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




Just chillin at the lake

Relaxation is the name of the game

A good book, cup of coffee, comfy rocking chair and a good book





Little bit of inspiration for creativity with the view


Or find the family and try out the new checker game at the office

There were some new checker players in the Eddy Family who caught the Checkers bug this week


We also had some adventure seekers The Ellis’s headed off with their good friend Brant to kayak the Manitowish River


But the best thing this week was just hanging on the dock.  Just ask the wildlife

Our other wild beach visitors shall remain a secret but it was fun to see one of them sneak out on a dock before being chased off with a fish in its mouth


It has been a beautiful warm week at the resort.  These early morning pictures where shared by Jennifer Lynn.  Thanks for sharing!




You can tell from the clothes lines that everyone has been enjoying the lake and warm temps


Lori and her daughter Dani Macomber have not been to the resort in a few years and this time came with Dani’s husband and their little girls.  Nice to see them all having fun back at the Cliff.  They wanted to do a big hello wave to Donna Pyfer


Another gathering of long time guests was happening in Bayview.  The Sweet/Lustig/Goldwyn crew wishes Mel and Diane Goldberg could have joined them but a lot of laughs and stories were told on Bayview’s porch


The fire was going for the 7th annual Wiederhoeft family campfire but the family was not ready yet.  I will catch them later in the week.  

Our fall reservation book is filling up fast.  Give a call if you would like to come up.  Christmas to New Years is wide open right now for most of the cabins give a call if you want to join us for when the snow flies


Regardless if it is raining outside or not, do not bring your grill up on to the wooden entrance porch and light it.  We almost lost Kaubashine this week to a fire.  A guest in the rain brought the grill up on the porch and grilled.  They where done and covered the grill and went inside to eat.  The grill coals left outside where not out and they smothered a hole through the wooden porch and started the side of the cabin on fire.  We luckily heard crackling of the cedar siding on fire from our house and came to investigate.  One more minute and we would have had a different story to tell of rebuilding cabin.  The fire melted the light, torched the siding and also the underneath of the overhang.  We will be working the next few weeks to repair the damage.  Thankfully nothing worse happened

This is just reminder to all to be careful of where you have grills, and making sure they are out.  Ashes from the fireplace can also pose a threat for fire.  Regardless if you think ashes are hot or cold if disposing of them we have metal garbage cans around the resort for ashes to go in.  Please think of this picture when grilling or enjoying fires around the resort


In other news around the resort after 18 years from when Norway was remodeled, the island outlet was never hooked up.  The Kurtz family asked about it and Steve went under the cabin and discovered for some reason it  was never finished.  Well it now works!   Yeah!


As usual there were a few trees to take down.  This balsam was dead and ready for fall on our LP gas tanks


Crash, bang, boom problem solved


Last week the Chu girls stopped in to collect the pop tabs the had been saved in the resort over the year.  Marin loaded up the back of the family mini van with tabs to go to the Ronald McDonald House.  Thanks to all who saved them.  Keep bringing them up when you come and the pile for next year will grow

Our family spent a week at a Ronald McDonald House when one of our boys had to have surgery few years ago and we will always be thankful to the help and support our family received from The Ronald McDonald House in Marshfield.  It is a an amazing organization for families


We had some very small feet on Emily that we needed to have water skis for this week.  Emily laughed and gave the smallest ones I set in the office as decoration a try.  They are Aqua Land skis from the 60’s I think.  Even though Emily did not get up on them it was fun to try


Grant took his first solo spin in the old red boat this week.  The boys have been busy working at their jobs earning money for college this summer and little time to ski.  It was time for them to have some fun at the lake.  Grant definitely got the bug for driving the boat and even drove his first family skier.  The boat passes to the next generation of drivers


A very fun filled afternoon at the beach started out peacefully with happy people and unicorns.


Then they started talking and wondering what to do….


It started with 3 boats.  Black Family Boat Wars 2018 got under way


Boats circled and went in for firing.  Number one rule in boat wars is no bailing of your boat and all members of the boat must remain in the boat


And the war started.  Brother against brother, cousin against cousin against 2nd cousin and a few friends thrown in


First casualty was Ben’s boat with Conner and Ali


Down they went with the ship.  That left the Bluegill led by Grant and Seaweed led by Quinton


It was close but Quinton’s boat with Emily and Max went down first and after they bailed out they sunk the last remaining boat


Grant as the captain went down with the ship the last person standing

A successful family bonding 


The foggy August mornings have returned



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The muskie list at Hilltop has grown over the summer with some nice fish caught


I spent a very busy week at two days of craft fairs in Mercer at Loon Days and Minocqua at After Loondelight


Meanwhile back at the resort everyone was relaxing.  The Thompson family held their own horse racing night at the picnic table by Muskie.  I hear the kids were the big winners and had lots of pennies to turn into dimes for the pinball game


The Darling Family enjoying a cool evening by the fire

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I have eaten Blue Cheese hamburgers from one end of the Northwoods to another.  I have decided to rate Lakeside grills Blue Cheese burger hands down the best in the Northwoods.  From its fresh bun to its caramelized onions with the Blue Cheese it is delightful after a busy week

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It has been a wonderful family week at the resort.  Lots of fun being had by generations of families

I caught a lot of grandparents enjoying time with their grandkids this week. 

