Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

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The holiday is over and so is the snow temporarily.  Cold temps and more snow is in the forecast.  This picture will be changing very soon


The resort is empty and that means the guys have quickly invaded for a project.  Wigwam is getting some new windows.  Much more energy efficient and easier to clean.  The old ones were a pain to take out and did not get washed as often as they should have.


Back side of the cabin with  new bedroom and bathroom windows.  We are hoping to order two more for the first two bedrooms but have had a small snafu in the ordering….  Craig’s favorite window maker has sadly passed away and now we have to find a new window source unless his family is taking over


Lots of discussion going on…


Good time to clean behind them with all the beds moved out of the way.

What project is next?  I am hearing Holiday’s new floor has been ordered and they are heading to Holiday next week


We had many families up this week giving thanks and spending time together

The Robinson family spent their 3rd Thanksgiving with us.  They have enjoyed the resort in just about every season now

Barb Hanagan was up with all the rest of the Urbaniak families.  She was enjoying some quiet moments putting this puzzle together before cooking.  I have seen many folks put this puzzle together it is a favorite


Barb’s sister, Sue with all of her family of Urbaniaks.  Sue and Ron and their kids have spent many Thanksgivings at the resort playing games and enjoying cooking.  This year they had a small change moving to Norway.  See you next June in Kaubashine!


Then there is the Naperville Urbaniaks.  I caught Claude ready to carve the turkey.  Everyone else was in full relaxation mode before heading down to join Ron and Sue and Barb and all the rest of the family in Norway.  Leave the knife in Wigwam Claude.  Never arrive at the relatives with a carving knife in hand

Claude and Leslie had their picture book of vacations spent the resort dating back to 1993.  Lots of fun times and this was their first Thanksgiving at the resort joining Ron and Sue

Our new family for Thanksgiving the Gutierrez’s.  Spent lots of time enjoying the snow and the quiet of the resort

The Evans crew was up for the 18th year deer hunting on our land across from the resort.  They are responsible for the deer stands you see on our hiking trail.  They saw lots of doe this year but no bucks yet.  The game was on and time to sit back and wait of the turkey to cook


The Walstad guys were just getting their turkey in the oven when I stopped by.  They are on their 3rd year staying with us and hunting public land in the area


The Finn Family with lots to be Thankful for down at Bear Den.  Some might remember George and Kelly’s wedding at the resort a year ago in October.  Lots of good times with this family on Lower Kaubashine


Paul and Pam Zaremba with their kids Danny, Steven, and Lauren and of course Oscar in the middle.  They were having a very thankful and special year staying in Craig’s cabin, Blackwood down the road.  As of January 1st they will be the happy new owners of the cabin that we will continue to take care of for them.  Lots of happy smiles with this family enjoying their first of many years of Thanksgivings in their own piece of the Northwoods.  Congrats on buying Blackwood!  Hope to see you up enjoying it as often as you can.  Craig gave Paul instructions on how to drain and close up the cabin… stay tuned for May to see if he got it right


We were thankful to have all of our boys together for Thanksgiving and some Game of Thrones around the dinning room table.  Jake and Ben were both home from college from Saint Norbert and Lawrence.  Grant was happy to have two others to help wipe the dishes


Thanksgiving morning the new snow on the lake was begging me to go down and take some pics.  Enjoy it was beautiful out

There was one boat left in the water and I headed out in it with my camera
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The lighting at sunset was beautiful this week.  Every season has its beauty you just have to look for it



The guys had some time to day to pick off a project.  Today’s project was cutting down this red pine next to Restawhile.  It was dead and they were preventing damage in a storm


First things first, taking down the laundry line.  How many towels has this tree helped to dry over the years.  Anyone who is missing their laundry line in the spring please remember this picture.  Steve has a thing for taking down laundry lines in the fall


Taking out the first cut in the old tree


Troy and Ben down the hill ready to pull the tree and run when it comes crashing down in their directions


Going for the upper cut


Almost ready to pull it over


Snap crack and…..


Down she comes.  Troy and Ben got out of the way in time.  The video of this tree crashing is on the Facebook page for Black’s Cliff if you want to check it out


They made quick work of the tree clean up


All ready for summer firepit fires next summer




Winter arrived this weekend.  We saw everything from 50 degree temps, to hail and then snow and cold


I spent two days at a craft fair with Christmas music playing.  I do still have some Christmas Stockings that are 50 each with names put on.  Socks, scarves and glove supply is slowly going down.  If you need some for Christmas send an email or text message to 715 892 1630 and I will send pics of what we have left


Happy to have the wood pile ready for winter


Steps to the beach did not have many foot prints in them


Not a lot of campfires this weekend.  Most folks were in the cabins keeping warm.  We had several groups of deer hunters headed out to the woods as well this weekend


Where will your road lead you this winter?


November has its own special feel at the resort.  Each season offers its own beauty you just have to look for it



Right now 1 boat left in the water


All others flipped over and ready for winter



November means septic cleaning time.  No worries the truck is just here for a couple of days and all is covered back up and life is good again.  Nothing gathers the Black family around a hole quite like a septic truck in the driveway


Steve and Troy have been working on a few last before winter projects.  The gas shed got some siding beautification.  I know Craig in Arizona will enjoy this picture.  What other resort beautifies their gas shed?


