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Campground Host Opportunity

January 29, 2020 – Every now and then, a great opportunity pops up, and we have one to offer now. After 30+ years of hosting at the Sawbill Lake Campground Jim and Rachel TerBeest have decided to retire. Their contributions to the campground were many and they will be missed! Their Sawbill family wishes them peace and happiness as they spend more time with their very cute and very busy grandkids in Omaha.

Their retirement leaves an opening, for the first time in decades, for the Sawbill Lake Campground Host position. If you are interested in learning more about what it means to be a Campground Host, please send an inquiry to


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On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

1/26/20 – The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon started today! This is always an exciting time in the northwoods as the race travels its way across the arrowhead region (see map below). If you are nearby, it is certainly worth making a stop at one of the many road crossings or checkpoints to watch teams at work, but not to worry if you’re unable to attend in person. This year, live coverage of the race is available to stream and can be found on the Beargrease’s official website, along with lots of other great information about the race. -Jessica

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Dreaming of Canoe Season

1/20/20 – Sawbill customer, Bobby Phelps, recently passed along a few pictures from a canoe trip taken this past summer. Although I’m definitely enjoying the winter conditions, I can’t help but look forward to paddling season a little more after seeing these.

As a friendly reminder, entry permits become available next Wednesday, January 29th, from Happy planning! -Jessica

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Improved Conditions for Lake Travel

1/16/20 – This past weekend we welcomed round two of visiting crew members. Brian Henry arrived first and took it upon himself to head out on skis to provide a little lake condition reconnaissance. He reported 21″ of ice, along with a firm crust of snow on-top of the early season slush. Great news for future lake travel! His route zig-zagged across the south end of the lake, eventually heading around Boundary Island, and back. The only slush he encountered was when he dug his ski pole down into the snow to find it.

Other highlights from the weekend included; a sunset ski, music at Papa Charlies in Lutsen, lots of coffee drinking, bird watching, vinyl record listening, and football. Hard to beat. Thanks to Claire, Lindsey, Drew, Tess, and of course Brian for making the trip! -Jessica

Kit and Huck make sure Brian knows how to properly set up his fishing hole (no fish were harmed in the making of this newsletter post).
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Happy New Year!

1/4/20 – As the tradition goes, Sawbill crew members made the pilgrimage to the end of the Sawbill trail this past week to ring in the new year. This time around we were rewarded with clear skies, a very mild temperature of 0⁰ F, and no wind (unheard of in recent New Year’s Eve memory). We finished out 2019 under the stars making a lap around the freshly groomed ski trail and welcomed in 2020 on the lake. -Jessica

The 2020 New Years crew.
(Left to right) Back row – Drew, Luke, Mia. Middle – Jessica, Claire, Lindsey. Front – Dan, Owen, Katie.
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It’s a Wunderbar Life

12/16/19 – This past week The Big Lake, along with Wunderbar Eatery & Glampground, hosted their annual It’s a Wunderbar Life Holiday Market. Local artists and businesses were in attendance, including Clare and myself representing Sawbill. Per usual, this event tested all of my self control when it comes to buying every hand made coffee mug within sight, and the amazing artists of Cook county didn’t aid in the struggle. In the end I narrowly escaped with three new coffee mugs to add to my vast collection. Is there really such a thing as too many beautiful coffee mugs? I think not. -Jessica

Me doing all I can to look at Clare while she takes this picture, instead of the amazing pottery to her right.
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Howlin’ Good Time

12/8/19 – On my way out of the office the other afternoon, I suddenly felt the need to head to the lake.  The lazy snowflakes drifting to the ground, light blanket of clouds, and a pleasant 20 some degrees left me no choice but to hurry up and get down there before sunset.  As I approached the lake I caught the sound of wolves howling in the distance (apparently I wasn’t the only one enjoying the beautiful evening).  They fell silent shortly after my arrival, so I waited a while to see if they would start back up.  After about 15 minutes of quiet I asked myself, what would Cindy Hansen do?  She’s a howling savant, so the answer was clear, I had to give them a good old-fashioned “Hey, hi, how are ya?”  I let out a howl, and wouldn’t you know, the group started back up across the lake.  I’ve heard wolves howling a few times in the past, but never in the daylight. Pretty darn cool!  -Jessica

Unfortunately no quality audio was obtained, but even the post howling sunset was well worth the trip to the lake.
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Class at North House Folk School

11/18/19 – Living in Cook county, I feel extremely lucky to have such easy access to North House Folk School, and this past weekend I cashed in on that good fortune by taking a Sami-inspired embroidery class. Over this two day course we created both a pendant and bracelet decorated with pewter thread (used as embellishment for centuries by circumpolar people). Now that I have a little know-how, and a few tools of the trade, I’ll be filling some of these long winter nights with a needle and thread. Welcome to crafting season! -Jessica

Works in progress.