7/22/16 - Blueberry season is soon approaching! In just a few days there will be thousands of ripe, delicious berries for BWCA visitors to snack upon. Wild blueberries are much smaller than the ones you get in the store, so don't be surprised by their size. What they may lack in size, they more than make up for it in flavor. All that June rain and the hot temperatures in the past weeks have really brought out the best in the berries.
The next time you portage, take a look close to the ground. You might be rewarded for your hard work!- Elena
7/21/16 - Last night, the BWCA was hit with a fairly large storm. The Sawbill area experienced lots of winds and rain, however no known injuries have been reported in the surrounding lakes and loops (Kawishiwi, Cherokee, Brule, Etc.). The Forest Service is hard at work doing everything they can to survey the area and report back to us. Thankfully, as of this afternoon, everything is clear.
Stay cool out there!
7/21/16 - Sawbill canoeist Jesse Dinsdale sent along this wonderful picture of his solo sunrise paddle on Sawbill Lake.
7/21/16 - Sawbill canoeist Jesse Dinsdale sent along this wonderful picture of his solo sunrise paddle on Sawbill Lake. I almost hate to say it, but gorgeous sunrise and sunset photos are pretty common in the wilderness, but Jesse's picture really tells an evocative story. Bill
Sawbill Lake, July 2016.
7/15/16- And with the blare of the horn the 2016 Sawbill dragon-boat race commenced. With 17 boats and 68 participants this year's race was a fierce competition. As one of the 60 year reunion events, our competitors ranged from those with only a couple years of canoeing experience to some of our most experienced former crew members.
The racers eagerly getting ready for the preliminary round.
The Sawbill landing dock served as the starting line and in the first two rounds the race was completed as each canoe paddled past the Forest Service dock. The course measures just over a half mile long. The preliminary round consisted of four separate heats, four canoes in each heat and four competitors in each canoe. From there, the 1st and 2nd place winners of each heat advanced on to the semifinal round.
And the race begins!
The four canoes remaining after the semifinals turned around and aggressively paddled back towards the landing with all the strength and determination they had left. Loud cheers and chants from spectators ushered the racers all the way to the finish line. A very big congratulations to canoe #4 competitors Will Decker, Caitlin Coomes, Lindsey Price, and Marc Levoir clocking in at 4:36.62! All racers showed great strength and teamwork in the face of such a nail-biting competition!
The 2016 Dragon-boat championship winners, Will, Marc, Caitlin, and Lindsey proudly carrying their trophy.
We would also like to give a huge thank you to this year's dragon-boat race coordinator, Adam Hansen. It truly was an exciting competition. -Alissa
Past, current and future generations of the Sawbill crew.
This past weekend we were greeted with over 180 members of the Sawbill family. The celebration began Friday night with a cocktail party, the evening filled with hugs and very enjoyable conversations of recent life and reminiscence of past Sawbill adventures.
The festivities continued on Saturday afternoon with our annual Dragon-boat races, containing 17 canoes and 68 competitors. Later everyone joined once again for dinner (with lots of wild rice goodies) and our reunion program.
Former crew member, Kathy Heltzer served as our master of ceremonies and sang a tune, contrary to its title, the very comical "Sawbill Blues". This was followed by the 2016 Sawbill crew's skit performance. Next, both former owner, Bill Hansen, and current owner, Clare Hansen Shirley addressed the crowd with memorable speeches and, with a moment of silence, we recognized crew members who are no longer with us. The night proceeded with a Beyonce inspired canoe orientation dance led by current crew members, Emma and Elena, and concluded with dancing in the dome accompanied by music from Terence Smith.
Bill and Cindy Hansen have worked as the owners of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters the past 30 years and in his speech Bill illustrated the three things he believes make Sawbill such a wonderful place. He spoke of Sawbill's mission envisioned by Frank and Mary Alice Hansen in 1957, the endless and beautiful wilderness that surrounds us, and the many crew members that make up the Sawbill family. After living here the past two months I can't help but to agree with him and I am so glad to be a part of the Sawbill crew.
We would like to extend a big thank you to Bill and Cindy from the entire Sawbill family for making Sawbill such a wonderful camping destination and home to many over the past thirty years! We wish you the best in your retirement!
Also thank you to all the former crew members and their families who came to visit this past weekend. It was great to meet and reunite with all and we look forward to seeing you at the 70th reunion! -Alissa
The 2016 Sawbill crew and campground hosts.
Top row (L to R): Kevin, Nick, Rachel, Louise, Jim, Dave, Phil, Jessica, Bill, Kit, Clare, Elena, Cindy, Claire
Bottom row (L to R): Dan, Lindsey, Brian, Alissa, Emma, Meg, Laura, Owen