Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


Sunday into Monday the Northwoods shut down over ice.  We did not venture out on the roads Monday.  I heard Hy 29 was a mess of semi’s off the road


Steve did venture out and said he went 10 miles an hour down Lower Kaubashine 


We just stayed home and skated down the driveway cleaning a few cabins


Then last night to this morning we received about 7 inches of snow on top of the ice.  



Four deer are in the foreground by Kaubashine’s parking area.  I have a spot I put vegetable waste in the woods and they were checking it out for scraps


That was a lot of snow says Bambi



We have another 8 inches projected tomorrow.  We will see if the bear gets buried


3 cabins left this weekend and next weekend.  Time to come up and play in the snow now that we have it



After being minus 30 degrees for more days than we would like to talk about last week it went to almost 32 the last 2 days.  Wildlife came out of hiding and so did we


Cold?  What cold?


It was actually kind of foggy today.  This is the calm before the storm.  We have a ice storm coming in tonight followed by more snow.  Hopefully we don’t loose electricity


We might see the end of ice rink with this next round of storms.  Ice with follow up snow is not a good thing for lake rinks.  Our rink I think was run over by ATV’s in the cold.  


Looking down the cracks through the ice it looks like the ice is about 2 feet thick


Fog rolling off the lake



Warm enough that a good roll in the snow is heaven

I just went through our availability calendar for February adding in some specials on our larger cabins where I could especially around Valentines Day.  Check them out at they are labeled as Hot Deals in the chart

We have also picked up several Summer Cancellations which are also in the chart.  Just enter a starting date and page forward to see them pop up


Mack is reporting today that it is -8 with a windchill he would rather not talk about


Headed down to the lake and the raft looks chilly no sun bathers today


Skating rink wind swept with snow



This is as far as I was walking in the cold.  We expect 3 more days of cold and the temps get much better this weekend

There is a ski race at Winter Park and the Three Dog Sled race is going on in Land O Lakes a sight to see

We have 6 cabins open this weekend if you need to get out or hibernate by a fireplace


Woodshed well stocked


Sign it is cold out I cleaned my desk in the house.  This only happens when it is cold out. 

We did get a few summer cancelations our availability is online at

Last night Norway opened June 8 – 15th 1825/week along with Bayview 13130/week and 6 nights on Blackwood June 8 – 14th 1100/6nights

I still have Bear Den 4 bdr 2700/week open July 12 – 19th and July 26 – August 2nd

Kaubashine 1825/week August 10 – 17th and Blackwood August  – 16th 1540/week

We have openings earlier and later in the summer than these dates as well call or check out the website.  Our new availability chart you just enter your starting date and you can see what is open, rate and minimum nights stay.  I have it up to date through October 31st and will add more dates soon


We have had one and off snow the last few days and it is slowly piling up.  The trees look pretty




This fat bunny has been munching bird seed under our feeders.  I think he is too fat for a hawk to carry off



We gathered this last weekend as a family to watch Grant swim at Ripon college for Saint Norbert.  He is thrilled when his mom dangles over a rail to take his pic.  We were happy to see him go under 23 seconds in his 50 free.  Private School Championships this weekend at Carthage College but we will be watching from home and not embarrassing him dangling over rails


How could he possibly be embarrassed by this innocent looking group.

Swim Fast Grant!


As I type this heart felt special blog entry I sit with my sister trying to sum up what was so special about Amy Tempel-Hebert, who we both grew up with and knew her entire life.  We lost her this weekend after a long battle with 4 transplants over 5 years.  Amy had a spirit of never giving up and a love of her family and the Northwoods.  She fought to the end and we are all better for knowing her.  The picture above says it all about Amy she had a wonderful laugh and smile that we will never forget.  Katie and I are passing the kleenex as we type this


Amy and her family came to the resort her whole life.  She meet many friends particularly Leanne Pyfer who were inseperable playing Barbies on the swinging bed.  This led to a legacy Leanne and Amy carried on to their own children.  Lots of laughs and special times over the generations.  


