Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

Browsing Posts tagged resort minocqua


I had to share Craig’s new improvement to our dock.  He installed a 9 foot bench.  I think the dock has a lot more leg room and the ability for folks to sit and talk better.  This will be the new hang out this summer.  The bench needs a coat of stain but other than that it is ready to go for summer


The last remaining projects are being completed as summer creeps closer.  Steve was determined to keep Donna Pyfer dry this summer and make her happy with a new roof on her porch.  Kaubashine’s roof has had a notorious leak over the swinging bed that had been patched and patched and patched some more.  Happily this is the last porch roof that needed shingles and Steve got it done this week.  No fears Donna, you can sleep on the swinging bed and listen to the rain with out being plopped on with rain drops


Painting, painting, painting…..


Can’t wait to see more and more folks out on the dock enjoying a sunset like Ben and Grant

After 2 days of cold and rain, everyone hit the beach and came out of hiding from their cabins

Happy to be soaking up some vitamin D.  All the chairs had to be scooped up out of the lake this morning after the intense wind blew them all in the lake

No wind just a calm lake and everyone took to boats

I love this picture

Happy to see a dad rowing in the correct direction, he had rowing down pat

2 days of shopping and this guy made a stop at Dan’s fudge for taffy.  He was happily sharing with everyone at the beach

Lets hope the rain stays away and the sun makes it out for next week.  The poor folks in that week last year were rained out 6 out of 7 days, they have earned a good weather week this year

The leaves in the area are just starting to pop out.  The vivid green of new leaves is a color that is hard to capture but easy to remember

I took all of these tree pics down where the road meets the water.  The first picture was taken looking over at Blackwood, Craig 2bdr rental

Spring is here to stay

And we know spring is here to stay because the John Deere Paint is out

Oars first on the list followed by beach chairs

The guys showing off their latest project over at Bear Den.  It would be nice if all the steps were like these and lets just say Steve has plans..  what plans get accomplished in the time allowed.. well that is a question

Yep a definite improvement.  Much better than cement blocks that were there.  They also straightened the cement wall and put a new cap on it.

What will today bring…. Steve was loose with the resort credit card at Aqua Land piers

Something happened last night and I am not talking about it.  Gonna have a talk with Mother Nature about the unfairness of 70 degree temps in March and then giving us this picture.  Once it hits 70, this picture should not happen again for a long time, it messes with our minds

It causes us to stay inside and boil down the small amount of maple sap we collected this year due to the 70 degree temps.  Last year I think we got about 20 jars of syrup, this year with 10 more taps than last year we got this small amount.  It is not going to last for pancakes until January like last years supply.  Maple syrup this year is as valuable as gold.  It also came out a very dark brown.  Usually it was a honey brown and as the season went, darkened.  Don’t ask me why, just something I noticed and intend on talking with Mother Nature if I ever track her down

Definitely dark color this year

I am happy to report that things in Colorado with Johnny Thompson are going much better than last week.  I thought Johnny might need a reason to get out of his hospital bed this week and decided to send him a little incentive.  It will definitely give him and the nurses and doctors something to talk about when they come in the room to see it.  I suggest to the Thompson family that you all gather around the room when Johnny opens it.  There is no peeking!  Johnny has to open it first.  The ladies that packed it up for me at Trig’s got a bit of a laugh as well and took this picture for me

John Wrobel stopped in to collect his Ice Out 2012 winnings.  Since Cliff was a little tied up in the basement drying out, his buddy Cleo presented John with the money.  John’s wife Linda who has won in the past was a bit jealous of Cleo’s good looks but was happy to hear that she and John were going out to dinner with the winnings.  Linda promised Cleo a steak bone from dinner for the troubles Cleo had to go through to present the award and the humiliation

Come on big guy give me a kiss on the nose, Linda won’t mind

In other news….

