Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


Little Lauren started out with her whole family on the raft


First went big sister Abigail and Uncle Mark


You are out of here dad!


Wahooooooo queen of the raft….  with big sister sneaking up from behind.  Enjoy your moment Lauren


There are some moments in life that are perfect and you wish you could hold on to them.

That is what most Grandparents and parents feel for their kids.  Donna Pyfer shared her pics with her grandkids Delaney and Bryce this week.  If you could just freeze time I am sure Donna would


Delaney learning fishing from Grandpa John


Bryce captaining a boat just like his grandpa




I have pictures somewhere of their mom Leanne on the swings with her brother and somewhere…. there might even be a picture of their grandma Donna on the swings too…



More fishing lessons from dad


Time for a swing with mom


Hey grandma stop taking pictures and come join us!


And so ends another week at The Cliff as they have been doing since the 50’s with Great Grandma Lorraine, Aunt Betty who are missed but the tradition carries on with Grandpa and Grandma Pyfer.  Thanks to Donna for sharing her pictures.  See you all again next year when we are all a year older and wiser



Last September we lost a very special lady and friend, Char, pictured above in her rocking chair with her family and friends around.  Char was one of those special people in your life you will always remember and treasure.  She touched the lives of many who did not know her in other weeks around the resort.  She insisted I have mixers in every cabin even though I did not see the reason to bake cakes on vacation.  She led the crusade to make sure every cabin was stocked with wine glasses because what is vacation without wine?  She snuck around me when I said I was too busy to get the humming bird feeders up.  Char arranged for my youngest son to get the feeders up and stocked and he was not to ask his mom for help.  Char taught him how to make the juice and how to hang the feeders.  She came every spring to hang them up and every fall to take them down and clean them out.  She was a special lady and we miss her…..

My sister Katie who painted my loon disk above my office wanted to do something special for Char and her family and she could not have picked a better way to do it

Char’s daughters Karey and Annie and me posing with Katie’s tribute to Char.  By the girls request it was hung in the kitchen and dinning room of Muskie where she loved to be making lasagna or playing scrabble with her family and friends

If you stay in Muskie please take the time to drink a glass of wine and enjoy Katie’s art work that was hung up in honor of Char.


We miss you Kiddo

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Steve found this rare flower around Red Pine.  Any guesses on what it is?


He figured it out but was throwing it out there to challenge all the flower people out there



Steve, Troy and our boys have been busy out clearing and building a dog park for the resort.  We have had this great area and not used it.  Now we cleaned it up and are fencing it in


Jake spreading wood chips around.  This idea started last fall from Tom and Michelle Bronsky who have traveled to Tomahawk to use their park.


Getting the fencing in and the door


It is getting done and we can’t wait to see everyone enjoying it


Penny approving the project




It was a murky warm morning at the resort.  The loon stopped by to see what was going on



Mack contemplating the morning


It was a good morning to learn how to skip a rock


A good morning to sleep in or just sit by the lake



The Pilated Woodpecker stopped in for a visit.  Amy Tempel caught it with her camera and shared.  You don’t realize how big they are til you see them in person.  Thanks for sharing the pic, Amy.

We have had a cancellation

Wigwma 3bdr July 30 to August 6th at 1580/week




Our annual horseshoe tournament came this week.  For the first time we did not have our leader Mr Tungett to inspire us to leave the beach and go to Hilltop to throw some shoes.  We lost Mr T last year but his spirit lives on in his tournament.  His daughters Eleanor and Linda holding the horse shoe plaque made in his honor showing every year of winners and runners up.  Tom Hixson had Mr Tungett’s picture etched on the plaque.  The tournament carries on in his memory


This year it came down for father vs son.  Rich Snodgrass vs….


Eric Snodgrass


Artsy Katie Black vs….


