Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

Browsing Posts tagged Minocqua


A quiet week at the resort without guests in some areas means Craig starts looking to the sky at dead trees.  They picked this tricky dead birch between out house and Kaubashine.  Odds on hitting the house 50 – 50


Discussing and tightening up the come a long


Notice Craig picking up his feet, tree is not far behind




Neither Kaubashine or our house hit..  Now on to a trickier tree


Tying the knot at the top of the ladder in some more dead birch by Birchwood


Getting the land line set.  Will Jack’s landing get hit?


More debate and sharing of wisdom


I think the tree is rotten, Craig says, just before a dead branch just about takes out Steve at the base


Intense debate about the notch and cut


When the fingers start pointing you know they are a little nervous


No need to worry


Tree number 3, the trickiest of the day with lots of dead branches leaning over the road.  The plan to pull the tree over towards the sauna


Will the plan work?


With their new come a long system, I sort of miss the days of tieing the rope on the truck and flooring it to pull the trees over.


View off the hill this morning.  Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet



Mac sneaking in the picture.. wondering where all the excitement at the beach has gone.  School started today and he is definitely noticing how quiet the resort and our house is this morning




The rain came cascading down the steps.  Not sure how many inches but it all flowed down the beach steps.


The delta at the top of the steps





Time to dash back to the house


The Schmidt Family had one problem this week.  Who would get to sleep in the swinging bed?  Grandpa was the first to claim it.  Would anyone else get a chance to sleep on the porch because Grandpa does not look like he is moving anytime soon


The answer to this problem was this very comfy blow up mattress.  I have never seen a mattress this thick and comfy looking.  50 dollars from JC Penny


Definitely more comfy than the blow up mattress I remember from our camping days.  It also blew up in 5 minutes.  Grandpa may still have to share when the kids discover this bed does not swing like the swinging bed


With Temps soaring to near 90 with the heat index it was time to pull out the icecream maker.  A couple of years ago we bought this one on Ebay for around 80 dollars.  It is a White Mountain ice cream maker.

Lemon Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup sugar

mixed with

1 cup lemon juice

2 cups butter milk

2 cups 1/2 and 1/2

2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)

Mixed together with many kids help


You appreciate the icecream when you put in your own sweat and muscle


Poe cheering everyone on to stir faster but wondering where his fan is?


Split wood on a 90 degree day and there is nothing like Lemon Icecream to cool you off


The 4th of July week means one thing, time for the 15th annual Roy Tungett Horse Shoe Tournament.  10 of the 11 cabins at the resort headed down to Hilltop for Ting Soda, a few beers, pizza and horse shoes


Mr Tungett and the 2010 players.  This year there were 17 teams entered


Newly added this year is The Pony Plaque for those that have never gotten on the winners plaque.  Notice the top of the list is Terry Hixson who has put a lot of effort into winning by distracting other players but has remained a Non winner


Gloria Vs. Linda in a classic game of strategy and gamesmanship.  Each is praying the other wins so that they can sit the rest out and enjoy the tournament from the sidelines


Linda and her partnert came out on top and she is consoling Gloria or is it the other way around…..


The official referee Tom Hixson with his ruler making sure everything is legal


Kate from Ireland showing great form.  She will be going back to the big island a olympic swimmer and horseshoe champion


Rick Agnew getting the best dressed award for putting these color combinations together


In the end it came down to Sarah and her superior bounce technique.  Hit the ground before the pit and bounce the shoe in


Brigid and her sharp eyed marksmanship learned from the streets of South Chicago


Troy and his hometown advantage.  He sneaks down to Hilltop in the offseason and throws shoes when nobody is watching


Finally Tim who was our 2nd place winner last year.  Could he and Sarah pull out an upset over Brigid and Troy?