When will Troy’s winter hat finally be put away?  I stopped down to see what they had going on and found him not far from his hat

As usual stuck in a small hole that nobody else would work in.  For those in Holiday they will be happy to know that this is the underside of the kitchen sink that is being repaired from water dripping over the years on to particle board cupboards (don’t get me going on why anyone made kitchen cupboards out of particle board but Craig got a good deal on them, and the guys are now fixing them).  When done hopefully there will be some nice linoleum in place of the particle board

Kitchen chaos

Once again Olja is just happy they are working inside and she has a nice place to sleep while Steve works.  Ahh the life of an old dog

It hit 40 degrees to day and is freezing at night.  There is a smell in the air that says spring and I had to go take a look at the maple trees.  We tapped a couple of them a couple of weeks ago when it was warm in Mid February just because I did not want to think I was missing something if the trees got going early.  Low and behold, it got cold again and I have not been out to check the trees for a couple of weeks, until today… and you guessed it a very slow drip of maple sap was going into our bag on our best maple tree in front of Muskie Inn on the hill.  It was the best producer last year and the one that started the earliest so I figured it would be a good barometer to tell us when things were starting.  Time to tap some trees!  Dug out of the basement all our maple tree paraphernalia.

Troy already had a trail started over to Eagles Nest because he has been knocking a lot of snow off the satellite dishes the last week or so hoping to get better reception (Sunday night not getting Full Metal Jousting on History channel broke someone’s 12 year old heart in our house..  hopefully with the melting Top Shot comes in tonight or someone may go into withdrawal)  Ohh back to the story of maple syrup and not side tracked on the odyssey of TV reception in the Northwoods..  Mack was blazing the partially cut trail to Eagle’s Nest our honey hole of best producing trees on the resort so far

Troy with the drill, hammer and tap.  Closer picture was not taken due to the fact that the snow was knee deep and maneuvering around in it was like walking in quick sand and I was getting wetter and wetter..

Snow was deep and Troy had the camera to show me slogging through the deep snow.  I think this was his way of getting me to tap the farthest tree and he would not have to walk out that far in the wet heavy snow

After the kids came home from school and we were soaking wet, we decided to let them hang the last 8 taps, but first the holes had to be drilled in the cranberry juice containers we had been saving since Christmas.  Someone could take out his frustration over Full Metal Jousting with a power tool

Setting the taps by Birchwood.

Grant:  Hey mom think this will help me train for Top Shot?  You know next week is the cross bow week with flaming arrows and a moving target, I could do it!

ME:  Grant would you please keep your mind on what you are doing and drill that hole before dinner burns.  I think you had better keep practicing on the red squirrels for awhile

In other news with the snow slowly melting so have the reservations and the cabins are not completely full this weekend and that means on thing, the guys are eyeing up their next project..  Nathan and Jamie Ament start thinking of everything you have ever wanted in Bear Den and read below

Uhh Ohh they have already invaded the kitchen.  New counters were picked out today in a dark green.  But my favorite is below

The new wall back that will be installed in the kitchen for easy cleaning!  Yeah!!  Bear Den usually has all sorts of cooking going on with big groups and sauces flying and fish frying..  This will be my favorite new thing to wipe clean!

The downstairs bathroom ripped apart.  Missing picture because it arrived later in the day is…. Nathan and Jamie prepare yourselves….  this may cost you free tuition for Lawerence University for Jake…  Ok I will settle for a good scholarship…..

A NEW FULL SIZED TUB/SHOWER!!  Bear Den will become the first of our places with 2, yes you heard it here first, 2 tub showers!  YEAH  I can hear the cheers from Appleton now.  How many kids can you bathe at one time with 2 tub showers!  I don’t know and do not intend to find out, but Nathan and Jamie will this summer

The new flooring for the bathroom.  LEts not talk about the small rip that happened in the bottom of it when it was dropped by someone..  I hear that corner is going under the nice big new tub.

