Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

Browsing Posts tagged minocqua lodging


We are having our last blast of winter.  We have ice fishermen up enjoying fishing before the warm temps arrive


The Cikowski family ice shack.  It was a bit cold to walk down.  I have not gotten the fishing report yet from the guys.  We are getting 2 inches of snow tonight before the warm temps arrive


Wind swept cold lake.


We have been busy down getting Red Pine back in order.  The window has been framed in and the pine walls have gone up


Starting to look good


The old dark book case has been replaced and painted much brighter


Steve has the paint out and no ceiling is safe.


He also headed to town to get a log.  What could he be up to with this log you ask?


I shall leave you in suspense.

Our summer reservations have been filling in.  We still have 5 cabins open June 11 – 18th if anyone is looking at getting in and Bear Den has a week in July open on it.  Check out below

Memorial Day Weekend

Bayview and Wildflower 2bdrs.  Wildflower is open starting on Saturday the 28th

Wigwam and Norway 3bdrs

Red Pine 4 bdr

May 30th to June 3rd lots of cabins open at low spring rates

June 4- 11th Early Summer rates

Holiday 4bdr is open up to June 6th at 260/night Fri and Sat and 200/night mid week 3 night minimum

Bear Den 4bdr(Friday to Friday) 1595/week

June 11 – 18th

Bayview, Wildflower and Restawhile 2bdrs 1210/week

Shamrock and Wigwam 3bdrs 1580/week

June 18 – 25th

Eagles Nest 2 bdr 1210/week

July 15 – 22nd

Bear Den 4 bdr 2480/week 

July 29th – August 5, August 5 – 12th and August 12 – 19th

Blackwood 2bdr 1425/week

August 13 – 20th

Wigwam 3bdr 1580/week

August 26th and beyond lots of cabins open give a call



I do believe there was quite a party over at Muskie Inn last night.  I believed it rivaled a few of the Thompson parties.  John Sr and Jr please note how to keep the drinks cool in the winter.  It was a happy New Year at the Cliff and it SNOWED!!  about 3 -4 inches and we have that coming again later today into tomorrow

The bird house report, all new fresh snow to play in

The only things moving this morning were the Chickadees flighting between trees

Snow in the pines weighing them down

Most of the resort will be headed to Winter Park today for skiing and tubing.  We were tubing last night for New Years and I will post those pictures after I get my coffee and plow out the resort.  Steve has off today so it is the blonde in the truck flying around the driveway with the plow.  Please no blonde jokes for this one, I can hear Paul Zaremba already formulating one.  Luckily I Troy has the John Deer Gator who cleans up the spots I miss.  Plowing is an art form and I am definitely in the Junior category.  However I have never hit anything which others in the family can not say……

It was a cool but ok weekend to get out and do a few events.  The trusty Iphone camera came along instead of my main camera as it fits in a pocket so bare with the graininess.  The above picture was taken heading down the trail across from the resort for a bike ride into Minocqua for Beef A Rama.  Iphones do not like bumpy trails while I am trying to keep up with 2 kids and document the beautiful colors.  I think nice leaf pictures will have to wait for my cannon camera but you get the idea

A much easier less bumpy picture cutting through Timber Ridge to the bike trail

The colors were coming out on the bike trail and it was a beautiful 3 miles on the Bearskin in to town.  No traffic and no fighting for parking

Beef A Rama in Minocqua.  I have been asked by many people what is Beef A Rama.  Think of a party involving cooking beef roasts that combines with Halloween.  It started many years ago as a end of season thank you party for locals.  It has grown into a crazy street party with cooking beefs, people dressed as cows and lots of beer.  The only thing that drives Troy nuts is the use of the dairy cow as the beef cow.  Everyone dresses in black and white cows not beef cows.  I have to listen to this rant once a year til it all gets put away.  Troy grew up working on a dairy farm and definitely knows the difference.  He told me the other day if it has udders, people don’t eat it.  Old dairy cows are not for people consumption.  All that being said Beef A Rama is a hoot to see

We ran into the beef judges tasting and voting.  NOt sure what the qualifications are to be a judge except you had best be hungry

This would be a typical Beef a Rama display, dressed up for the 70’s with a smoking roast in the background and fun music playing

Music is to be enjoyed everywhere.. and dare I point out the hat with the wrong colors for beef cows… but I have complained enough about that for one day.

