Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


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


If you have never gone on a swamp tour with Steve it is quite an experience.  Steve loves our bog and stream area down the road from the resort.  He periodically takes other swamp folks down to play in his back yard.

Steve learned his love of the swamp from our mom Trudy who was also known to take guests on hikes in the bog and introduce them to Pitcher Plants and what they eat.  People still tell tales of going out in the bog with her


Of his favorite things to do is to open the culvert between two sides.  The culvert gets filled with junk and needs to be cleaned out.  This usually involves a gush of water out the other end…  I heard a few turtles and snakes erupted along with a bunch of water.  Katie’s boys, Bella and cousins Will and John could not have been happier


Hanging out in Kaubashine creek looking for minnows usually involves figuring out how to get across the creek


There are those that take the dry way….


And those that take the road less traveled with their minnow traps in hand


Fun was had by all the cousins.  TIme to head back and tell the tales of the snake in the culvert to make their moms squirm


A good day with family in the northwoods.


We had an extremely wet week last week.  We tried to keep the boats dry but got caught in a downpour at the lake a few times


Steve has been busy getting the gate poles ready to go back up.  We are hoping to have the new gate up this week


Channel 12 news was out at the resort doing an interview about Northwoods resorts.  Mack was unimpressed in the back ground


The fishing was slowing down a little this week with the end of the spawn, but a few nice fish where caught.  Jayde was very happy with this fat northern


She topped it off with this 15 inch bass.  Both were released back into the lake for another to catch


Grant got the humming bird feeders up again.  When ever I see the bag of feeders I think of Char….  Miss that lady!


Another week starts with happy kids in the lake Saturday night.  The temps are headed up and the rain has stopped falling.  Time to enjoy the lake!


The next generation to enjoy bouncing in the green chairs to sleep in Grandpa’s lap.  Elaine joins the rest of the Johnson Family enjoying the lake this week.  Elaine is the 4th generation of the family to enjoy summers on Lower Kaubashine

Resort 1969 Carl Elliot raft

Here is little Elaine’s great grandfather, Karl Elliot, enjoying a swim in Lower Kaubashine back in the 50’s.  He would be very happy to see all his great grandkids enjoying a place he enjoyed as much as they do today.  This is one of the things that makes summers on Lower Kaubashine so special.  It is one of the constants in families lives that passes from generation to generation enjoying the same spot and sharing memories of those that we have lost and those that have just come.  It is the connections that bring families together over the generations that make time spend on Lower Kaubashine so special

We still have an opening next week if you find you have a few days off.  Wigwam is open on special of 180/night for groups up to 5 or 235/night groups up to 7 3 night minimum June 25 – July 2nd.   Weekly 1210/week or 1580/week depending on group size

Bear Den 4bdr home is still open July 29 – August 5th unless you are Nathan Ament who has to get back to work and can not take a 2nd week at the resort.  If you are Nathan, the resort is full do not read the first sentence of this paragraph


We have had a busy 48 hours.  We took Ben to Saint Norbert for college orientation and while there got a call from Italy.  Jake and Michelle got engaged while traveling.  We could not be happier with both of these things happening.  Ben is getting ready to go off and Jake and Michelle getting engaged.  Big day for our family.  Most have seen Michelle around the resort the last 4 years, never far from Jake.  She has even joined in on the cleaning crew on Saturdays helping out at the resort.  Congrats to Jake and Michelle.  Can’t wait til you are home next week!  Travel safe


In the meantime it has been very, very wet at the resort.  The sun peeking through the wet leaves


Playground drenched with puddles


The anemones are in bloom


The lake is high.  I took this picture and 5 minutes later the heavens opened up and another inch of rain came down.  Touching the top step is very high for our lake.  I see it at times get as low as the first step.


We are just hoping for a few days of blue skies to dry everything out

We had a cancelation June 25 – July 2nd in Norway Pines 3 bdr 1675/week or 255/night.  I think I have the final 3 or 4 nights taken by someone they are letting me know by noon tomorrow about the 28, 29, 30th and 1st.  I definitely have the 25, 26 and 27th open give a call if interested in a 3 night get away

We also still have Bear Den July 29 – 5th.  After that our first opening is August 26th.  Call for details



We had a huge wind storm come through Friday at 5pm.  As of Sunday morning we are still out of power but hoping to get it back today.  We are running the resort on 4 generators.  Everyone has their fridges on, an extra plug in for a light, running water and no excuse for hanging on the internet, there is none at the moment

The town of Minocqua took a bigger hit.  A tree fell over on the Minocqua Brew Pub and Torpy Park lost a lot of big pines.  There was no power for 30 miles from the MInocqua bridge to Lake Nokomis, not a gas station on til you got to the bridge going in to Minocqua.  Lets just say the Island was very busy with people looking for Friday dinner.  I heard McDonalds had a line out to the high way and not a seat to be had at any restaurant that had electric in town Friday.  Thankfully Saturday they got the big tree off the main power line that runs to Minocqua and the town was back up by Saturday afternoon

Our road is taking a bit longer.  The tree with the cross on it before the resort was blown over and it took a power pole with it.  Lots of yellow tape still around the power poles at the corner and no trucks there yet this morning.  Hoping they get things up and running by evening.


In the meantime everyone at the resort enjoyed the excuse to sit by the campfires and roast marshmallows.  Nobody seemed to concerned as long as their fridges were on and the water was running.


More smores please!


