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


Mack:  Hey Penny, no bacon today it is slim pickings in the begging department.  Nobody around the resort

Penny:  Ok big guy we got to talk to Mother Nature….  this is unacceptable!


The deer agree with Penny and Mack… unacceptable


The only thing going on is when ever I turn my back the guys have the tools out and are making a mess in a new cabin.  Restawhile was next on the list


Really Troy this outside kitchen idea will work.  People will love the airy kitchens…


Ummm no…  much better inside


Yes Steve everyone who stays in Restawhile would like to have their bathroom sink back please

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Here is the finished Birchwood plus a few tools


I did steal the varnish bucket from the guys  and headed to the office for some community room beautification


Eagles Nest trees have been waking up and producing a little bit of maple sap.  We still need the warmer temps to get things really flowing.


Ice out is still a long ways off.  We have more snow coming in for the weekend before we finally see some better spring temps

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The snow is very slow to melt this year.  It is causing us to be very behind in our outside spring clean up.  So instead we have headed inside to get projects done


Steve was busy measuring for new counters.  Birchwood bathroom and kitchen, Shamrock and Restawhile kitchens are all getting new counters

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Birchwood before

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and now with new counters

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New windows in Birchwood getting varnish


It is much better than working outside

The office is also getting some finishing touches with the varnish bucket


If this is a view you like give a call we have cabins open!


Picture sent by Steve of Penny enjoying the snow we got today.  Penny might be the only one enjoying it.  2 snowstorms with 6 – 10 inches each in 4 days is not the April we had in mind


More snow coming down and this was the view we had today.  The lake is nowhere near going out


So instead it was better to stay inside and varnish the new windows in Birchwood


Maybe the snow will melt by July…. maybe…..


Troy and I left for a few days for a short trip to Door County to meet up with Jake and Michelle while the resort is quiet

Eric and Chris came up to watch the resort with their wives and families.  While we were gone they had fun with power tools and Birchwood.  I left Steve with the resort checkbook and he had plans…… Eric and Chris love to remodel… what could possibly go wrong with them all working together….  answer…. Nothing went wrong….. until we got back and they took out chain saws on the trees…. but that is a story for another day.  New picnic table for Birchwood is no on order


When we left Eric was busy taking apart things in the bathroom

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Chris was getting started on the windows while Steve was busy with the checkbook

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Meanwhile we had a good few days away in Egg Harbor and Fish Creek with Jake and Michelle. Wine and cheese were on the top of the list.


When we came back they were burning things in the fireplace


One of my requests was a window that would open in the corner which they did


New kitchen windows that are easier to open but they best was yet to come…


New dinning room windows!.  You can crank them out instead of putting wood in to open them up.  Also they are easy to clean.  The old wind0ws were so hard to take apart I am embarrassed to say how often they got washed.  The view out these new windows is amazing!


Here is Eric’s project.  New floor in the bathroom.  We ordered the same floor for the rest of the cabin coming next week. Also a new sink in the bathroom, new sink in the kitchen, counters and a new front door.  Birchwood is shinning with the improvements I think all will enjoy but it keeps the Birchwood charm.


Now to find that new picnic table after a birch tree landed on the old one…


Lake is still frozen…. it is going to be a late ice out this year


I had these beautiful pictures of Bond Falls in Watersmeet shared with me by Linda and John Wrobel who took a trip up to see them in the spring melt.  It is an awesome time to head to see all the great water falls within an hour and hour 15 minutes of the resort





Thank you to John and Linda for sharing your trip with us!

Bond Falls is beautiful anytime of the year but spring is my favorite

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Steve and Troy headed out on a mission in the woods with snowshoes on and chainsaw in hand.  What could go wrong?  

Snowshoes are not clumsy at all and you can run away from falling trees quickly….. really…..


Steve:  “I have no idea why you think this might be a bad idea….”

