Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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



When Craig goes shopping, Craig goes shopping.  He is the only one I know of that requires a semi to deliver his goodies.



Lets just say Menards loves him and we now have enough patio block for a couple of years.  Where will it go?  It is not completely decided but he got a great deal.  That is when I know I am in trouble when a conversation starts with “I got a great deal”  I know a semi is on its way

The back end of the truck on top has ice shield to go up on Kaubashine and Shamrock porch roofs to prevent leaking.  Craig thinks he has come up with the solution for those flat roofs that like to spring a leak or 2 in rain storms, and he got a “Great Deal”



Troy and Steve getting the first area ready for patio block down at Red Pine.



Frequent followers of the blog will remember a entry I did about French windows and my love hate relationship with them.  If you ever think about owning a resort and everything you have to know to run a resort put french window maintenance on the list.  We do not have nearly as many of these windows as we used to.  Most of them are confined to our house, Birchwood and Eagles Nest.  The few that are left are enough….  They are mostly from the 30′s and need TLC to keep going.  Taking out the old putty, reapplying it and repainting the window



This pane was in our house and cracked for the past 5 years.  Finally taking the time to take care of it.  Getting the putty just right to make it past the grand master of puttying standards.  Tomorrow will be painting day.  Puttying and painting windows is an endless project.  Make sure it is a skill you can do if you think of running a resort and fishing in your spare time.  Fishing in your spare time…..  hmmm that would mean there is spare time when running a resort…..  Has anyone spotted a member of the Black Family fishing…. that is a question…

Back to unloading that semi



Color peaking through at Bear Den




View from Red Pine on a quiet afternoon




Less people means time for projects




Red Pine is getting some stone walk ways around the house










The reason for not a lot of blog entries this weekend was we took Jake back for year 2 at Lawrence University.  Good luck Jake study hard of it is back to work bailing out boats



We received yet another 2 inches of rain and the lake is on the rise again.  It is now a high or higher than it was this summer and ready to go over the dock



Beach wall barely keeping the water at bay.  Thankfully no big ski boats are out on the lake bringing in waves



The little blue docks though are under water



Troy improvised using a chair to hold the pallets in place til the lake goes back down



The boats are almost floating over the docks



Loon out in the misty lake enjoying some fishing



Happy to see the water heading out the creek at Hilltop.  Again this is the highest the creek has been.  Tom is making sure to keep the creek flowing



Troy and I had not been out to Kitty Springs in awhile and decided to head down the trail and see if we had any storm damage or trees down.  The top of the big hill half way to Kitty Springs is my favorite outlook with the big towering Red and White Pines along the trail



Still a lot of muskrat fence can be found left from the 40′s when the land was a muskrat farm.  We are slowly cleaning it out of the land but it is a long project



Views of the spring which will only get better as the fall leaves change



Heading down the last part of the trail which is the prettiest and worth the walk



Sit back and enjoy the view.  If you have never hiked our blue trail to Kitty Springs you need to take the time next time you are at the resort.  It will be a snowshoe trail before too long



Migrating birds stop by as well at the spring


On the way back we spotted lots of mushrooms.  I do not pretend to know anything about them.  Not sure what kind this is



Had a pretty top.  Mushrooms were bursting out all over the trail



I know this is a common mushroom but again I do not know the type



Steve took some time a couple of weeks ago to clear out an area by the bog along the orange trail.  He cleared out a spit of land that goes out into the bog.  The spit might  have been a railroad spur that was used to get logs out back in the 1900′s.  We have found several spurs like that out into swamp land in other parts of our land.  At the end of the orange trail check out Steve’s spur



In other news the guys were over at Kaubashine with the tools.  They broke up the cement slab in front of the cabin and put in a wider wood stair



Is that all she does, walk around with a camera?



In the process of digging around the cabin step Steve found this old fork



It was silver of some type.  I think it has seen the end of its days.  You  never know what  you will find digging around the resort


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It was a beautiful sunset on Lower Kaubashine



Seagull hanging on the raft wondering where everyone went



What did those Thompsons leave behind to munch on?





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We had over 5 inches of rain come down.  It was quite a storm.  Missing picture is guests huddled in our basement who came running when hail hit.  Pictures of Troy and I bailing out the boats twice between storms.  Mack cowering in the basement from the lightening.  Cleaning 3 cabins with no electricity, generator pulled out to run a treble light and the vacuum cleaner.



Once the storm rolled through it was time to pass out the candles



By the end of the day we had 4 generators running fridges, lights and the water in the resort.  It just took us a while to get all the cords and splitters out.  We did not loose electric much this summer and had not pulled everything out in awhile



The hum of the generator kept everyone happy.



