Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

The projects, chores, and life of a family-owned, Northern Wisconsin resort.


In Wisconsin they say if you don’t like the weather wait a few minutes and it will change.  This is the picture this morning.  We are back to winter and snow covered


People have their winter coats out and are using them.  Earlier in the day the scene was spring below


This is the pic I took yesterday morning without a coat.  This is the muddy mess we will have next spring to deal with between Bayview and Muskie where the new septic system was installed.  Can’t wait..


Meanwhile the snow had melted.


The lake was looking spring like and no thoughts of icefishing

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But if you blink we are now back to this



Welcome to Wisconsin weather



Deer Camp 2014 arrived this weekend.  We had 5 groups of hunters at the resort.  Most of them regulars.  Over the years they have established their spots in our 120 acres we have in addition to the resort.  With the restrictions on doe hunting this year it was a lean year for hunting.  We did have one of our groups get a 10 point on the 40 across from the resort.  After 2 hard winters up here doe hunting has been cut out.  Bucks are only allowed north of Hwy 64, basically the northern 1/3 of the state.  Hopefully this will allow the herd to recover.

I still have 2 cabins left for Thanksgiving Birchwood and Red Pine.  Give a call if interested.  I also have 40 acres of private hunting land open over the Thanksgiving holidays down by the river.   Give a call if interested

To non hunters, no worries, the grounds around the resort the 10 acres is completely safe, no hunting going on.  Dog walking and no need for blaze orange in the resort.  The only restrictions are that our hiking trails outside of the resort are shut down on the other side of Lower Kaubashine.  All our hunting land does not attach to the resort

Ice Fishermen I have heard of ice fishermen heading out on the lakes with 3 – 4 inches of ice.  Personally I wait to see other peoples tracks before venturing out but I know there are intrepid ice fishermen clamoring to get out on the ice

Winter Park is opening for Thanksgiving Weekend.  Here is info for anyone that is interested.  2 cabins left for Thanksgiving.  Just bring your blaze orange is going skiing.

We are thankful for our trails and guests…and we miss you already
Before our full chalet & trails opening on Monday, December 1, Winter Park will open for another special session of early-season skiing.
As gun-deer hunting is allowed on all of our trails, blaze orange clothing is mandatory for all skiers and snowshoers.
All trails will be closed through Thanksgiving Day.
We will be skiing on a special mix of beginner and intermediate trails, about 5km each, that are located closer to the chalet.
Come snowshoe and ice skate, too! We’re very confident that we will be able to open 4.2km of our snowshoe trails and Chip Wulff Memorial Pond.
10km+ Classic & Skate Skiing
4km+  Snowshoeing
Ice Skating
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday, November 28 – Sunday, November 30
Since only a limited number of trails will be open, we’ll continue to offer our special rates for skiers:
Adults & Seniors - $10
Youths, Teenagers, & College Students - $5
Children Aged 5 & Under – Always Ski Free!
The skiing is fantastic! Keep an eye on our Trail Conditions for daily updates, resuming Thursday morning.
Snow Tubing on Squirrel Hill
Tubing is almost certain to be open in full on its earliest date ever!
Saturdays & Sundays
Starting November 29!
To maximize customer experience, we are implementing new Snow Tubing hours and limiting our ticket sales per session.
Session A: 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Session B: 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
For the purpose of reducing wait times in line, we will also be limiting ticket sales to 100-150 tubers per session.

Want to ‘tube all day? You may! In the chalet, Session A tubers may purchase Session B tickets at 50% off.

Very soon, you will be able to purchase tickets online up to the day before your visit! Follow this newsletter and our website for details.
Skijoring & skis at Demo Day!
Learn about skijoring, try the latest and greatest in XC ski equipment, and chat with industry representatives at Winter Park.
Skijor & Ski Shop Demo Day
Saturday, December 13
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Demo Day is open to all Day Pass and Season Pass holders. Come on and join the over 100 individuals and families who have alreadypurchased their Season Pass to Minocqua Winter Park.
We’ll ski ya soon!
Be well,

