Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


Wondering about color?  Yep we have it!  The woods are coming alive with color this morning


Mr Tungett’s cabin, Wildflower.  Some cabins just belong to certain people and Wildflower is his, along with a few others


Color at the lake this morning


Not sure I want to clean cabins today and would rather sit at the lake and take pictures…  But I know of some people who appreciate these lake pics and had to get them up








Taken at sunset last night


I caught Tom and Michelle walking their assortment of scottie dogs down the road last night.  So peaceful





It was a beautiful fall day and time for a wedding at the resort.  We do not do many weddings due to not having the facilities to host large groups.  George and Kelly asked last year and I told them as long as it was a small wedding we could pull it off and we did.



Beautiful arch at Jack’s Landing for the wedding



Neat LED lights in the jar around the edge



Time for everyone to start arriving!



I love the tux



The back end cracked me up



Time for the bride.  It is not everyday we have a bride walking down the driveway



Kelly and her dad



Cute as a button flower girls



Everyone gathering at the landing



A path of rose petals



The bride arrives





They hired a local man Isaiah Brokenleg who preformed a simple and elegant ceremony fitting the occasion exactly



Just the way Kelly and George wanted it



Congrats to Kelly and George!  Many years of happiness to both of you



Got to have one more pic of the flower girls



Perfect spot.  Jack and Char are smiling down from somewhere who the landing was built for




First for everyone that needs a pretty color shot of the lake.  Here is the hill this morning.  Our color is behind and still has not reached peak.  Colors will hopefully be good still for the next couple of weeks



Big welcome to Penny (aka Penelope), the newest in a long line of resort dogs to call Black’s Cliff home.  Steve adopted her yesterday from the humane society.  She is 4 months old and bounding ball of energy following Steve around the resort exploring all the new smells.  She is some sort of wire terrier and black lab mix.



How can you not love this face.  She will be spotted at the resort bounding around whenever Steve is working at the resort.  She and Steve will compete for the best beard this winter.  We think she will be a great addition to the resort



Mack likes her but……



Is happy she will go home at the end of the day and not interrupt his late afternoon nap



Old dogs just love their world invaded by bouncing puppies.  He will be showing her the ropes and how to properly look in windows for bacon



The maples are starting to go on fire



It is still not peak, just parts here and there.  We have not been that cold so that has slowed down the color









Wildflower looking peacefully at the lake



More maples down by the water starting to turn


In other news, Troy and Ben have been busy refilling the shed.  Next summer’s wood slowly going in the shed.



Since we are talking about color….  I just got some great NFL sock yarn.  The Packer socks sold but I will be making more.  I can get any team, but will be trying to keep Packer’s and Bear’s in the shop.  I have Badger yarn coming on the way.  This yarn sells for 20 a skein so the socks are 32 and the gloves are 25.  If I need to make really big socks they are 35 for guys 11-12 and 12- 13.  They can be shipped if you need some Christmas presents email me at to make an order for pick up or to be shipped




It was a magical, foggy lake morning with the loon fishing off the raft



Looking for a fish.



Sun slowly burning off the fog







The loon continuing to fish in the distance







The Lawon Family happily enjoying their morning coffee with the loon.  Does not get much better than this

Oh and Happy Birthday Joanne

For Paul

No comments



I was eating a hot dinner an looked out at the lake and had to leave my dinner, grab the camera and run to the lake.  These pics are dedicated to Paul and his need for a new screen saver.  Enjoy everyone and especially Paul







Makes me wish I had grabbed my SLR so the pixel ratio was higher and I could frame this one



Fall is such a beautiful time of year in the Northwoods.  But also brings the end of the season and a few losses

Last week we lost a wonderful lady, Char Schmelzer, this week we lost another neighbor in that week, Aunt Betty.  Char and Aunt Betty were resort neighbors and spent many hours enjoying each others company over the 2 weeks they visited the resort each summer during the same 2 weeks with their families.  Aunt Betty goes back a long way and I am not sure the exact year she started at the resort with her sister Lorraine Johnson.  I believe Betty and Lorraine came with their parents as well.  Both Lorraine and Betty have now passed but their family continues to come Donna and John Pyfer, Lorraine’s daughter.  Donna’s kids Jim and Leanne come now with their families and the latest generation of small ones to enjoy the beach and fishing



Here is Leanne and her husband David with Donna’s husband John watching bravely as the next generation is fishing on the dock



If I counted right Izzy makes it 5 generations up enjoying Lower Kaubashine and time with family.  Aunt Betty is smiling somewhere happy to see her family continue the tradition her parents started many many years ago.  Donna will correct me but I am thinking it is about 60 years or more



Kaubashine and Shamrock will feel a little emptier with out Aunt Betty…



They seem sad among the leaves today



But moments like this will make everyone smile next summer as they duck when the girls cast off for the big fish



Goodbye Aunt Betty, I will miss our rendezvous at Shamrock where she and I would conduct our business away from the rest of the family.

