Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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



We headed out on a family day before school starts adventure.  Jake had been to Cathedral Point in Boulder Junction before and told us about this great rope swing we could go to.  We waited for the right weather and everyone off of work and it worked out to be the day before school started.  Perfect.  Catherdral Point is by the ranger station on County M on the way to Boulder on Trout Lake


We walked through beautiful pines and had lunch looking out at the lake.  Now to get to the rope swing….  It was across the channel.  We had to swim to it.  Jake left out that part of the description when he talked about going.  I later learned that the channel in front of us was 90 feet deep and had a bit of a current and wind.  I would recommend others that you bring along floatation devices or a small boat to go along with on the swim.  We swam across and were fine but it was more of a swim than we were prepared for.  It was nice to have Ben the lifeguard along just in case



We made it across to the rope swing and let the fun begin



Yaaaaa Hoooooooo.  The water below the swing is very deep.  Just hold on and let go



Jake going up the steps a bit higher



Here was my face plant in the lake.  I did the swing and thankfully this is the only picture Troy took and I am happy with that



THe boys got more and more daring



Going for twists and turns



It was the perfect end of summer thing to do



On the way back we played it a bit safe and took a log along for the ride.  Ben and Grants propeller legs got us all across.  Years of  swim club, high school swim team and life guard training are all in this picture



I forgot to post this picture a couple of weeks ago of the first pop tops being dropped off for next summers pop top collection for Ronald McDonald.  Thanks for Barb and John Ellis for collecting and bringing tops for next July’s pop top collection for the Chu girls.  All will be delivered to the Ronald McDonald House by the girls next summer.  So bring your pop tops when you come to the resort



You will make 4 girls very happy



and help to fill the  wheel barrow



End of summer and 4th trip to the mechanic with the boat and FINALLY we have it!  Took til the end of summer but the old boat is finally working the way it should.  Took all summer and 4 trips in out of the lake to get it but I can now say it is working as well as it every did.  With one improvement an electric start vs. hand pulling the 40 horse.  The boat shifts right and has enough power to get everyone up on skis.  We had our doubts this summer.  Especially when I was stuck in reverse out from shore and could not get it in forward



A paddle will be staying in the boat for awhile, just in case



Everyone who had been waiting to get up on skis was up without any problem.  Ben testing out his rusty skiing skills.



Not much different from my Uncle Dave skiing back in the day in the early 60′s

1960 Pat on Daves shoulders


Uncle Dave took skiing to another level.  The girls were happy to take a loop around the lake with him.  This was before the ski show was the ski show.  We had our own show with Uncle Dave at the lake each day.  My boys have something to work towards

1960 Pat and Dave


Uncle Dave trying out Minocqua Bat moves before the Bats did



Having fun on Lower Kaubashine.  ”Don’t worry mom we will take good care of the boat….. just going out to jump waves”



We had a visitor by Birchwood who seemed a little lost



I can’t check in and try out a swinging bed?



No back to the lake with you where you belong before the dog decides to have duck soup for dinner




With temps in the mid 50′s and rain for the last 3 days it was so nice to see the sun today.  Everyone in the resort is putting away their sweat shirts, hats and coats and taking out their swim suits and headed to the beach today.  Coming out of hibernation.  There was lots of fires, and games played inside the last few days.  Time to get out of hibernation mode and enjoy the outside



My buddies the seagulls were the first to the raft today



The yellow ball in the sky came out and the views were amazing



Seagulls knew everyone was headed to the raft and took off to the other side of the lake



I did not notice the cloud reflection in this pic til I downloaded it.  Taking good pictures has nothing to do with skill sometimes it is just random chance that when you take lots of them a good one jumps out at you once in awhile.  The lake water is not quite as clear as it was a couple of weeks ago.  The colder temps have made it a little murky but still pretty clear

Off to enjoy the day



We have had a couple of days of big wind coming through.  The wind was so intense it blew the raft away from the swimming area.  The seagulls on the raft don’t seem to mind.  This group of them has been on the raft lately more than people.  We were just lucky to keep most of the chairs on the dock in the wind



Lined up on the raft



Taking off as we approach in a boat to move the raft back



One of the other interesting jobs of the summer is going on missing boat detail.  With all the big ski boats on the lake kicking up big waves, our boat hooks keep being broken and the boats go and visit the neighbors.  Everyone on the lake knows if a green boat or one with a name on it comes drifting  by their dock that it belongs to the resort



Troy contemplating a dry way of getting in the boat



In the end he ended up taking off his shoes and going in after the boat who’s motor was hung up on the shallow sand.  Just another day at the office



It has been a rainy week and the sun finally came out and caught all the greens in the gardens by Birchwood





The seagulls have been gathering on the raft



Slowly they all left









Where did they all go?