Jim Michael went past me with his beach hat on and yellow swim raft heading to the beach where his grand daughters were.  I talked him into posing for a picture with his floatie and hat.  He could not have a bigger smile on his face headed to the beach for his favorite week of the year


Jackie Thompson enjoying her 2nd summer as a grandma with her cute grand daughter Ellie

Jackie usually is sitting on the dock enjoying the sun and a book.  As soon as Ellie arrived she happily headed to the beach to enjoy building sandcastles with Ellie.


One of my favorite grandparents at the resort is Jean and Howard Berchtold. They spend 2 weeks at the resort with their family and one week by themselves.  Jean and Howard have more grandkids than I can keep track of and great grandkids. Spending time with them at the lake and getting them to help grandma and grandpa to understand their iPhones and iPads is what they enjoy. The whole Berchtold family only needs to hear their is a game going on and they are there and Jean and Howard are always game to join in.  Jean was winning pennies in the horse racing game and heading off with more than she came with


Gina her daughter inlay was not far behind in the winnings.  The more wine the more they were having fun cheering on the horses in our weekly horse racing evening


Lots of fun was had by all from grandparents, parents, inlaws, outlaws, kids, and friends

The rule this week is have fun with your family no excuses.  If you need more pennies see grandma Jean 


We added in a game of Werewolf this week.  The 18 – 22 year olds in the resort have been playing a form of this game called Mafia for the last few years.  Our boys introduced us to the game last winter.  It is a great campfire game for groups.  Black’s Cliff has been invaded by werewolves…..  all must gather and figure out who the werewolves are before the devour the entire resort…  play if you dare…..  you may or may not survive…


We had 18 playing on a cold rainy afternoon at the resort   Nick was our moderator leading the voting of who was the werewolves.   Grandpa Berchtold was our Seer but was eaten quickly by the werewolves…


Lots of laughs and discussions of who could have left Grandpa Berchtold dead by the lake… little did they know the werewolves were some of the innocent looking people above.  Even if a kid looks innocent can they be trusted?

Best quote of the day

Lindsay Stoddard to her Sister Arden:  Arden I think you are a werewolf. 

Arden Stoddard back to her sister:  Lindsay if I was a werewolf you would have been dead 2 turns ago.  I am not a werewolf


We had our own family time spending a week with all three of our boys home.  Time to have a campfire.

Good times at the resort for all


While everyone was having fun at the beach

Jake and Michelle came home for a week and wanted a project to work on

We always have a project to work on. 6 cedar chairs and 2 cedar swings needed to be assembled

After year of marriage this is good project for any married couple to try together


At first they started out working on their separate chairs.  Jake had a small advantage with having worked on these before


Michelle was not to be out done.  


Ok maybe putting the seat on wrong might have gotten to her..

After this they found working together was much better


First stage done, 6 chairs assembled and we still like each other


Did you read the directions?  


Directions who needs directions?


Ok did you find the direction diagram? 


Getting there.  Michelle’s idea to use the wheel barrow as a table to assemble

All going smoother


We did it!  Now on to year two of our marriage adventure



It is beach time!


Everyone is grabbing their float and friend and having fun


First big trip out to the raft


Only in Wisconsin, chasing down a run away rainbow unicorn in a kayak


Touching worms and baiting your sons hook so he will clear the swimming area of hungry blue gills who like to nibble on mom’s toes


Finding some shade and telling some fish tales


Or finding your happy place in the sun that you have been dreaming about for 50 weeks since last vacation

It is beach time!


Our favorite chef of Washington DC, Mark Tempel, stopped in to do a little cooking on the playground.  

On the menu with all the kids at the resort was Candy Sushi


Mark had every kid in the resort checking out how to make Candy Sushi


Starting with a pan of Rice Krispies and Fruit Roll Ups he got started


Some people like Charles were more interested in the tasting part of the event


Beautiful cut up sushi with Swedish Fish and Gummy Worms


Lots of laughs and candy making


A whole plate of sushi that was much more edible to the kids than the real thing


Yep lots of tasting going on


Thanks Mark for a fun afternoon on the playground!


The beautiful lazy days of summer mornings have arrived with a light fog on the lake and a warm summer morning


Work comes first.  Zoe and Bella delivering fresh shower curtains to the cabins like rock stars


Then comes the playing.  We headed out for a night of the theatre at Tommy O’s Playhouse to see The Beverly Hill Billies.  

It was a fun play. Granny rocked the house


A little fun behind the old red boat skiing around the lake


Then leaving time happens and it is time to take a little of the Northwoods home with.

Rick and Martha Riley and their daughter Megan welcomed Patricia to their family this year.  They adopted her from Hungry. No adoption is complete without an awesome Christmas stocking.  Patricia picked out a snowman stocking.  

Now to find a golden retriever puppy to make their family complete.  

Congrats Riley Family!