Tim Collins
Minocqua Winter Park



Nothing is as exciting as the day the new septic gets installed.  Craig is in Arizona and believe me he wishes he was here.  Something about digging up and old tank and ripping up lots of the yard gets the blood pumping with excitement in the Black Family.  I just look at it as a 10,000 dollar bill in the ground.  Everyone in Bayview and Muskie though will be flushed with happiness that there is a new system.  Troy is happy, Muskie’s tank had to be dug up once a year to be emptied and it was the deepest tank.  We had a deeper tank at Kaubashine but that was replaced 4 years ago with Shamrock.  Shamrock….. well that is another septic story and we are happy that tank was also replaced 4 years ago.  I think Maynard was in charge the day the original system was put at Shamrock…  Slowly but surely Tory has less work to do on septic tank cleaning day



Yep 10,000 dollars going under ground



Here is what all the excitement is about.  Also being installed is a new drain field.  Those in the city with city water and sewer have never gone through all this fun.  For us just when we get all he tanks in the resort redone the state will come out with new regulations and tanks and we will do this all over again in 25 years.  Wildflower, Red Pine and Craig’s house are the next ones on the list next year… or the year after…. or the year after that.



Be happy you have city sewer and not a mess to clean up in the spring



The guys got one other thing off their to do list.  Bear Den got a new window downstairs next to the patio door.  This one is much more energy efficient and easier to clean.  Very happy to see this is done.  Now back to the list..

Want the honor of being the first one to flush in the new septic system give a call, you will make Craig jealous in Arizona


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When the resort quiets down in the offseason the deer get a little bolder.  This one came walking past our house during the Packer Game on Sunday at twilight.  I almost thought she was going to go down the beach steps.  The deer have been coming in for acorns and eating our pumpkins



Deer Hunters start arriving on Friday so the deer better find a spot to hide for a few weeks


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We were out of town for a few days and returned to the resort to find the lake frozen over



Boats in hibernation



Time to head inside and button down the hatches.

We have several cabins left open for deer hunting season and 2 cabins left for Thanksgiving Birchwood and Red Pine.  Give a call if interested.  Christmas to New Years calls have been coming in and if you are thinking of coming up now is the time to call before we fill up.  Nothing like Christmas in the Northwoods with our without the family.  Leave them at home or bring them along we have room either way



Apparently Hazelhurst is the epicenter of the polar vortex snow storm



How much snow did we get… how much is coming… we lost track



Steps to the beach somewhere under all that snow





Raft slowly sinking under the weight of snow





Craig texted from Arizona wondering how much snow we had gotten.  I sent him this picture.  Did I mention there is more coming…



Comments from the peanut gallery.. How much snow?  Too much is the answer


Winter has arrived a little early.  The fire pits are all set but you have to be quite hearty to sit and enjoy a fire, but if you bring something along…



The best way to keep yourself warm by a fire in the winter.  Only thing is you need more thing..



Your best friends.  The warmth of some whiskey and friendship is just what is needed to warm you up in the Northwoods



It makes you brave enough to jump on a swinging bed.  One of these crazy ladies is Troy’s sister.  Happy they had a fun weekend at the resort for their first of many trips



So grab some whiskey and your best friends and come on up.  We have a spot waiting by you at the fire

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I conned Troy into helping me put a canoe back in the water to take a few pics from out in the lake this morning.  Had to also go to Eagles Nest to find a paddle, where they had all been put away



Heading down the shoreline in a stiff breeze



The Point was prettier than the picture does it justice.  I had my Iphone out of its protective water proof case because the camera gets clearer pictures that way.  So I am in a stiff wind, camera out of its case and trying to keep the canoe pointed in the right direction to get a shot



Much easier to turn the canoe around and go with the wind and snap some pics





Snow was still in the trees from yesterdays snow fall







Canoe back on shore til spring.  Iphone back on dry land and back in its case



Boats up in dry dock for the winter



Had to snap just a couple more pics





After all that this was one of my favorite pics of the morning.  The pines by Birchwood dressed up in snow



The guys needed me to hold something for their roofing project at Muskie and talked me into coming up the ladder.  This can be a comical feat as I hate going up on the roofs and getting on and off the ladder.  Muskie’s porch roof is one of the few I will go on.  While on the roof and because my feet rarely leave the ground, it was time to take a few pictures



Photo taken while safely standing on the ladder.  Taking the old roof off



Few hours later when the call went out for me come up on the roof.  New paper down



View off the porch roof



Panorama gives the roof a curve it does not have, but neat pic



TIme to go back to the ground



Some of my No Wool socks I have been working on lately.  All are 18 dollars.  Done in all different sizes