Gone.  Better not be any left overs from those birds on the raft or there will be an official complaint made



FIrst of all the really good news for most people.  Most people being anyone who does not have to truthfully tell their boss that we do not have internet in the cabins and they can’t do any work on vacation.  Now you can!  From Eagles Nest to Norway Pines we have high speed internet.  Never thought I would be able to type those words.  This week we went through a major internet upgrade.  We had the guys from Northwoods Connect a local internet company with a tower in the area they just put up.  Thankfully that tower is with in range of the resort.  We now have a couple of internet receivers on Muskie, Wildflower and our house that are broadcasting to all the cabins.  There is no going from one router to the other they are all the same.  Everyone has 5 bars of internet inside their cabins and Eagles Nest has 4 bars.  I have a lady in Eagles Nest streaming a soccer game this week at the cabin and she is doing it with no problem.  If everyone in the resort decides to stream at one time, there might be an issue on speed, but so far so good.  I have yet to hear how far out on the lake we are broadcasting.  Kim Flower may get it at her house on the other side of the lake.

If you still want to hide from the boss on vacation I will back you up with the boss and tell him there is not internet or phone if you need it



The Eastern Black Family was here this week and one of our family traditions is boat wars.  The younger 2nd cousins were clamoring for it

The boats were lined up, buckets were found and everyone grabbed a boat



Grant, Jake and Sam circling for the best spot



Warming up the bucket and testing the aim.

One rule is no bailing your boat.  If you have water in your boat you are stuck with it



And the war starts!  There is no mercy



In the end all the boats were sunk and there was a bit of cheating going on, but everyone had fun




It has been a beautiful week of warm weather and sandcastles



We had some low hanging big clouds that were chased off by the sun



It made for some great pics to make Paul happy for his screen saver.










The resort is full but the beach was strangely quiet yesterday.  Beautiful weather!



Kicking back on the dock just one family.  I think I know them…..



Great day for not big ski boats but paddle boats and paddle boards



Or a nap in the bushes



Some of my favorite girls of summer were at the resort this week.  Norah and Marin Chu for the last 4 years have collected pop tops for Ronald McDonald House while at the resort on vacation.  They remind everyone at the beginning of the week to put their pop tops out on their steps on Friday and they will collect them and the group with the most gets a bag of taffy.  Many of the folks this week have started collecting all year.  The girls get more and more of them each year and take them home to their Ronald McDonald House



John Thompson used a wheel barrow to bring his to the girls.  Some of these tops were collected by Leo Hodes who trades extra credit on math assignments for his students to bring in pop tops.  John really collected a haul this year



We added in the bag of tops that guests other weeks brought for the girls.  Several ladies dropped them this year, Murry Hixson, Barb Moore and Ruth Grady are the ones I remember.  There were others.  If you are headed to the resort and have some tops to add for next year for the girls please bring them along and I will be collecting them again

John and I headed down the driveway with the loot for the girls



We got down to the girls who were all smiles along with their other sisters, cousin and friends.  It has become quite the resort event every year and thanks to all who contributed



Heading off to Eagles Nest to figure out how to fit all the tops in the van



Cause they are not a family of 2 girls but 4.  Hillary and Lydia joined in, in the wheel barrow.  There was talk of what they might have to leave behind to find room in the van with this wonderful family of six and one golden lab.  Their smiles are great and we will all start collecting again.  See you next year girls!

Ronald McDonald Houses are wonderful charities.  Troy and I spent a week at one of their houses and will always appreciate the help we received from them at a difficult time.


Just another day at the office for Troy.  Headed out to do some work



Locking down the anchor to the raft after negotiating the traffic to get to work



Almost got it!



Meanwhile back at the beach it is a dog’s life.  Mack surveying the work



He realizes I am making fun of him

Resort 1970 Dock Bill Rindell


Old beach picture of then day.  Bill Rindell is out at the end of the dock.  Ard Price who was the original owner of Red Pine I think is sitting in the chair.



Back to the beach today.  Leah and Eliza enjoying a paddle boat ride



The Chu girls seeing who’s feet hit the peddles



Howard and Jenz not far away if the girls needed help.  They were diving searching the depths for treasures.  Out by the raft if you look enough you will find an old model T engine.  Not sure how ti got there but I get reports from divers every year that it is still out there



Meanwhile back to fishing.  I think this is one of the latest generations of Thompson family catching a big fish



Cheryl Thompson teaching how to put a worm on a hook and take a fish off



Things much calmer by the end of the day.  Kathy in the green shirt along with her friends Becky and Dana wanted to give a shout out to Sara and Jordan who are at home working.  Next year girls or Becky and Dana will happily join Kathy again in Birchwood



And another day ends at Black’s Cliff with a campfire with the Eberle and Rynearson families.  Perfect ending!