Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

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Bascum the pink flamigo came for his yearly visit to the resort. UW Madison people will recognize him from a  certain hill at the school and a certain prank he and other of his flock periodically appear on campus.  Bascum was our mascot hoping for a little warmer weather this weekend.  Folks skied, fished and went riding this weekend but lots more time was spent by fires than outside with Bascum

Enjoy the pics of the snow below


View from Shamrock’s bedroom

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This was the place to be enjoying the view from inside the cabin

Next weekend looks like temps will be much better. So far we have Bayview, Restawhile, Kaubashine, Wigwam Holiday and Red Pine open for the January 20th weekend

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We had some beautiful heavy snow come in today.  Big flakes

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It quick piled up on the trees

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Time to think about plowing 

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As the day went on we had another batch come in that was not as wet.  This snow should set up the trails nicely

We do have one cabin left this weekend and January 20th and 27th so far have about 1/2 of the  cabins open.  Time to come up and play in the snow


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Temps got warmer and it was actually nice to be outside.  It was over 20 degrees and felt like a heat wave and my finger did not freeze when I took pictures

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Ben and Ali decided to check out the ice and informed me it was in good shape

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Hockey puck out and the mini game was on

Ali might be shorter but she is fierce

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I would have taken a picture of Mack on the ice but he took off for the shoreline and the wood stove back in the house

We have one cabin left for Martin Luther King weekend at 180 – 235/night



Steve took this picture at New Years of fight super moon through the trees

Happy New Year!


Around the resort we had Troy’s ice candles burning creating a small amount of warmth in the cold temps

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We spent the weekend getting 200 spring, summer and fall confirmation letters ready to send out.  They are headed out in Tuesdays mail  Keep an eye out for them if you have a reservation in 


Jake used to ice fish with his grandpa Gibson who we lost this year.  Jake misses his time with Grandpa on the ice and set out to start a few new traditions and headed to tackle shop to add to the ice fishing supplies his grandpa left him and headed out to the ice

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First things first, getting a proper tip up set

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2nd thing getting your chair set and fire.   He was down by Eagles’s Nest dock

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3rd wave at the traffic going by and enjoy the quiet just like grandpa used to

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4th make a spot for a friend or better yet your dad to join you by the fire.  Not mom as the thought of fire  on ice makes her nervous

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Last, remember the good times with your grandpa on the ice and drink a beer in his honor

Hopefully catch a fish and definitely create a memory

Heres to fishing on ice and the grandpa who taught him the joys of sitting on it

If you need your moments on ice, we did have a cancelation for this weekend, New Years.  Give a call if you want to celebrate New Years with us.  The opening starts on Saturday the 30th with a 2 night minimum

To those who have missed updates on the blog, I promise to be better.  Took a little Christmas break from pictures and writing.  Back to posting


Troy was out at the woodshed and saw a rabbit fly out of the shed.  Right behind it was a flash of white.  Look close at the bottom of the wood pile for the white ermine in the picture.  The rabbit was not going to be dinner to the ermine

IMG_4355The ermine was neat to see.  I just know the teeth it has in its mouth and will keep my distance


Troy and Steve were busy at the lake getting the ice skating rink ready to go.  With the cold and then warm temps the ice got a mushy crusty top

We decided to flood the rink and went to rent a pump to put in the lake to flood the rink. I came down as they were wrapping things up

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They chiseled a hole in the lake.  I was ready to get them an ice auger but both of them wanted to smash a hole instead…  Standing on new ice and smashing a hole through it with a pick is not my idea of safe or fun but Troy and Steve made it work and neither was wet when I came down so nobody went through the ice

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Rink is looking better.  Cold temps and more layers of water on top of it and I think we will have it in a couple of days

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My friend Sue and I have been spending a few afternoons making gnomes.  Stop by the gift shop to see what we have come up with.  Sue has all sorts of gnome ideas for us to make so the collection will be getting bigger and bigger every week

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This gnome we call the love gnome.  Sue had some heart buttons we found in a button jar.  

