Sawbill, Easy-Breezy
by bottomtothetap

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/03/2020
Entry & Exit Point: Sawbill Lake (EP 38)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 4
Day 2 of 5
Friday, September 04, 2020 After a delicious and hearty breakfast, again, right at Superior Ridge and a stop for bait at the Holiday in Tofte, we hit the Sawbill Trail on our way to the put-in point. When we arrived, Sawbill Outfitters and the landing was this big buzz of activity. It was like the Grand Central Station of canoeing with people and vehicles everywhere! We obtained our permit and a few rental items before taking our place in line to launch. Finally we were able to get underway and paddled off into a stiff breeze.

When planning started for this trip back in January, we had initially thought of going all of the way to Cherokee Lake the first day. As we closed in on our trip dates we conceded to our not-young condition (and reduced ambition) and revised our plan to instead target Smoke, Burnt or Fire. Now, after seeing all of the people and being challenged a bit by the wind, we decided to just grab an open site on Sawbill and base-camp there the rest of the trip. This would mean zero portages--a first for me, but with a bit of extra gear and a trip-priority of relaxation, this approach had a lot of appeal. Besides, Sawbill looked like a beautiful lake and it seemed a bit of a shame to not fully enjoy it by just passing through.

As we paddled by a site on the eastern shore, just before we got into Sawbill's wider north end, we chatted briefly with a couple there who informed us that they were soon leaving and if we wanted the site we were welcome to it. With the sites we could see up ahead already looking occupied, this seemed like a good opportunity so as this couple left, we moved in. It was nice to have the "site-scramble" part of the trip behind us and we prepared to settle in for the next few days. The many groups we soon saw passing by confirmed that grabbing this site was a wise decision. While the landing to this campsite was not the greatest I'd seen and it had not received very much praise ratings-wise, the site really wasn't half bad! There was a very nice rock "porch" along the lake and plenty of open space. The fire grate had decent seating and the surrounding trees provided good protection from the still-pesky wind (the cool September days meant no breeze would be needed to blow bugs away). Tent pads were decent and the new style latrine--square with a lid--was set well back in the woods, assuring privacy and that no nasty odors would drift into camp. 

Once supper time rolled around it was time for Craig to again show his cooking prowess. Our fresh steaks and hobo-dinner vegetables cooked over an open fire were delicious! When the sun went down, finally the breeze subsided as well and a nice evening fire along with some star gazing ended a great first day on the water.