Now to figure out if we do something with the flooring in the basement…  New carpeting in the bedrooms..  but what to do with the rest of it

Nathan did we hit all your wish list items?  We know Jamie likes everything as it is no change required.  How will Nathan arrange the house after all this change will be interesting to see

For those snow lovers that tune in for snow conditions, I will be posting pictures tomorrow of the Bearskin and road trail.  I think ski trails will be fine but the snowmobile trails will be the question for the weekend and we will not know til tomorrow when the little bit of rain comes through and things hopefully firm back up for the weekend

It was a beautiful Christmas Eve and we all headed to the ice, even Chicken Little on a leash.  We discovered Mack has a talent as a sled dog or what x country skiers call ski journing with your dog or skate journing as we were doing

After a little discussion about not grabbing the leash that he never has on and is not used to

He got the hang of it and all you had to do was hang on yep the new sport of skate journing has been born

Hold on and steer cause here we go

Everyone else was enjoying some lake hockey

Or catching a ride with dad on ice this would be Dad Journing

Intense comptetion

Then there were others like Conner who were just learning to stand up on skates.  He has an intense desire to keep up with his skating cousins

There are others who took falls….. brought on by older sons who get in the way of a 40 year old mom in motion…

Then there are those that forgo skates altogether as foreign form of torture and stick to boots but still manage to score 1/2 of the goals

Ice fisherman returning from his favorite fishing hole to see what the commotion was on the ice

It was a beautiful Christmas Eve on Ice

Sunset on a snowy icy Lower Kaubashine

With the cold hitting, it has been time to work inside on the cabins and do a little shopping.  Ugly lamps or lamp shades have been on the top of the list of things worked on this year.  I found these neat Lake Superior Rock and driftwood lamps at a local craft show.  The crafter that sells them is also at the Saint Germaine Flea market in the summer if you are looking for something unique.  The crafters are out of Mercer.  So far I have added 4 of these lamps in Restawhile and Bayview.  In adding local crafts and art in the cabins has been a goal of mine in the last 2 years and I think it has added something.  I also know that everything I have added was Made in the USA!  Yeah!

Stopped in, to see how the progress was going on Red Pine’s bathroom.   There are still a few holes in the walls

But it is coming together with walls going up.  New floor I hear is next on the agenda.  I am so going to miss the avacado tile…….  really LOL

Signs of winter.  The boats are all cleaned and stacked

Screened doors taken off and stored for winter.  The bang of the doors will not be heard til May

Finally time for small fix it projects, lampshade repaired from Muskie Inn.  No more dangling trim piece that I have told myself for 3 months to fix

Small projects to big ones.  Red Pines downstairs bathroom destroyed.  What size shower… where are the shelves going…. stay tuned..  all I will say is that the avocado green is gone.  All signs that winter is on its way

It is always fun to have a guest photographer and see the world through their eyes or lens.  Richard and Akiko Teng shared their vacation up north with me in pictures.  Above was a beautiful day to head up hwy 51

Arriving at Wildflower their home away from home

Checking out the lake for the first time

First night out the Teng’s had a wonderful evening of Jazz in the wine bar above The Brewery. It is really a wonderful place to hang out and hear live music

The next morning a beautiful one to enjoy a breakfast on the porch

I am ready to move in and eat with Richard and Akiko after seeing the wonderful meals they prepared

What a day to enjoy

After quizing me about local trails they headed over to Schlect Lake Trail on the way into Minocqua

Schlect Lake as seen from the trail

Finally a picture of our photographer Akiko and her husband Richard enjoying a lunch at The Island Cafe after hiking

On the way back to the resort the twin fawns made an appearance for them

They spent time golfing the local courses, Timber Ridge above, St Germaine and Trout Lake

After all that running it was time to relax a bit at the resort Akiko must have let Richard have the camera for once

Honestly I really have to stop in this meal looks wonderful for a picnic outside

What is being in the Nortwoods without a stop into Paul Bunyans

Again the pictures of the food are wonderful and I can almost smell the fresh baked doughnuts through the picture

how did they find so many great things to do on vacation.  Doing a bit of research

Thank you Akiko and Richard for sharing your Northwoods experience.  Hope to see you again