In the end the great horseshoe god “Oh No” was called upon to once again present the awards


Nobody messes with a Horseshoe god in a US Marine shirt in Chinese


Our 2nd place winners receiving their awards from Dawn who got 2nd place last year with Tim


Sarah will be using her prize to work out all year to get in shape for 2011 tornament


1st place winners Troy and Brigid with “Oh No” enjoying their moment of winning and getting on the plaque again



Congrats to the 2010 winners and a big thanks to Mr Tungett for organizing the festivities again


One last award to give out “The Pony Plaque” to Terry the longest running non winner.  Should we point out he is the only member of the Hixson family on the plaque


Afterward the real party started with Rick and his musical instrument.  Only this instrument would match that outfit


After the tournament at precisely 5:30 everyone shows up on the playground with a dish to pass and their meat cooked.  If you are late you may miss out on the great deserts


Everyone enjoying great friends and a great meal


Voted as the best dish was Dawn’s Ten Layer Jello  Don’t wiggle it too much or the tower falls over


Afterwards the kids favorite time came with Terry giving everyone and Alligator Ride they will not soon forget.  See everyone back in 2011 for the 16th annual Horseshoe Tournament only 51 weeks away and counting


The pre party get together waiting for Gloria and Rich to arrive for their surprise 35th anniversary party.  Do you think 7 bottles of wine would be enough?


A very surprised Rich and Gloria arriving back from dinner with their family Eric, Alaina, Sarah and little Amelia who planned the party without their knowledge.  Way to go Kim and Will for setting things up for the family… now on to those 7 bottles of wine and cake


Congrats on 35 and many more years ahead!


One rule after 35 years, no smashing cake in anyone’s face.  A nice evening was had by all.  The beautiful and delicious cake came from the new Whistle Stop Bakery in Minocqua on 70 West


It was also Kate from Ireland’s birthday.  With her phone service not working up here for text messages from her family with brithday wishes, it was nice to have a cake with her 2nd family


The Mosquitos along withe everyone else had a great time…. and the bottom of the 7 bottles of wine was not quite found.  I hear Gloria and Rich are having a wine party later in the week


Looking through the trees at the rain coming down.  4 counties, ours included are the driest in the nation right now and under a severe drought.  It was wonderful to see an inch of rain come down yesterday and last night.  It washed the pollen out of the air and greened everything up.  Thankfully there is more rain in the forecast during the week.  Our lake is spring fed so is not seeing any dramati drop in  water level.  Some lakes in the area, the docks are out of the water.  Lake Katherines Islands are getting bigger and with beaches




I headed down by the road to catch these pics of Doug and Rob fishing on a beautiful night.  Calm lake, cool, but not too cool temps and fish biting


They had just gotten the crappies to start biting when I got down there


Life is good!



Time to put the pontoon boat in and time to pass the torch to a new driver.  Craig imparting the wisdom of the ages to Steve on getting the pontoon boat around the corners at Hilltop and most important put the canopy down before heading down the road.  Last year mice decided to make a nest in the motor choking the motor out 300 feet from shore causing an embarrassing paddle in.  Can Steve do better?


Olja and Poe enjoying the ride to Hilltop in the sun.  Notice the paddle brought along just in case


Olja looking to Steve to stop in and see Tom and Mary Ellen at the bar for a quick cold one after dropping the pontoon boat in


Made it through the corners at Hilltop and and a quick back up and off we go.  This year they warmed them motor up a few minutes before doing the off load off the trailer, good choice


Loons stopping in to check out what was going on at the landing


Ohh the life of a resort dog enjoying the ride back to the resort with the wind in his ears and sun on his back


Back at the ranch, Craig was just finishing the roof at Birchwood.  He is guaranteeing Gloria will be dry this summer.  I had to stop in to the Hardware store for paint for the trim of the cabin.  Birchwood has had cream trim since Maynard’s day and maybe before that.  As I was ordering the paint the paint computer told the mixer lady that this color was not recommended for outdoor use, to which I told the computer “It has been cream since 1918 and if 92 years of experience does not say it is ok I am not sure what will.  Translation:  Computer can stick it”


In other news as we were listening to Jay Leno last night we awoke to a clatter of little feet making a stir…  What could it be…. was a big bear tip toeing around on our deck to get sunflower seeds?  Nope a masked bandit going for my compost container (ICK there has to be better things to eat in the wild than stinky compost)  One thing I have not figured out with my camera is how to turn off the automatic flash:(  The pic is not great and I would have had better ones but flashing through the window did not work well.  I tried opening the door to take a pic but our friend moved off too quickly for my camera