She was a good lady who lived a good life with her family



But the lake just seems a little quieter today



A little sadder…  She will be missed



Mid September means one thing, time for the Fall Ride in Tomahawk.  The Northwoods rumbled this weekend with Harley’s rallying to support MDA.


Harleys everywhere.  It is a fun weekend


More color starting to come out

IMG_2447 IMG_2446 IMG_2445 IMG_2443 IMG_2442 IMG_2492

Even more color coming off the sock machine this weekend.  I found a supplier of Chicago Bear sock yarn.  If interested let me know. I am making both socks and fingerless gloves out of it.  I will always have Green Bay Packer socks and can get any other sports team given enough notice



See everyone again next year when the Northwoods rumbles again for MDA



Troy and I loaded up the red ski boat and headed to Lake Minocqua.  Our cleaning was done for the day and time to go play



It is a different view when cruising from the lake instead of being in Minocqua or driving across the bridge



Time to remember what bouy’s mean and slide under the bridge



Cruising the lake and enjoying the warm September afternoon.



Taking the old boat through the channel between Minocqua and Tomahawk.



We made it out on to Lake Tomahawk.  Lake Tomahawk is huge, windy and wavy.  The little boat took the waves like a champ but we decided to head back before we needed a chiropractor.  There are no shocks in the boat, you feel every wave that hits it

We will return to Lake Tomahawk another day



When we got home we discovered Craig went shopping again.  He is the only one I know who requires a semi to bring his goodies back.  There are a couple of porch roofs for Shamrock and Muskie on the load along with enough paving stone to keep the guys busy for a couple of years



Yep trouble when a fork lift is involved.  This is what happens when we leave him in back in charge for the day

The Lake Tomahawk trip might have to wait for next we will find a log truck or a front end loader in the driveway



I received one of the saddest calls in a long time.  We lost a member of the Black’s Cliff Resort Family.  Char Schmelzer past away yesterday.  She and her husband Jack drove into the driveway in 1972 and became part of the resort.  Jack past a way a few years ago and Char and the rest of the family built a landing in Jack’s name by Muskie Inn, their cabin.  Char in the above picture with her dog Lucy enjoying the first summer of Jack’s Landing.  They were a special couple  and brought to us the rest of their wonderful family with their 2 daughters Ann and Karey who brought us even more.   Ann and Bill and their kids Sam and Katie.  Karey and Ken and their kids Jimmy and Danny.  Since then Katie has brought Dan, her husband into our lives and I am sure there will be more.  Since 1972 we went through many good times and bad and helped each other through those with a glass of wine on Muskie’s porch or on Jack’s Landing.  Many times tears, laughter and time shared

Someone once told me they knew us and their neighbors in the cabins better than their neighbors at home.  The time spent away from life allowed them to have deeper relationships at the resort.  With Char and her family I know that was true.  Everyone at the resort who met the Schmelzer family or listened to them playing games in Muskie past quiet hours loved them.  Char is the heart beat of the family who made the lasagna, or banana bread and always had time to have a glass of wine with you on the porch.

Many in the cabins other weeks did not know Char but appreciated her efforts around the resort.  She loved to garage sale and always brought me a bag of goodies that we stocked not just Muskie but other cabins with.  Char is the reason the cabins all have wine glasses and hand mixers.  She insisted every cabin needed one and would drop them off in a plastic bag with all their parts intact and tested no matter if  I agreed they were needed or not.  She also hung up all the humming bird feeders in the resort every spring, paid Grant my son to change the nectar in them 4 times in the summer and then came back in the fall to clean and take them all down again.  So each time to enjoy a glass of wine in a cabin in a wine glass, beat a cake with a mixer or hear the beating wings of the humming birds at the feeder thank a lady you may have never met but you would have loved as we did



So here is to you Char Schmelzer.  May you be in a place with Humming Birds year round……



May your fire always be going



And know that you are missed by those you left behind

You had a great life!