Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

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Troy got a Christmas present this year, a snow blower.  Every year we have hand shoveled the rink off and left shovels for guests to help keep it cleaned off.  It was time for an upgrade.  This is one happy guy with his snowblower

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Enjoying his peace and quiet out on the lake by himself

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New snow in the pines done in the bay.  I took these at Bear Den’s lake front, enjoy.  4 – 6 more inches of snow coming in tonight.  Snowblower is going to get a work out

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Sunday 4pm the snow was starting to blow again.  I experimented with taking some video below.  I am new to video and uploading it.  Let me know if it is not working for you reservations@blackscliff.com   I think I will do more video once in awhile if everyone enjoys it

 

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We are waiting for more snow to come in, it is supposed to start Sunday and snow on and off all week.  I have heard many different snow total amounts and will wait to see what happens.  Either way it will be a very white Christmas in the Northwoods this year.  Time to come play in the snow.  I have guests at the resort right now skiing at Winter Park.  Conditions are not perfect but they are out.  We need more snow and sounds like Mother Nature is going to cooperate starting tomorrow

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Andy at Chequamagon Adventure Company in Mincoqua has one of the newest sports in the Northwoods to try.  He is renting out Fat Bikes.  These are snow mountain bikes.  Right now they are mostly used on lakes to bike.  You can bike on roads with them and off road on to lakes.  Hopefully there will be some designated trails for them in the future.  Andy rents them out for 50 dollars a day.  Lake Minocqua would be a great place to play around with them.  The snowmobiles beat the snow down and these could be used all over the lake.  Something new to try out

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Andy also rents out skis out of his shop in Minocqua.  Stop by and see what is new at the Chequamagon Adventure Company.  Andy is a great resource for places to go for an adventure with the silent sports

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The Zip Line is open in the winter as well.  I included them in a blog entry a few days ago.  There is nothing like zipping through snow covered trees.  Definitely a fun thing to do this winter

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Bill Bassett is a local wood worker.  I have known Bill for years.  He gets beautiful wood from loggers and turns them into bowls.  This bowl was 40 dollars and is now on my livingroom table.  A bowl like this in town would be much, much more.  Bill has a couple of bowls left and will be making more for next summer.  He sells them out of his house but you have to know how to find Bill.  Just ask me and I will direct you to Bill if you are interested.  He is an interesting local character

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More of Bill’s beautiful bowls.  I think they were all 30 to 35 each

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For those coming up ice fishing we got some great fishing info from Kurt at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop just a few miles from the resort in Minocqua

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The birdhouse snow report.  It snowed all day yesterday off and on.  It is supposed to flurry a bit today as well.  Next week looks great for snow lovers.  Check out www.johndee.com for his snow report.  I think it is going to be a great Christmas to New Years for playing in the snow.  Winter Park ski area made it through the warm up with their base intact and this new snow is the icing on the cake to keeping them open.  Next week it should just get better and better.  It is a bit thin for snowmobiling yet.  I will take a pic of the Bearskin for tomorrow’s entry.  They packed the base before the rain and I think it held as well.  Now to get more of a base on those trails with next weeks snow

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When it was warmer Troy and I got the office decorated up.  17 trees now have lights on through the whole resort as well

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Where is Charlie Brown and the gang looking for a tree for Christmas.  Reservations for Christmas to New Years have been steady.  Give a call before things fill up if interested.  The more it snows the more our phone rings.

Off to get 700 rolls of toilet paper for the winter season that we special ordered.  Nothing like a toilet paper sale to make a resort owners day!

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Very happy to report after rain yesterday we got snow!  So far we got a fresh inch and a half or so.  We are supposed to pick up another inch or 2 beyond that through tomorrow.  It looks a lot more like Christmas around here

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Birchwood in the fresh snow

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I took this same picture yesterday in the fog.  There is still a little slush along the edges but that should firm up as the temps sink today and through the week

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Mack 5 years and a day.  Wondering when he will put a paw out onto the lake.  He is much happier wading around the edges than testing out the safety of the ice.

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I took this picture as well yesterday.  Hopefully soon we will not be able to see the steps

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Looking a lot more like Christmas around the resort.  We still have a couple of openings for Christmas and then cabins opening up again on the 27th.  Give a call for details if you want to escape to the snow covered woods for Christmas

 

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Happy birthday Mack!  He turns 5 today and looks so excited about it.

