burn covered approximately 74 acres and was meant to burn primarily the fine fuels, the smaller woods (3-inches thick or smaller) which greatly increase the risk of a massive, rapidly-spreading forest fire. The dedicated fire crew worked for two days to ensure that the fires wouldn’t greatly affect travel in the area and stayed well under control. A big thank you to the Forest Service.

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6/16/05 – After spending the off-season working on a farm in Vermont, crew member Laura Smith returned to Sawbill yesterday, immediately putting her spud hauling skills to work.

Laura returns to Sawbill for her fifth summer, making her one of our most experienced staff members.

Laura and fellow crew member Jeff Green are engaged to be married next summer. Congratulations to Laura and Jeff and welcome back to work!

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6/13/05 – Former Sawbill crew member and newsletter contributor Beth Rolf (now Beth Rehfuss) was married yesterday to Bill Rehfuss at the lovely Gale Farm Park in Minnetrista, Minn. Bill, Cindy, Clare, Carl and Adam Hansen and Lida Storch attended the event and even contributed by playing the “Beer Barrel Polka” after the ceremony. A pig roast and wedding dance followed the nuptials and continued into the wee hours. Congratulations Beth and Bill!
Bill, Carl, Cindy, Adam, Beth and Clare celebrate the momentous occasion.
Weddings are just more fun in a big, red barn.

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6/9/05 – Kari “Karli” Anderson-Hermann, another of Sawbill’s seasoned employees, returned to the northwoods a few days ago. My apologies to Kari’s mother for not reporting this event sooner! Kari spent the past month rock climbing, backpacking, white-water rafting, and otherwise having a good time winding her way through Southern Utah and Arizona.
Never too busy to help, Kari assists a late evening caller with his upcoming canoe trip. Great work Karli!

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6/7/05 – OK, check this out: Internet search giant Google unveiled a map and satellite imagery service a few months ago. On a whim, I decided to look up Sawbill Lake. If you zoom in all the way, you can actually see an individual canoe pulling away from the Sawbill landing–scary. The high resolution satellite photographs appear to have been taken early in the morning during the summer of 2003 or 2004. Click here to see the maps for yourself!

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6/4/05 – It feels like summer has finally arrived at Sawbill. Most of you, living in places other than Northern Minnesota, might already be used to trees with leaves and 80 degree days, but up here we’re still enjoying the novelty of it all. Down at the Sawbill boat launch, groups are steadily heading into the wilderness–bound for Cherokee, Phoebe, Little Saganaga, and dozens of fishing holes with top secret locations.
At the Sawbill Lake canoe landing, canoeists test the waters before heading north to Alton Lake.
They just keep coming! Sawbill veteran crew members Alison Behm and Jeff Green recently arrived here for another summer of grueling labor. Alison and Jeff both like to spend some of their spare time in the Sawbill shower house. While Alison takes advantage of the excellent acoustics for her nightly cello practice, Jeff uses an abandoned water pipe to do pull-ups–part of his strenuous daily workout regimen.

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Alison tunes up and digs in for another summer of shower cello. In time with “Bach’s Prelude to the First Unaccompanied Cello Suite,” Jeff does pull-ups. Welcome back Alison and Jeff.

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6/1/05 – Contrary to long-standing Minnesota tradition, we experienced a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend at Sawbill, with warm temperatures throughout and only one small rain shower on Saturday. Groups of happy friends and families reported good fishing for walleye, northern pike and lake trout. Crew member Jasmine Hanson helped us celebrate Memorial Day right with a monster platter of hamburgers, hot dogs and brats off the grill, plus the usual potato salad, corn and chili.
Crew member Lida Storch arrived for work a few days ago. She just finished her senior year at the University of Minnesota and will be practicing her Spanish often this summer in preparation for her trip to Spain in the fall. Welcome back!

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Jasmine prepares our Memorial Day feast. Meanwhile, Lida works ’round the clock keeping our canoe fleet squeaky clean.

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Sawbill: History and Tales by Mary Alice Hansen is now available! Set out with Mary Alice on her engaging memoirs of the Sawbill area and Minnesota’s North Woods. Filled with more than 48 years of tales, adventures, historical accounts, and anecdotes, this book invites you to enjoy the Sawbill experience.

"Sawbill! It’s a place and a destination, but it is also a feeling that delights you when you’re there and tugs at your heart when you are away."

– Mary Alice Hansen

Click on book cover to order now!

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5/29/05 – Clare and Cindy Hansen stole the show last night at Grand Marais’ Sterling Dance 11th Annual Spring Concert. Clare is the last remaining young performer who has participated in the program each of the past 11 years–a tenure culminating last night in a tap solo everyone agreed was the highlight of the evening (not that I’m biased).
Clare and Cindy Hansen, immortalized on silk by local artist Lee Zimmerman, make time for the fans after their performance.