Library Kate


In the end it was Rich Snodgrass and Library Kate who won who were congratulated by Oh No, Tom Hixson in his usual honorary way


Eric was happy to get his name off the pony plaque for not winning in the tournament over the years and Katie Black was all smiles with her secret ability to throw one point horse shoes consistently


Everyone gathered for the picnic afterwards with their dish to pass as is the rule at 5:30 sharp


Stories of past tournaments and who is still on the pony plaque were talked about


The three amigos rounded out the night honor Mr Tungett with the mounting of the plaque in the office


How many Amigos does it take to mount a plaque…….  Three…. and Mr Tungett would be happy


A salute was had in Three Amigo style


That toast was followed by Linda’s Sambuca shot toast also in her dad’s memory


This shot with an orange slice in it is something to be experienced once a year.


It was followed by a birthday cake for Irish Kate (yes we had a lot of Kate’s at the resort this week)

Til Next year when the shoes are ringing gain and Mr Tungett is smiling from where he is sitting watching his family and friends gather once again playing a game he loved together



Those of you that follow blog or have been to the resort know we had to redo our front entrance sign.  My brother inlaw Bryon created our totem pole gate 20 years ago and it needed a little TLC before it came down on someone or something.  We took it down in the spring and Steve rebuilt the triangle and Bryon repainted the middle part.  Now it was time to put it back up where it cam from


As with any resort project lots of volunteer hands were needed.  The sign needed to be moved out by the road and it weighed alot


Much discussion going on about how to do this and much whining about bad backs and sore muscles


Craig and Tom agreeing or disagreeing on either how the sign was to be moved or Hillary vs Trump….  I was not asking any questions


Heave ho! and away we go


Making the corner and lots of groaning going on


Question is how did Steve managed to be the one carrying boards while everyone else was carrying the sign



In place


The peanut gallery shouting advice as phase one of the sign is complete.  Now to call in the professionals to get it off the ground


There were a lot of ideas how to do this but in the end it was decided to call in the professionals instead of having something go badly wrong.  Best money we have ever spent


There is a reason they are professional and have the equipment to pull this off without a hitch.  They have put up bigger signs but they informed us this was the biggest homemade sign they had ever done


Off the ground and so far so good


Lots of directions being shouted out


Up, up up it goes


Dodging trees as it goes into position


Just like a puppeteer getting it in just the right spot


Steve getting in there to get it nailed into place


Craig had to get in on the action as well


All went well and the sign is in place and everyone still has all their fingers and toes


It is a good day at the lake!



The days have been great and we have been breaking in the new dock


The lake levels are about as high as they go as we have had more and more rain


Rain and sun and floating with unicorns…. does not get better than that


Only thing better is getting your dad to grab a pink float and float with you.


Yep there is some definite relaxing going on.  Those are some very relaxed feet!IMG_4907

Steve has been prepping the gate for putting the top back on.  Thursday is the day it all goes back together again


While relaxing it is fun to have a cloudy cool day for an excuse to go shopping at the Saint Germain Flea Market on Monday mornings.  Somehow I ended up being the only one spending money and the girls helped me carry it out.  The best deal was the wonderful wicker rocker I scored for 35 bucks.  Saint Germain Flea Market is an experience everyone needs on Mondays all summer long


My only problem is when the office follows and I have to text or return messages while trying to get out of the flea market in one piece while carrying a chair.  This is called multitasking


Peaceful week at the resort.  We still have next Thursday and Friday June 30th and 1st open on a cabin if you want a quick get away.  July 29 – August 5th Bear Den is open and then we are booked out til August 26th


I had this very nice note given to me by a very happy little girl named Mary.  She made my day.  She is the 4th generation of her family to come to the resort.  She is the sister of the baby I had on the blog the other day


We discovered our new favorite cool summer treat place.  Hawaiian shaved ice.  It is wonderful.  Puts snow cones to shame.  It is in Woodruff before the movie theatre on 51.  It used to be a Chicago Hot Dog place


All the flavors to choose from.  I got mine with a snow cap, which is sweetened condensed milk.  Divine!


Mine was a raspberry lemonade.  On a hot day it hit the spot


Troy went with the medium size strawberry and cotton candy


Stop in to see Bob the Hawaiian expert ice maker

We got his punch card and will have no trouble filling it for a free one.  We have been back twice already


Back to work at the resort.  We had our first load of wood delivered by a tree removal service.  They have been busy cutting trees off houses from the storm last week and have lots of wood to sell.  Lots of work to do for us, but breaks at the ice shack make it worth while