Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

Browsing Posts published by Jennifer Gibson


The Gibson family is on spring break this week and off on a trail,  We get asked all the time where and when do you get away when you live at the resort.  Spring Break is a great time to get out of the woods for awhile.  Never fear Steve is back at the resort keeping everything humming along along with Chris Moran cabins are being taken care of check ins and check outs are all getting done.  Calling the resort for reservations though might be a little difficult as the mountains we are in are not the best for cell service but we do have good WIFI for emails if you need anything

Down the trail we go…


The end of our trail and a beautiful view of the Smokie Mountains


Selfie pic of the crew.  We had everyone with us but Jake’s wife Michelle who has to work this week


Icicles were breaking loose and crashing on to the trail from above.  Troy is quickly dashing down the trail hoping nothing crashes down on him Ben and Ali in the background


Pictures of snow and lake will be back in a few days but til then we are having fun in the Smokies


Spring has sprung and it was time to tap the trees.  The thick snow made getting to the trees hard.  I adjusted what trees we were tapping due to the snow depth.  I have abandoned the trees at Eagles Nest as getting in out of there would have been thigh high to waist high snow.  Instead I put more on our usual close trees and tapped a few new ones


The trail to all the taps is a good spring work out.  It is all worth it when you smell the sap cooking over a fire or on pancakes through the year.

The trees are just waking up and a drip here and there.  Hopefully next week they really get going.  Snow depth, angle of the sun and temps going to low 40’s and freezing at night are all triggers for the trees to get flowing


Tools of the trade that you have to slug through 3 feet of snow


The deer continue to stick to the trails.  With the rain we received the last couple of days it has shrunk down the snow and given it an icy crust



Fog rolling through the resort


Beach path definitely showing signs of melting.  All the branches and stuff that came down in the ice storms is also littering the resort as the snow melts away.  We have  lot of melting to do before clean up can start



The snow is measured in feet on the lake and in the woods.  The deer are sticking to plowed roads and paths as much as they can.  They have a trail worn along the lake on the ice


Troy has started laying Bear Den’s new basement floor.  It is looking good!  He is happy to have an indoor project this week


I have heard rumblings the wood on the back wall covering a unfinished fireplace may get knotty pine covering it , but that is for next week


We spent the weekend watching Ben in the College National Curling finals in Boston.  It was great fun to see on line from home.  We cheered him on as Saint Norbert finished in the top 8 they were beat out by MIT to go into the top 4.  Instead of going to the finals when they were eliminated he and the guys headed sightseeing around Boston.  I heard the seafood was fabulous but he was happy to return to the less crowded mid west where people are friendlier.  He though Green Bay was big where Saint Norbert is until he did rush hour traffic at Ohare in Chicago and dealt with the traffic around Boston.  Good experience but nice to be home


Steve and family left for spring break to South Carolina.  They left me home with the plow truck and huge piles of snow.  The plowing is definitely not being as well done as when Steve does it but we have kept the driveway open.  Getting to the dumpster has become more and more of a challenge


There is one very sad dog who is waiting as well for Steve, Jen and Bella to come home.  She is enjoying a week of chasing squirrels around the resort but misses her family


We are spending the week on inside projects.  The horses for the Northwoods Derby will be getting racing stripes and ready for summer play

Temps are headed above freezing starting tomorrow and we hope to have the snow start melting.  Maple tree tapping is starting tomorrow a sure sign of spring



If snow in the pines is something you enjoy we have plenty of it with more coming this weekend

With snow banks covering everything and the cabins slowing down a bit we have started off on a few spring projects and additions


We just received a shipment of stuff for the gift shop.  This was Steve’s choice for loon calls


I have had fun playing around with the loon flute.  It requires a little fiddling but fun


Following their numbers moving this in and out of the flute you can make all 4 calls

Check them both our for demos in the gift shop this summer.  We have a few other fun things arriving yet.  I finally found some Mugs I liked and Steve with have his Northwoods book nook in the shop, Troy found a neat dice cup holder with the lake emblem on it.  Stay tuned as shipments arrive I will picture them


Bear Den is getting a bit of a make over this spring.  Primarily in the basement.  Starting with new flooring and a replacement for the ping pong table


The new flooring just arrived.  I believe it will be like the floors in Muskie and Wildflower but I was not with Steve when he picked it out so not 100 percent sure


A air hockey game is the replacement for ping pong.  It was voted on by Ben, Grant and Jake.  I have a couple or other things we are adding but I will wait to announce till I hit the buy it button.  They are Ament/Stoddard/Moore family approved.  Gobbling dots is my hint


Upstairs the new stools arrived.  There are rumbles about a new table and chairs.  Rumbles about buying some more pine paneling for bedrooms has been broached and discussed if time permits.  I know I purchased a new saw for the projects as Troy and Steve burned through the motor on our last portable saw last fall.  


We have another 5 – 8 inches of snow coming this weekend….  The guys have informed me they have retired from roof shoveling, no more shoveling

I do have a couple of partial week openings at Blackwood that cropped up.  June 8 – 14th is still open, June 17 to leaving June 21st and July 27th for 5 days leaving August 2nd all at Blackwood 2bdr.  Check out our availability list at for prices and pics of Blackwood 1/2 mile from resort on the lake.