Now on to the conditions

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We had been gone over the weekend and came back to a different world at the resort.  Our wonderful snow has had a toll taken on it by the warmer temps.  The lake top has melted away.  There is good and bad in this…  I look at the possibility of some amazing ice skating at Christmas as soon as the cooler temps come in and freeze the top back up.  Skating all over the lake with no snow is a magical thing to do.  We only have conditions to do it every once and awhile and this could be one of those times

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Thick foggy lake

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The bees nest that terrorized many folks kayaking the shoreline this summer hidden in the leaves is very easy to see now.  I still am not going out on the ice to knock it down til everything freezes back up

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Bayview and Wildflower Monday morning.  I sure hope we can eek out a couple of inches of snow late today and tomorrow

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A couple of inches of snow is definitely what we need.  However in the northwoods we still find things to do, snow or now snow

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Snow or no snow the Zip Line in Minocqua will be open all winter.  We did it in June and I would like to head out and give it a try in the winter as well.  The neatest part is when the zip goes out over a lake.  I am not someone that likes heights or being dropped.  Our Zip Line in Minocqua is very safe and gradual.  Even this mom enjoyed it and had fun.  Now to try it in the winter!  Zipping through the tree tops with snow in the pines

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I am thinking this would be an amazing New Years Eve thing to do early in the day.  The view off the platforms is a great way to ring in the New Year

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I headed out on the snowmobile lake entrance to take some pics of the frosty trees.  Tom at Hilltop just marked the trail this week across the lake.  A few sleds have crossed

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It was beautiful to look back at the trees covered in frost

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Truck was parked along the snowy road and time to head back off the lake.  Beautiful day to be going out on the lake

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I had to share a pic of the latest sock off the sock maker.  I made this pair out of a bunch of different yarn left overs.  They came out kind of nice and are already sold.  I will be making more of these crazy socks stay tuned.  I have lots of yarn ends to use up

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It is the season of giving and I thought a good time to remind everyone that we collect pop tabs for the Ronald Mc Donald House.  Nora and her sister Marin (sorry marin I know I spelled it wrong) come every July and I give them the pop tabs to give to their Ronald Mc Donald House.  The girls both volunteer there and have been collecting tabs for a few years.  If you have tabs and do not know what to do with them bring them up to the resort on your next trip and I will get them to the girls in July.

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I have already had a few people drop them.  This batch was from Barb Moore this weekend.  The girls say thanks Barb!

On a side note about the Ronald McDonald House, we never knew what a wonderful organization it was til last month when they helped our family out.  One of our kids had to stay in the hospital for a week with a lung operation, and Troy and I are in debt to the wonderful way we were treated by the Ronald McDonald House in Marshfield.  When you have a kid who is sick and has to stay over in a town far away from your own home they are a savior.  We saw first hand families that were staying far longer than we were.  They were given wonderful meals that were not hospital food , and a home that was not sleeping in a hospital room.  No questions are asked everyone is welcome that needs a spot.  We will forever have a special place in our hearts for the Ronald Mcdonald House and will be collecting pop tabs for them.  Thank you Ronald McDonald Houses everywhere!

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This was the thank you note that Nora left for me after her vacation.  Great job Nora helping out Ronald McDonald

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On a happy note  we are back to the swim pool with Grant and Ben on the Boys Lakeland Swim Team.  Ben will not be able to swim til New Years when he gets medical release to swim again after his lung problems a month ago.  Grant in the meantime is tearing up the pool making his brother want to jump in the pool regardless of what his lung has to say about it

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Back at the resort, Troy and Steve got most of the pine firepit wood split this week for next summer

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We were starting to run out of kindling and Troy headed to the woods to gather some branches for a new kindling pile.  We need Craig to come back from Arizona and start a remodeling project to create more kindling

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It was a frosty day.  For those in the south starved for some pics of snow we have it still up north

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Kind of quiet the next week with folks getting ready for Christmas.  The cabins are quiet but that will not last long….

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Kaubashine and Shamrock this morning.  I am hoping our warm up is not too bad this weekend.  We would like to keep our snow.  Our highs are going to 38 Fri, 39 Sat, 41 with rain on Sunday and 37 with rain/snow on Monday.  Tuesday it cools back off with snow coming back in.  I am hoping things can stay white.

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It sure is pretty to see and gets you in the Christmas spririt when the outside is this nice!