Continuing on from the fireplace warnings from a week ago.  This is another site that I see way to often that scares me.  Fireplaces are not a place to use charcoal lighter fluid.  The damage that can be done by this is crazy.  We supply plenty of kindling an paper in the cabin and out at our wood shed.  Please do not combined these two things.  Besides the dangerous fumes when it burns off the lighter fluid burns too  fast to get the fire going.  Please, please, please may this be the last picture I ever take of lighter fluid by a fireplace


Most folks know I make socks on my circular sock machines.  Many knitters out there are yarn addicts that buy way more yarn than they will ever be able to use in the life time.  If you have a bag or just skeins of sock yarn you don’t want to suffer with turning a heel bring it up to me and I will run it through my machines for 12 dollars a pair.  Time to clean out your cupboards and bring your extra sock yarn on vacation and return home with socks made out of it.


Back to enjoying the quiet of November

We are now full for Thanksgiving weekend.  We do have openings for Christmas to New Years.  Put a sign on the door to the relatives that you are gone for the holidays and need up north for a stress free time in a cabin.  No relatives allowed unless invited



This beautiful shot of the moon over Lower Kaubashine was taken by my neighbor Medicine Man Joe across the lake.  Thanks Joe for sharing!!

Meanwhile at the wood shed…..  Troy is filling up the one side

Steve has been busy making kindling to get us through the winter and start all those fires in the cabins.

More excitement to come this week with the arrival of our favorite fall truck!  Yep the excitement builds for the arrival of the septic cleaning truck.  Troy has all the septics dug up to be cleaned.  Nothing makes our family gather together quite like the smell of the septics being opened.  Thankfully they will be covered up by the weekend, no fears

We do have one cabin left for Thanksgiving Red Pine.  I am running a special on it for 200/night up to 6 or 265/night up to 10

Christmas reservations are coming in steadily.  If you were thinking of coming to the resort over the Holidays don’t wait to make those reservations things are filling up.  I do have a special on Shamrock for up to Dec 26th at 180/night for up to 4 or 200/night up to 6


Penny says….  Steve has been up to something….  Dragging me to Menards with the truck, lots of noisy bangs, dropping a bucket of paint and barely missing me….. ignoring me and my needs for him to constantly throw a ball for my entertainment while up on ladders


Menards trip was for the remaining roofing shingles needed to complete Shamrock.  It has been warm out and Steve and Troy have been getting a few things knocked off the list that we thought would be spring projects.  Shamrock seems to be the cabin benefiting the most


Next thing you know it is almost 60 degrees and the stain bucket comes out.  He also got all the trim around the screens that has been on the to do list since the to do list was created.  Missing pic is the 1/4 bucket of stain sailing out of Steve’s hands and Penny ducking and avoiding being turned into a brown dog


That was a close call.  Now about my ball and throwing it….




Beautiful November days at the resort



November is here all the boats are out of the water and things are getting ready for winter.

Sad to see all the green boats all stacked up but happy to not have to bail them anymore


I am posting this picture as a lesson for all.  I went to turn off Muskie Inn today after a group left.  They very nicely cleaned out their fireplace before they left.  The problem is the left the ashes next to the building.  You can barely see the smoke that is coming out of the bucket.  The ashes were smoldering and about to put those small chunks of wood left in the bucket on fire.  The next thing that would have happened is the fire would jump to the side of the cabin.  We almost lost Kaubashine to a similar senerio 10 years ago.  When we got to Kaubashine we had flames going up the side of the cabin and the fire department got here in time to get things under control

The lesson in this picture is ALL ashes no matter if you think they are out or not should never be stored anywhere near a building.  That is why our garbage cans are located across the driveway from the cabins.  We have metal garbage cans for the ashes to go in.  One spark is all it takes.  This is a picture I hope to not see again.  I am using this picture to teach others with this blog entry.  Many of our guests do not have fireplaces at home and are just not aware of how dangerous this picture is


On a happier note it was a beautiful weekend and we did have a few folks roll some of our boats at the lake into the water for one last boat ride

Next weekend we do have several openings beginning at 130/night for Bayview and Shamrock will be on special of 150/night for up to 4 people.  Kaubashine, Wigwam, Norway, Muskie, Holiday, Bear Den and Red Pine are all open.  Give a call if interested in escaping.  With the stress of the elections it might just be what many need to avoid looking at the TV for a couple of days


It is Halloween and the resort feels like a ghost town.  It is the first time the resort has been empty since May 1. Many many people have come through our doors since then and you can hear the sounds of screen doors slamming but for now they are silent.. Til tomorrow when the first guest for next weekend arrives

Definitely has that empty feeling

The last of the motors made it out of the lake today.  There has been some upgrading of motor comments made.  I think folks next spring and summer will enjoy what we were talking about today

Last of the pontoons came out.  Notice that nice Evinrude Etch motor on the back of the boat.  We sure like new Evinrude motors…..

Special this weekend November 4th, Norway and Kaubashine reduced from 190/night to 150/night for groups up to 4  Give a call if interested 715 356 3018