The lat power cord of the day passed out to Horst to run his TV for the Thursday night Packer Game.  We could have auctioned off this cord to the highest bidder.  Horst’s family has been with us 17 years for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.  His parents used to own a resort on Lake McCormack on County Y.  Horst grew up bailing boats and selling worms

I also sadly have to tell everyone Woody Woodruff passed away today from a heart attack.  Woody owned Twisted Root Emporium and Loon Land Traders in Minocqua.  Everyone locals and tourists were sure to know him.  He always had a smile on his face and was known for walking barefoot around his store.  The last time I saw him was at a chamber advertising meeting.  He was wearing a Scottish kilt to the meeting because he had just done an interview to promote a show at the Campinelle Center.  Woody helped and was the driving force to get the Center up and running.  He is going to be badly missed in Minocqua.  He was one of those special people in the community that always volunteered and got things done. RIP Woody




Labor Day Weekend fun, the Oster and Ament families were up enjoying the lake and the last beach days.  They would like everyone else the last week of July to know they were missed and a toast was given to them on the white dock.  There are a lot of  days clocked by this group.  To many years to count.  Jamie’s grandfather goes back to I think the Elmhurst days with Maynard and Jackie’s dad Jack also dates back to the 50′s.  I am sure they will correct me and someday I will tell the whole story.  Just know there are many summers clocked in by this group in the same spot on the dock and in the same chairs



The Minkin family was enjoying their 3rd Labor Day weekend at the resort.  They need a few more members to sink the raft as the Oster/Thompson/Christian/Berchtold familes do the last week of July.  See you all next year



Lots of fun being had on the lake.  Roy in the background keeping all his kids and nephews and nieces happy with tubing rides.  Everyone lived to see the end of the day



Fishing, never ever enough fishing for this guy



Horst and Marie enjoying watching all the kids ski and tub.  After all the rain this weekend everyone has happy to soak up some sun



Troy trying to figure out how to get in a wayward boat that was floating in the shoreline.  Could he do it without getting wet?





Almost there….



Well that was too easy



Back to the dock



Just happy he did not run into the bees nest at the end of this branch.  It was bobbing in the wind in the middle of the picture.



A great end to a wonderful Labor Day Weekend



Charlie and Noah crashed on their first night of sleeping on a swinging bed.  They usually stay in Bear Den in July where there is no swinging bed.  Noah voted to stay in Norway from now on with the Swinging bed.  Charlie is more a creature of habit and voted for Bear Den with the ping pong table.  Never fear boys both will be waiting for you anytime you come up.  Til then make your parents life easier and sleep in til 8am just like you did on the swinging bed.  Yes Charlie I am talking to you Mr. 5 am



I stopped by Shamrock to find the Peissig family having a carving lesson.  I see lots of groups whittling sticks around the campfire and what this family was doing gave whittling a whole new dimension



Don showing off some of his great creations.  Wonderful work!



This was their first of hopefully many trips to the resort


Dan and Kaitlin are in their 4th year returning to the resort.  They spent their honeymoon at the resort 4 years ago and have returned each year.  This year was extra special as Marcus joined them.  Dan ordered up 3 stockings for the expanding family that they picked up while here

Just a reminder Christmas is around the corner.  I have atleast one of each stocking done at the moment but that will probably not last for long.  If you are thinking of some for Christmas they are 48 each including the name and can be shipped for 5 dollars an order



The Greer Family traveled all the way from Pennsylvania for their first trip to Northern Wisconsin.



Jan, Betsy and Caprice enjoyed another week in the Northwoods together.   Jan has been coming for 5 years to the resort but has been in the Northwoods for many more than that since she was a kid going to her Grandma’s cabin on Lake Tomahawk.  Betsy has clocked in over 10 years of knitting on the porch.  Caprice was born in the Northwoods and was a Minocqua Bat from 1964 – 1974.  Her kids also were all Minocqua Bats.  Returning to the Northwoods to share stories, time, coffee and knitting gives them all big smiles.  They can also be caught in their Pj’s running from one cabin to the others usually with knitting needles trailing behind.  See you next year!



The Pizorski kids in their 3rd year increasing their pinball skills.



Nothing is better for a Labor Day end of summer treat quite like a pizza and Kaubashine Cooler at Hilltop



Our local loon family was active this morning off of Kaubashine’s dock area.  The loons pair and the baby were fishing.  Enjoy the pics.  The baby is still in gray plumage













Do we really need to migrate to the Gulf of Mexico?  Winter can’t be too hard here…

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Pipa above is at the resort for the first time with her grandparents.  She was getting ready to go out bluegill fishing with her grandpa and dad.  She was putting style into fishing on Lower Kaubashine.



Pippa was of going in the pink canoe and determined as anyone to catch a big fish!



We had a good storm last night and that ment time to bail the boats out.  Jake is ready to go back to college after helping bail half of the lake out of the boats this morning



Gonna be a great warm end of summer day at the resort

1958 Craig raking


I have been of course historically corrected on this picture.  Craig let me know the bedroom on the right was enclosed by him.  It used to be a small porch that held the ice, ice box.  Back in the day when ice was used to keep fridges cold it was stored on the back porch.  I am also guessing there was a station on the porch for washing dishes.  Correction made.  He also confirmed that Jack Thompson was who was pictured at the cook out pic from yesterday