Bear Den 4 bdr is open for a prime week yet this summer July 26 – 2nd at 2700/week


After an additional foot plus of snow i snapped these pics at the beach.  The raft may not ever come out again


The deer have been cutting a path along the edge of the lake as they try to get through the snow


We actually used the snow blower even on the steps to break up the snow


It was time to shovel some roofs.  The sheds are always top of the list


Bella was trying out a time honored tradition of sledding off the shed roof


Waaaaa Hoooooooo


Steve not being as graceful


We enlisted the help of Katie’s boys Sam and Conner and their friends Quinton and Ethan along with Bella and the three of us we had a crew


Sheds done and time for a pizza break before round two


They first did Eagles Nest which I do not have pictures of as the ordeal of just getting through the snow on the ground was a feat.  Above is Blackwood which had ridiculous drifts as well


The depth of the snow on the roof was amazing.  The guys figured out how to break off chunks and send them over the edge


The best part of roof shoveling.  Jumping off the roof at the end!


Much harder is digging yourself out of the drift you just jumped in to


Back at the resort, Norway partially shoveled off and the snow is up over the windows


We shoveled off our roof


My view out my kitchen door


More snow is in the forecast and more shoveling is as well


I have Norway on special for the next 2 weekends at 165/night up to 4 people or 190/night up to 7


The extra foot of snow mother nature thought we needed sure is pretty…


As long as you don’t have to move it.  We are seriously running out of room to put it.  Steve has made our snow banks with the truck as high as he can but they are slowly taking over.  Troy was trying to snow blow some of the snow out of Steve’s way


We lost a few more big branches.  Just happy we kept our power on


Mack heading off to try to find some privacy.  he is long legged and finding his way through the snow is getting tougher


It gets worse when he gets in the way of the snowblower and gets snow blowed




Roof shoveling is in full swing with more snow yet in the forecast before spring but that will be another blog entry


We did loose a tree at Red Pine.  Thankfully folks had checked out and left before it landed on their cars


Taking on the look of a snowman


The sun did come out and the woodpecker is looking for something to eat

Where is spring?  We are not sure



Winter is holding on and giving us more yet to come  We are expecting a foot of additional snow this weekend


Time to clean off the roofs before the next big storm.  Troy uses the roof rake for the easy stuff but he and Steve had to get up on some of the porch roofs to shovel them off by hand.  Most of the roofs can handle the weight but we take snow off the worst ones


They cleaned off Wigam porch while I was gone.  Big pile of snow in front of the cabin


Wigwam somewhere behind the snow blower snow as Troy cleans up the front of the cabin


I have had enough of snow for awhile says both of them.  Mack says taking care of business crawling through snow piles to find his favorite spots to do things is not fun anymore.  Troy reminds him shoveled paths are not open season


A foot more of snow?  Not sure where we are going to put it

I do have a few prime weeks open this summer

June 1 – 8  Eagles Nest 920/week, Wigwam 1200/week, Norway 1300/week

June 8 – 15 Wildflower 1310/week, Norway 1825/week, Blackwood 6 nights Sat to Friday 1120/ 6 nights

June 14 – 21 Blackwood 1310/week

July 26 – August 2 Bear Den 2700/week

July 27 – August 2nd Blackwood special 5 night opening 200/night

August 3 – 10th Wildfloer 1310/week

August 10 – 17th Kaubashine 1825/week 

August 17 – 24 Wigwam 1715/week and Blackwood August 16 -23 1540/week

Give a call with questions on cabins 715 356 3018


It has been a very snowy week with snow measured in feet.  Mike and Jeannie Flesch shared their snow shoeing pics in the snow as it was coming down.  


When the snow was done and the sun came out it was pretty and time to start the clean up.  Steve plowed for 2 days getting everything cleaned up and I think he is finally tired of plowing




We had several big branches come down.  Happy to say no loss of electric.  So happy the electric lines are now buried



Lots of shoveling.  Bear Den’s deck full of snow


Troy making sure the chimneys where open and not clogged with snow


Mike and Jeannie got lots of snow shoeing in.  I caught them on another one of their adventures breaking trail through the woods


We spent the weekend watching Grant swim in the Midwest Championships in Iowa.  He won the B heat of the 200 free getting 9th along with 10th in the 50 and 8th in 100 free.  It was exciting to watch


Middle lane in the front of the B heat of the finals.  Now back to training swimming across Lower Kaubashine this summer to get ready for next year.  For now he is back with his brother Ben at Saint Norbert studying back at the grind stone.  Ben will be off to Curling Nationals in Massachusetts in a couple of weeks.  Jake and Michelle made it home this last weekend for a quick visit and snowshoe 

We are all waiting for summer!

In the meantime we have all sizes of cabins open this coming weekend and more snow on the way.  Time to come play


Mack and I would like to report that there was a lot of snow, there is a lot of snow and it is still snowing.  Shoveling and shoveling and more shoveling for one of us, the other is concerned about the depth of snow when chasing squirrels


Demonstrating proper shoveling technique


Standing under pine trees is ok until the wind goes








No campfires today

4 cabins left for the weekend


We had about 8 inches more of snow come in.  It was coming down at and inch to 2 inches an hour in the afternoon


We had some hungry visitors stop in.  They like to check out the ground below the bird feeders for left overs. 





Steve having fun plowing


Morning after with the sun peaking through


The path to the beach not looking very summer like

We have to cabins left for the weekend Muskie and Wigwam I just put them both on special for groups up to 4 for 180/night.  I have several other cabins on special over Valentines Day if you are looking to escape to the woods with your favorite person