My pictures of Beef a Rama end here as we headed to the huge craft fair and I was to busy looking to take pictures and we headed home before the beef parade started

Our 2nd event of the weekend was to head out to Winter Park Day down a few miles of dirt roads that led to Winter Park.  The colors were out and it was a pretty drive

Along the way you don’t see much traffic except for trucks parked on firelanes like this.  Folks in the trucks are most likely scouting out their hunting spots for this fall.  Lots and Lots of hunters

You know you are getting close to Winter Park when you see signs like this

Finally made it to the park.  It was a day for skiers to get together and look forward to the season and celebrate the folks that work hard to keep the park going

I love one of their mottos

This year the guest of honor was the Tyler family who lets Winter Park run a number of their trails over their private land.  With out land owners like these Winter Park would not be able to have such great trails.  Big thanks to the Tylers and their commitment to the area and Winter Park, we appreciate your efforts.  Can’t wait to take our first ski and snow tube at Winter Park this winter

Wicker furniture is a wonderful thing except for when it comes to cleaning it or painting it.  After 18 years of running the resort with Troy and trying a few different things I think we finally have it figured out.  We used to get the scrub brushes out and wash and scrub them outside but never could you get all the dirt and dust out of the cracks that develops after being out on a porch year round.  My upholstery friend asked me, why don’t you use an air compressor and blow it out with the tip.  We tried it and IT WORKS!  I cleaned these chairs for painting doing just that.  You do have to be careful if you only want to clean the chairs and not paint that you do not get it so intense that you knock paint off with the dirt

After cleaning, time for paint and I use paint in the cans, as it is so much easier than cleaning a paint gun.  I also put the gun attachment on to save my finger from getting a blister

half painted and drying

Put the cushions in and they have a new life and are headed to Holiday’s porch.  So if you have wicker don’t be afraid to clean it or paint it to give it a new life

You can see Jaws floating in the middle of the swimming area.  Everyone cleared out and took pictures.  Early summer is fun to see the big Muskie’s and other fish come into the shallows to spawn.  This guy has hung out for a few days attracting a few other big ones to come in.  Call him Don Juan of the swimming area

I got close enough to catch this picture.  He was not very intimidated or skittish of people on the dock

As well as Muskie’s we have the carp coming into the boat docks to spawn as well.  Jake netted these two in one scoop.  They are headed to a smoker of his best friend to be smoked before eating

It is not everyday that you can scoop out fish like this right out of the lake, and that is perhaps a good thing or none of the little kids would get in the water

Steve decided it was time to give the Birch Trees around the resort a fresh coat of paint.  Craig also instructed him to keep going and paint a few of the pine trees like birch trees since we have lost so many of our birch to the birch disease.

This is what happens to resort owners the week before Memorial Day… minds start to go…

This blog entry brought to you by the mind of Steve

After 2 days of tantalizing me with far off calls and appearing by the road when I was in a hurry on the way to pick someone up or drop off at school with no camera I finally caught the loon!  With a lake still half frozen the loon has restricted swimming area for awhile but it was hanging in its favorite fishing hole down where the road meets the lake

I only have seen the one loon.  Is this one just passing through and stopping by to get food for a few days… I am not sure.  I do believe one of the pair we have had the last few summers was killed on the lake last summer.  My neighbor saw the aftermath and thought it might have been a muskie.  The pair has been tagged and researched the last few years so I will be interested to hear from our loon researcher this spring if this is a lone loon from the pair or not.

Doing what loons do best, fish.  If you are a fisherman the last thing you want is to be anywhere near the loons

This is spring?

Cliff ready to hibernate

As long as there is snow on the lake I LOVE IT

Folks in Muskie Inn using the outside as their freezer

You may not being enjoying the March snow but I have a fur coat and am LOVING IT!

Yep we got a little bit of snow yesterday and getting a little bit more today.  It should be enough to get the Lakeland Loppet race off at Winter Park this weekend

Who signed me up for this contest?

Cliff looking relaxed and ready to take on whatever March throws at him.  Even took off his hat in protest to the small amount of snow Mother Nature threw his way

Still trying to figure out this strange guy sitting on the lake

In other news Wigwam’s shower moves along

Splash board going into place

I held the guys back as long as I could with their crowbars but today was the day they got let loose on Wigwam’s bathroom.

So you see the gleam in Steve’s eye with a crowbar in hand.  Walls were flying and holes being made.  Missing picture was Steve man handling the old shower out the bathroom door

Troy picking up the pieces behind Steve

This picture begs a caption.  You got one put it in the comment section

Peek a Boo from the bathroom.  This wall will be moved as we put a bigger shower in the bathroom.  Question is will Steve leave a hole in the wall?

My bigger questions is will the ugly red sink finally leave?  Craig got it on sale in the early 90’s and installed it.  There was a reason it was on sale… a left over from the 80’s or maybe 70’s.  Love ya dad, but this is the ugliest sink in the resort hands down, good deal or even free… I think it is time for it to go

Mack would like everyone to know he is on the trail of the rabbits under the boats and hopes to have them flushed out ASAP, since they have been horning in on the compost pile from our guinea pig cages outside.  Mack’s favorite chew toys this winter have been frozen chunks picked out of the pile that he and the rabbits have been fighting over.  All I can say is GROSS!