Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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









Katie and I grabbed our dogs and headed to Winter Park to cheer in Steve and Penny in Skijoring this weekend.  Mack and Macy were cheerleading for Penny


Steve and Penny ready to rumble.  They had some stiff competition

Steve has a harness for Penny but prefers to ski with a leash instead of attaching to his waist.  He also skis with no poles


There were a few very serious teams and Steve and Penny were in their first race ever.  


These dogs definitely had some power


Everyone had their won style


Some were in a duo team and were ready to rumble


Some where interested in a more relaxed race


Dogs of every color and size


Yes every size


Beautiful Sheppard


This was the crowd favorite.  Yes they are both blinged out in flowers.  They get award for best dressed


Time for our favorite!  Steve and Penny


What form!  Off they go


The number one team.  They were flying back to the finish line


I think this dog was a little tired coming in and abruptly started eating snow when they went over the finish line


They finished their first race!


It was definitely a fun race to watch.   So many dogs and so much fun


Steve and Penny have been skiing every morning while the snow is crisp.  They have been burning up the trails and lakes.  They are training for the skijoring race this Sunday at Winter Park where Penny will show off that terriers can do this as well as any husky

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Along the say they meet up with some interesting characters half clothed on the trail.  Doesn’t everyone get a suntan in the middle of a ski trail half clothed

Want your own interesting Northwoods adventure to seek out the half clothed guy in the woods we have cabins open this weekend and spring rates are in effect

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It is also tree tapping weather.  Time to tap the trees for maple syrup

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Troy and I trudged through he woods tapping 40 trees.  We did not run into any half naked guys in the woods on the way


Troy is just finishing work on a project we have been working on.  He is making a homemade family game that we will have for sale in the gift shop this summer

Start gathering your pennies it is a great family game for everyone to play.  We will have a same game for everyone to try out at the shop.  So don’t forget your pile of pennies when you come.  

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The Cikowski Crew shared a few of their fishing pics from this weekend.  This 30 inch Northern was released back into the lake


Lots of pan fish this weekend

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Off on the blue trail snow shoeing with Mack down the trail


Snow shoes on and fresh powder

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Off we go Mack wait 


Mack waits for no one

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deer tracks in the snow

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Interesting tracks in the snow.  Something was bounding through the snow

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We made it to the top of the big hill on the blue trail


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The views down the trail where amazing.  Make sure on your next trip to the resort regardless of the season you take a trip down some of our trails

Spring rates start this week up to Memorial Weekend cabins start at 135/night all week long

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The Cikowski Crew is up this week ice fishing on the lake.  Mack and I wandered out to see how they were doing

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Fritz, Tommy and Jimmy greeted their buddy Mack

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Mack is always happy to see what is in Fritz’s pocket


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Fritz has his spot on the ice all figured out.  He used to just sit on a bucket but now has upgraded his seating


The bucket is now his end table


It was a beautiful day to be out on the ice


Mack went for a roll in the fresh snow

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Boats buried under the snow


The raft is somewhere under all that snow

3 – 5 inches of snow coming yet on Saturday.  


It was a beautiful weekend in the northwoods.  We did not get the rain that everyone got to the south and picked up a few inches of snow


Guests were doing everything from ice fishing, snowmobiling and skiing.  The conditions are still good and we have 4 cabins open


We had a busy weekend with our youngest son Grant.   He swam in Madison at the state division 2 swim meet.  He finished on the podium 3 times with a 2 nd in the 100 free (above), 8th in 50 free, and 2 and 3 in the 200 and 400 free relays.  He broke 4 school records with his swims.  10 years of practicing, many swims across the lake led to this.  Now we wait to see where he will be swimming in college


We had a big cheering section for him in Madison.  

Now we are just glad to be home but will miss the high school meets.   It was an exciting time for our family


Anne who delivers eggs and pork products to the resort for guests to buy is putting out a call for egg cartons.  If you are headed up and have some at home bring them along.   She appreciates it.  We also recycle the cartons from the eggs bought at the resort so don’t throw them away


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Steve and Penny went on a skijoring adventure across Lake Tomahawk and through the channel to Lake Katherine

Penny was trying out a new harness that she puts on to pull with Steve skiing behind her.  She loves to go 

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Hey Steve like my new harness lets go

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off they go




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I put video of their adventure down the channel on Black’s Cliff Facebook page if you want to see them in action

One cabin left this weekend Birchwood if anyone needs an escape give a call



We have had a busy week,  Grant and the rest of the guys on the Lakeland swim team won their sectional swim meet in Hudson on Saturday.  We spent a busy couple of days getting ready to leave the resort with Steve so we could watch his races in Hudson last Saturday.