Katie and I had fun finding old pictures of Amy with her life long buddy Leanne.  Here they are as teenagers on the pontoon boat with their 80’s hair


Amy and Leanne with their first children Abigail and Delanie.  There is just something special about a bond formed playing on these horse swings 




Amy’s first transplants came 5 years ago but whenever she was sick in the hospital she told the doctors she had to be be better by July as she was not going to miss time at the lake with her family and friends.  When you talked with her about what was going on in her life she never dwelled on her problems she lived and enjoyed every minute with her girls and husband Charles, brother Mark, parents Ted and Joey and all the friends she had at the resort, including Katie and I.


People usually stick to just vacationing with one fixed group at the resort.  Amy came a week earlier than the rest of her friends and family to get an extra week in the Northwoods.  Her easy going personality allowed her to easily bond and become a welcome addition to our 4th of July crew.  Everyone enjoyed her



She was always up for an adventure as long as it included her girls and Charles


Months away from her double liver and kidney transplant this last summer she gathered the energy to do the zip line in Minocqua.  She was absolutely exhausted and on the couch after doing this but the gleam in her eyes talking about accomplishing this as a quadruple transplant survivor was the highlight of her vacation last summer


Amy put up her last battle for the last couple of months and the world lost a special person this weekend


Our condolences go out to her parents Ted and Joey who lost an amazing daughter

IMG_6176 (2)

Mark lost his sister who loved to be a part of her life especially making candy sushi


Charles who lost his best friend and partner



Abagail and Lauren a loving mother

The rest of us lost a good friend who will always be remembered by her Northwoods resort family


Amy would want us to remind everyone of the gift of organ donation cause it gave her the gift of a priceless 5 more years with her family.  


It is cold outside but you can find wildlife staring in wondering when they will be let in


Um no you are not coming in


Dang off to Hilltop to see if the bar is open


Meanwhile time to get some things done like cleaning a very dirty sock machine 


And making some peach wine that tastes like summer


Lower Kaubashine looking a bit winterish.  We need more snow but have enough to keep the trails going

We have 5 cabins left for next weekend January 25th if you are looking for an escape

Summer deposits are coming in and I have a few openings that have cropped up.  Kaubasbine August 3 – 10th and I believe I might have a couple the week before July 27 – 3rd but working out the details yet.  If you are looking for something those weeks send me an email   I will know the next couple of days what is open that week


These guys have spent 22 years together in Birchwood skiing, watching movies on the wall, making great food, enjoying good drinks, hot saunas, laughing and playing Eucher.  Good and special friendships like these are priceless!  They were happy with the new table in Birchwood perfect for playing cards before the movies started

The secret too all this you ask?


Brussel sprouts of course

Cheers and here is to 22 more years of all of the above.

Sidenote:  To Gloria, the guys want you to know they took good care of the famous rocker this year and love it as much as you and many others do.  Cheers to Birchwood’s rocker that has a fan club


We had 4 inches of heavy wet snow come in last night.  This should really help out the trails.  Enjoy the pics





Troy and I headed off on a fat tire bike adventure with my sister Katie and husband Bryon.  They love to mountain bike and fat tire bike in the winter.  Bryon knows the trails and is a great guide off we went down the Shannon Trail with them in Saint Germain


Made it so far.  Our butts are a little sore from all the bumps but ready for more


Katie leading us out 


Troy making the corners.  Fat Tires are big and squishy and go through just about everything.  Just don’t get caught in the soft snow


Shannon Lake out destination.  Bikes can make it out all over the lake


No time to stop 5 miles of trail to cruise through


Whew we made it!  Worked off a few of those Christmas cookies.  It is a great thing to try if you have not.  Katie uses her fat tire bike year round in snow and no snow because she likes how it handles.  Definitely something to try if you are in the area.  Chequamagon Adventure company rents out the bikes and has free demo days like this to try them out year round


Happy New Year from the Northwoods.  We have just enough snow to play in and have spent a week having fun and cleaning cabins


There has been a lot of ice hockey going on at the lake by everyone in the resort.  My skate box has been well used this week


Not a lot of snow but enough to have fun and ice


Penny keeping the resort free of squirrels.  With low snow she can corner pretty good keeping the squirrels on their toes


We had 13 of us try out the new escape rooms in Minocqua.   They just opened the escape rooms in the downstairs of the gaslight square along with the mini golf.  Lots of fun give it a try when up here