Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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



After a long few weeks of getting the resort ready we were tired on Friday and Katie stopped by catching us relaxing.  She made some comment about when she was a kid there was no standing around……



It was time to go down the road to Hilltop for the first Kaubashine Cooler of the summer with Mary Ellen.  Love Kaubashine Coolers!  Perfect end of the week



Lots of folks at the resort this weekend hanging out with family and playing more soccer  with their grandson than knee says he should.  Fun times bad knee and all



Lots of fishing in kayaks



Some sock making on the deck



Back to work tightening up a clamp on the dock at 6pm.  Just what the boys wanted to do Saturday night.  Lots of complaints of the water temp and the need to do homework instead of being in the lake



Pontoon boat got cleaned and almost ready to get in the lake.  Early Memorial and late snow caused them to not making it in, in time for the weekend



Had to finish up the weekend with a trip to the Black Bear Bar on Hwy 70 for one of their famous pizzas



I did not know it but they have fish fry every day not just Fridays.



Famous pizza menu



The pizza did not disappoint and was a nice end of the weekend.  Back to work Monday cleaning cabins and getting those darn pontoon boats in the water finally.



Leaves are still popping out.  They are only about 1/2 out.  It is nice to see the woods greening up again as Memorial Day Weekend approaches



It is time to get the big white dock in.  Craig has put this dock in and out for 57 years.  Some of the stringers date back to his father Maynard back in 1957 when he built the dock.  Lots of things have been replaced on this dock over the years probably several times, but other than replacing things it has not changed much

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The only pic I could find of Maynard on the dock with his pet deer Susie

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My grandma Millie, showing off her legs with the dock in the background.  Not much changes

IMG_1333  click here and see if a video loads.  Not sure if it works or not



Slowly working out from shore making sure to get things in order



One of the secrets, number the boards when you take them out.  Also never, never use straight nails



Which section goes next?



Don’t ask us you were supposed to know



Out goes the dock and nothing changes.  All the waders have a leak at the moment

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But in the end everyone is happy it is in from 1957 to



The dock has held lots of memories and good times.  Always precious time shared with friends and family.  As the commerical says “priceless”



I post the pretty picture first.  If you look closely at those water drips they look a bit more solid that you usually see



Because an hour earlier they were in the form of white

Thankfully it will be 64 tomorrow and not more of this stuff is seen in the forecast


I am in the swimming area and there is something missing….. docks, slide,raft,  boats……


Did I pick the right waders?  Is that a leak by my right foot…..  Dang Steve got the leaky waders this year.  Troy is happy and smiling in the new waders he smartly claimed before Steve made it to the beach



Meeting of the minds on what to put in next.  Notice Craig is the only one not in waders



Putting everything back together like tinker toys



Craig commenting on how warm he is out of the water in the sun.  Steve just smiles as he drops a bolt in the lake and reaches in the cold water to get it.  Troy remembers too late that the lake magnet for dropped bolts is at the top of the steps.



More jobs being done.  Muskie Inn has turned into screened door repair station.  Both Birchwood and Muskie’s doors getting some new screen and a coat of paint



Meanwhile Craig goes shopping with the truck and has to make 2 trips to town with the truck.  Thankfully a semi is not needed to drop off his purchases.  A new dock for his house is on the truck.  Great deal he says.



Two new paddle boats still wrapped in plastic were in the 2nd load.  These are destined for the resort beach.  The paddle boats that were at the beach are headed to Bear Den and Red Pine and their paddle boats are headed to retirement at Steve’s garage sale later this month.  Yeah to new paddle boats!  Let summer begin


These pics are for Ruth who is arriving in a week to Eagles Nest.  Hope these get you through the week Ruth.  Your pier is waiting for you.  Mike and Carmella too





Meanwhile I am going to work on spring cleaning and cleaning out Eagles Nest.  Certain squirrels I know sneak over and store lots of stuff in Eagles Nest during the winter when it is not used.  Squirrels are named Craig and Steve