Off to the swamp they went


Steve in his golden snowshoes searching for the perfect trees for his project


Trees marked earlier in the winter with orange tape for the special project.  Now to cut them down and haul them out


You can see who the smart one is who chooses to haul the trees in snowshoes instead of cutting trees in snowshoes

Hauling trees out of the woods is also why they tricked me into coming into the woods with them.  I got to help


We did it!  No idea why you had workman’s comp and the insurance agency on speed dial


Steve’s project pile.  These are all destine for the stairs to the beach.  Steve and Troy are replacing all the white railings before summer

The poles will all be skinned and stained as soon as the weather cooperates


Back at the resort…. spring is springing slowly


The guys traded in their snowshoes for axes and hit the wood pile


In the last 3 weeks they have managed to put in quite a few rows into the woodshed.  This will be late summer and next fall and early winter wood


Chris Moran stopped Steve in the driveway to tell him he really needs a truck


Truck who needs a truck!  Volvos are made of tough stuff!  Doesn’t everyone haul around trees on their volvos


Chris Moran and his friends Heather and Eric Peterson are up for the week and helping Steve with a few projects.  Birchwood is on their list of things to work on.  Stay tuned.  Pictures of Birchwood getting a bit of a make over are coming.  

Eric and Chris may come up later in the month for the beach stairs project as well when the snow leaves

Amanda is missing in the picture but I hear she is milking a few cows and making cheese and will be up later in the week to join this crazy crew

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Troy has been enjoying identifying all sorts of migratory birds coming through our feeder that we only see twice a year as they go through.  Red Polls where our visitors the last few days

Our summer opening list is getting smaller and smaller.  Check it out on our website before they are all gone

April is quiet and if you want to check out what the projects are give a call.  Except for Birchwood…. I think it will have some natural air conditioning for the next week or so as we have it closed down


Troy looked out our window waking up and looking over at Kaubashine saw a bob cat by the wood pile.  In all my years I have never seen a bobcat in the resort. It quickly left before either of us could get to our phones to take a picture


We did check out the snow for tracks.  Due to the ice it is hard to say but we thought we saw tracks in the snow

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Mack would like to report that there is still a lot of ice on the lake.  Enough that even a chicken like him feels comfortable to go out on the lake



The maple trees are waking up though so that is a good sign of spring.  They have been flowing slowly so far


Filtering the maple sap the filter gets frozen up this early in the spring and has to wait for a thaw

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We have been working away on the sock machine to hook this peddle up to it.  Stay tuned I hope this weekend to have the sock machine peddling instead of hand powered

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We will continue to melt snow

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and time to work on the wood pile when the snow melts


There is snow still a foot deep and the ice is still on the lake.  In March taking pictures of snow is not exciting

Instead we have taken time to do some fun things in the northwoods

Our first stop was an escape room in Eagle River.  Google Northwoods Escape Room to check them out.  They have 3 different rooms where you spend an hour trying to figure out how to get out of the room.  We tried out their new mafia room


Here is part of the room just to give you an idea of what it looks like.  With 12 minutes to spare we made it out


We had a motley crew.  The teenagers have done about 12 of these rooms in the last 3 months.  Troy and I were in our first room.  The teens definitely had an advantage knowing what to look for.  


Ben is in his 2nd year as an accounting major and was determined to bring his parents out of the dark ages with an Excel program to do the resort books on.  He set the columns up has done his tutorial with both of his parents.  We shall see if we remember everything when he goes back to school.  The resort reservation books though are safe and in pencil and paper on the usual graph paper.  No Excel for those books yet.


During break we also got to see Ben curl on the Saint Norbert Curling team at Nationals in Eau Claire.  They beat out MIT and Harvard but ran up against Yale who took them out of the national tournament.  I think I finally understand the scoring of curling


The sock machine is going through a change.  Cranking out 600 pair of socks with my arm a year is getting my arm a little tired.  I am experimenting with getting it peddling.  Stay tuned to see if we get it going.  So far we have repurposed a little kids bike for the process and a coupling


Work is also progressing at the woodshed.  Troy, Steve and the boys are working their way through the pile of wood that has accumulated at the woodshed since last fall.  This is the only outside picture I have until more snow melts

Maple trees should be flowing fast this week with the warmer temps.  We have cabins open every weekend now in March and April starting at 135/night.  Summer openings are dwindling but we do have some June openings on a few prime cabins that are listed on the main website click on summer on the right side for the list

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