Each of our gnomes we have found has a personality.  They will be for sale all year as long as Sue keeps coming up with good ideas.  

Right now we are full December 28, 29, 30, 31st and 1st.  Give a call to see what is open around those dates.  The snow is here and it is time to come play in it during the holidays


We have had some beautiful snow come in 

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It was time to get the ice rink going.  Major problem was the build up of slush on the lake.  You have to understand lake ice to realize how this forms and the problems it causes for rinks.   The snow acts as an insulator and creates a warm area between it and the ice that causes the slush.  So stepping out no the lake right now you step into 6 inches of slush water.  

The other thing you have to understand about ice is the lake is not completely flat.  With the shifting and heaving of the ice the edges of the lake are lower than the middle and the water then runs to the low point at the edges.  We tried a rink close to shore and that did not work.  We headed our farther and found better ice with less slush.  Cold temps next week should freeze up the slush.  We are planning on flooding the outer rink with lake water from a hole in the lake to make it smoother.  Today it was all about just getting it cleared off and started

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Someone was totally unimpressed with trudging out through the slush.  His feet are happiest on the ground.  It takes awhile to coax him out on to the ice.  Missing picture was Penny having fun on the ice and that was the coaxing he needed to get over his slush issue

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Home from college and time to help dad with the rink

Nice break from finals

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Eventually we got it cleared off.  Now to wait for more snow and then the cold to flood it to make it great for Christmas hockey game

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Meanwhile the raft is not buried yet

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Boats hibernating under snow

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Our openings for the Holidays are now up to the 28th, one open for New Years and many opening up starting January 2nd

Remember if coming up and you want bacon, maple links, eggs, sausage delivered to your cabin get your order in to Jenny at 


The snow is slowly piling up and the cold temps have hit the Northwoods.  Our first Christmas families have started to arrive

It is looking more and more like Christmas around the resort

For anyone coming up in the next 2 weeks we partnered up with a local farmer who has Berkshire Pigs in Hazelhurst who raises them and treats them well and makes delicious meats

If you would like meat delivered to your cabin you can order a head to make sure I have what you want on hand and I will put in your fridge before you arrive

Bacon (the best tasting!) 9.00 per lb
Maple sausage links 6.00lb
Brats regular and JalapeƱo 8.00 per package of 6
package of 2 pork chops 7.00
Sausage Patties 6.00
Ground Pork Sausage 6.00 lb
Ham steak 8.00
Eggs 5.00 a dozen free range eggs from happy chickens

I will have stuff on hand extra but to insure I have what you want you can order ahead for a guarantee that I order enough from Farmer Ann

Email with your meat and egg order



Mack’s snow report this morning


Snow was slowly adding up and now with 5 inches of snow coming in last night and today it is time to enjoy the snow

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For some of us enjoying the snow means shoveling off the gator and plowing

Don’t let him fool you that he only works in the snow.  He is known to roll a mean snowball and rip it through the air at his wife and kids when they are not looking


Here is a good representation of what we have built up with more coming today

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If you are sitting in brown Christmas it is time to get out the sleigh and go over the river and through the woods to Black’s Cliff

December 30th so far is our only booked out night.  We have 5 cabins open over the Christmas weekend.  Give a call and jump in the sleigh


Snow is starting too fly in the Northwoods.  We look to have a slow and steady build up of the white stuff before Christmas.  

2 inches is coming down tonight with more on the way


No it is not fireworks.  I pointed my iPhone up to the falling snow to see what it would catch



Right now we do still have openings through the holidays but we are quickly filling in.  I am offering some Christmas weekend specials.  Give a call for details 715 356 3018   We are now full however for the 30th.  Restawhile is our only cabin open for New Years night only.  Bayview is our only cabin open for January 1st.  On January 2nd we have a few cabins opening up call for details.