For anyone interested I just heard of a house going for sale on the lake that is not listed with a realtor yet but will be soon.  It is Johnson’s house between the resort and Bear Den.  It is right next door to Bear Den.  If anyone is interested contact Jeff and Diane Johnson at   Craig also has a lot for sale right next to Johnson’s for added privacy


Cliff has spent the last few weeks drying out after taking a plunge into Lower Kaubashine for the 2015 Ice Out Contest.  One of the winners showed up to collect their winnings


Lyndsey was happy to see Cliff had made it out of the water and not gotten sick after his long sit on the ice.  There were quite a few laughs as she was presented with her half of the ice out pot of 42 dollars.  Jimmy Cikowski has to stop by and see Cliff for his winnings as well when he comes at the end of the month

Lyndsey stopped out at the Looney Bin gift shop to get some gloves and socks with her winnings before taking her big trip out to the Cascade Mountains.  We will miss you in this part of the country and I know your mom will too.  Good luck and safe travels.  Watch out for guys who look like Cliff


Small advertisement for the Looney Bin.  Scarves have been flying off the sock maker


The new infinity scarves all cranked out by the Gibson boys and Troy.  They love nothing more than cranking out a scarf for mom.  Stop and see the latest colors.  There is something for everyone


Quite a few dish clothes are done at the moment.  Some with designs in them  Lady Bug, dragon fly and humming bird.  The dragon fly is surrounded by dots which are mosquitos.


Cabin, sunflower and frog   The cabin is already sold and I will be making another soon.  Ask to see the designs and make an order when at the resort.  These are all 5 dollars.  My regular square clothes are all 3 dollars without a design



You never know what designs and colors will show up at the Looney Bin.  It has been a long winter stop in and see.  Things are always changing



My college room mates from UW River Falls arrived for our annual weekend remembering all the crazy times at River Falls and since graduating all our crazy get togethers.  Great group of ladies!  Jan our fearless red headed leader was the only one missing.  Next year Jan.



Fun times from Johanna trying to unsnag a fishing pole….



Trying unsuccessfully to have a dry dog



Heading off for a boat ride.  Do we need life preservers?



See you around the lake!



Making a scarf on the sock maker



Of course at least one campfire with atleast one dog at all times



The perfect marshmellow by Mary



Fun times  around the campfire



Games in the cabin.  YamSlam seen above can be found at Imaginuity in town



See you all next year and Jan better make it or we are going to all drive down and kidnap her and take her to the cabin


I took these pictures last night arriving back to the resort from picking Jake up at college in Appleton.  Spend a day driving through cities and cement jungles and you appreciate this view more



Jake being away from the resort for 2 months says he can feel the difference in the air quality between here and the fox valley by Green Bay where he goes to school.  I hear it all the time from guests getting out of the car and taking their first breath of fresh Northwoods air.  We take it for granted living here.  Jake shared with me a link to the American Lung Association study looking at air quality by county.  Our county did not report Oneida, but Vilas the county just to our North got an A in the study.

So when you get to the resort and step out and take that first breath of fresh air, know it is not your imagination it is grade A air you are breathing.  It is also credited by many of our guests sleeping with windows open or on a swinging bed to help them sleep better.  Not your imagination



All peaceful on Lower Kaubashine this afternoon.  Peeper frogs peeping, loons calling and the hum of mosquitos just hatching can be heard.



Time to sit at the bench at the lake an enjoy a few peaceful minutes.  No boats on the lake all was quiet… except for loons, frogs and mosquitos



Back to work solving the puzzle of where did we put all the canoe and kayak paddles for the winter.  Answer under a pile of cushions in Eagles Nest



Spray painting a few firepits



Pulling the first of the beach chairs out of storage for painting.  It seems each year there is one or two more of these chairs



John Deere Gator doing circles around the resort with Troy getting this and that fixed.  Always with tools hanging off the back



But then time to catch a few more moments in the freshly stained wood chairs and enjoy the view past the freshly painted white rails.

Feeling accomplishment as it all slowly comes together


These chairs are calling your name.  Can you hear it?



Back to painting and getting the resort ready for this weekend.  We have only 3 cabins left if you heard the call of the chairs.  Wildflower, Norway and Red Pine