My brother inlaw Bryon who built our gate 20 years ago, was in charge of repainting the triangle that goes at the top.  He got it back together and looking better than the original.  We will be putting it back up in its place next week on the gate.  Great job Bryon!



The sun is out and the dock is filling up.  This view means summer is here!  We still have Bear Den July 29 – August 5th and I am opening up a week on Birchwood I had been holding August 6 – 13th.  Birchwood’s opening will not stay open long.  Give a call if interested


Getting the last few pre summer projects done.  These new chairs are headed to the new dock at the beach.  Getting their final coat of stain


New poles for the top of our gate we took down a few weeks ago and just about ready to go back up.  Bryon has given our Raccoon gate top a facelift and we have to go pick it up


To pick up the new chairs Steve found a new trailer he had been asking for, for awhile.  This trailer has a lot of hauling ahead of it


Those that drive down to Eagles Nest over the roots in the road will be happy that 4 loads of gravel where spread over the road to make it much more enjoyable to drive.


I spent a couple of afternoons making the newest, summer thing everyone will be asking for.  Pinecone fire starters that will be for sale in the office


Each one is dipped in bees wax.  The bees wax causes the cones to light fast and stay lit.  We tried them in our fireplace and liked them.  They also gave off the smell of honey as they burned.  The can be used on fires or starting a grill.  They are 50 cents each or a dozen for 5 dollars.  Stop in to the Loony Bin shop at the office to try them out or give as a gift

I am working on a way of giving them a color while burning, but have not perfected that yet

I also have bags of plain cones for sale in the office for 4.50 for about 35 or so cones


This picture is for a person in Elmhurst who needs a little inspiration to keep getting stronger so he can enjoy his 2nd home, Birchwood at the end of July.



The last few days have been busy for us.  Ben graduated from high school.  We spent a few days getting ready for the party, graduation, partying, and cleaning up after the party.  Whewww…..  he is graduated!  Congrats Ben!


In the meantime life has marched on at the resort with folks coming and going amongst our scurrying around and partying


Fish continuing to be caught.  This one was released back into the lake but the smile will last a life time


Mike Rose released this 35 inch muskie back into the lake as well


Lots of rain has made the green colors of early spring come out even more


New propeller for the ski boat was tried to make the old boat go faster


The old boat went in the water at Hilltop but has stayed parked til we have time to play with it.

We still have Bear Den 4bdr home open July 29 – August 5th Friday to Friday if you are looking to get away with the family





One of our favorite treats of the year is when Luz Rose makes Floutas for us.  Luz is from Columbia and makes authentic wonderful Floutas for us for lunch.  When the family hears Luz is cooking everyone looks forward to lunch with Luz


Steve and Pennies face say it all.  Steve was not sharing with her no matter what she did


Mack and Penny tried every pathetic look you can imagine to join in on the feast


The pile slowly disappearing


Craig swooped in for his share that he loves to lather with sour cream


I also had a good visit with Shari the sock machine guru that came up to teach me how to use the ribber for my sock machine.  I had attempted to teach myself and had almost thrown the darn thing in the lake.  Shari helped me tame the evil thing and the ribber and I are now on speaking terms


Here is the ribber in action


My first ribbed sock.  The top leg of the sock has been ribbed giving it more spring in its feel around your leg.  I admit I like this sock better but need to make more of them to become proficient at making them this way


The peanut gallery…..  I need a caption for them but just had to share the pic.  Beware if coming to the resort these two are working on their begging abilities


I have 3 nights open on Eagles Nest June 22, 23 and 24th at 180/night.  Give a call if you are interested

July 8 – 15th and July 29 – August 5th are still open on Bear Den 4bdr 2480/week

After that our first opening in Blackwood August 19 – 26th 2bdr




The Jacque boys better known as “Da Boys” from the previous entry on maple syrup spent a busy weekend catching anything with fins.  This really nice bass was one of their favorites


Then there was this nice basket of pan fish.  Crappies, un fish and bluegill filled the net.

Were they done….. would they give up……. Nope

9Pm my door bell rings


I am not sure what was bigger the smiles on their faces of the walleye in the net

See you next year Jacque Boys!  We will make sure the fish are biting


It has been a rainy Memorial Day Weekend.  We held off on putting a few boats in due to not wanting to bail them out.  Ready to slip down the hill


My delivery of maple syrup came this weekend with the Jacque boys.  They make syrup with their mom and dad and I buy it from them.  How can you resist maple syrup from these kids.  This year the Jacque family did about 30 gallons of syrup.  Compare that to our small 6 gallons Troy and I did.  The Jacque family is expanding their operation next year with a bigger cooker.   The hooting and hollering from these 3 boys when they and dad spotted a huge muskie at the end of one of our docks made the loons sound quiet


You have to love the name of their operation.  See above picture as to why it is named “Da” Boyz

Stop in to the gift shop to get some of their yummy syrup


Lots of fishing has been going on all weekend.  The Voight twins, Samuel and Adam are having a great weekend catching fish with dad and Grandpa Horst.  They threw back this bass since the season had not opened on them yet.


Speaking of bass, I had a few pictures from the weekend before shared by Jim Schneider with his friends that they also threw back


These bass where all thrown back and waiting for the season to open

We have had a few cancelations this summer

Bear Den June 6 and 7 starts at 175/night for up to 4 people

Eagles Nest June 18 – 25th 1210/week or 180/night 4 night minimum

Bear Den July 29 – August 5 2480/week

Birchwood August 4 and 5th 180/night 2bdr

Blackwood August 19 – 26th 2 bdr 1425/week