Lakeland qualified 6 individule races for state and 2 relays.  


We hope to see more podiums this weekend in Madison where Grant will swim in the 50, and 100 freestyle events where he qualified in the top 6 of both races in the state and he will swim the 200 and 400 relays with Lakeland Friday night at the Division 2 finals.  We can’t wait to see how all his practicig pays off.  Hopefully with some podium pictures and a few medals.  He will be swimming in college next year,we just are not sure where yet.


While we were running around to swim meets Steve was in charge and will be again this Friday.  He balances it all well and keeps the lights on and people happy.  Anyone arriving this Friday Steve will be greeting you until we are home Saturday 


It was time for an adventure after all that time spent in tropical pools


Off we went with snowshoes on 


The new end of the red trail was our first mission


Clomp clomp clomp through the snow


Beginning of The Valley of Darkness trail

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Lots of tracks in the snow


Deer path


Continuing into the valley

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I hear something what could it be…..  of course Steve wielding a trail blazing axe who says follow me

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Steve’s blinged out snow shoes.

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Off we go off trail with Steve.  These next trails are winter only trails across the bog.  We have considered putting in wooden walk ways but they will remain winter only

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Trees full of lichen as we go over the bog

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Where are we going?

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Off trail and putting the snowshoes to the test.

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Over the river and through the bog we go

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Mack taking a break along the trail.  He has had enough


Back to well trodden trails and the woodstove

Coming next wilderness trails at Winter Park are the next trail adventure as the temps warm up on skis

Then it is back to the warm pool on Friday

We have one cabin left for the weekend if you want to follow our tracks in the woods




Tracks in the snow a sunset. Skiing tracks


Right next to much faster snowmobile tracks.  This sled went by at about 40 miles an hour 2 days ago, a streak of yellow out our dining room window


Then these fresh tracks


Who could be leaving those….


We found our destination a cold sunset on Lower Kaubashine


 Brought to you by the letters…. J and M

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We picked up a couple more inches of snow and it was time to get the plow out.  Steve loves to hit the snow banks this late in the winter and watch them explode

Just another day of office work for Steve and Troy

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The dogs love climbing his mountains.  Right now Mack believes himself king of the mountain with Penny’s ball in his mouth

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The picnic table shows the depth of the snow.  It is slowly piling up

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In the meantime there are thing to do in the snow like keeping the outside lights on and running


Heading up trees to limb off old dead limbs was on Steve’s list today.  Just another day at the office after plowing


How do I get back down?

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Steve I will help clean up!  Just get my ball back from Mack would you?

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All cleaned back up and headed to a fire near you soon


While the were tree limbing my friend Sue and I got a few gnomes made for the gift shop.  Stop by to see our latest creations along with the socks 

We call this a gnarl of gnomes

We have one cabin left for the weekend, Wildflower opens on Saturday at 165/night Saturday and 135/night mid week if you want to escape to the woods.  Book three nights and all will be at 135/night.  We are full Friday night February 2nd.  

February 10th weekend we have 2 cabins left.  We are offering a special on  Shamrock at 180/night up to 4 Friday and Sat and 155/night mid week or 200/night Fri and Sat and 170/night mid week up to 6.  Wigwam 3 bdr is also open at 235/night Fri and Sat and 190/night mid week


Steve and Penny went on a skiing adventure to the islands of Lake Minocqua.  They headed out off the Ruben Town boat landing on Lake Minocqua and followed the tracks of snowmobiles most of the way and broke trail for parts.  They checked out as many islands as they could along the way on Lake Minocqua


Enjoy their adventure


Steve classic skied and Penny ran along.  He said it was windy but a beautiful ski





Where to next Steve?  I love adventures with you

Want an island adventure of our own?  We have 1 cabin open for the weekend and Wildflower opens on Saturday the 3rd

Mid week we always have openings if you want to avoid the crowds