Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


The road to the resort is about to become very colorful.  Everything seems ready to pop


The maple trees are getting a little head start in some areas



Here and there you see the maples 



I spent an afternoon at the office in the sun this weekend working on this old Legare 47 sock machine getting it running like butter.  This will be one very nice sock machine when I get it all working.  This one will be for sale soon if anyone is interested in sock making


The guys are tired of bailing all the boats with all the rain we have been getting.  The paddle boats got pulled out for the season along with another row boat or two


I snuck down to Blackwood pier to take a pic of the sunset today.  This pier has great sunsets


Need these views?  I have mid week openings and next weekend Shamrock and Eagles Nest open up on Saturday with a  2 night minimum.  Eagles Nest is 165/Saturday and 135/night mid week.  Shamrock has a spacial going  for 4 people or less at 180/night Saturday and 155/night Sunday or for larger groups 210 for Saturday and 175/night mid week.  Give a call if interested 715 356 3018


Fall has arrived and everyone slows down just a little more and takes a little more time to enjoy the Northwoods before it gets too cold


We had a few school skippers up enjoying time to grandma and grandpa at the lake fishing and playing pinball.  Catching muskies and having a pinball tournament are golden moments for Samuel and Adam with Marie and Horst.  The smiles say it all.  Back to studying and learning their math facts 


Time spent swinging on a red horse and thinking about how to build a fairy house with dad


It was also time to haul a few boats out of the water.  Less bailing.  We lined them up behind the ski boat and off they went to Hilltop to be hauled out



All roads Labor Day Weekend end here


We had lots of nice fish caught this week.  Kim Taylor got this nice bass


Her son landed this lunker that was released back into the lake


The Voight family was all smiles  with Adam and Samuel landing their first 32 inch muskie with their dad Roy and Grandpa Horst.  

This muskie as well was released back into the lake but the excited Whoops of the Voight twin boys can still be heard echoing off the lake


Other families took a quieter approach to the weekend enjoying a nice fire at Bayview


Steve, Penny and Bella had fun at the end of Summer Menards kayak sale bringing home new kayaks.  The dark blue one is headed to Blackwood many at Blackwood will enjoy that new improvement


Steve took the red canoe from the office down for a special trip around the lake



He took it over to the Semmelmeyer/Gereke cabin to give Peggy Stockton a ride in her old family canoe.  They sold it to our family in the late 80’s and Steve finally got around to restoring it a few years ago.  Peggy had great fun reliving many memorable rides in this canoe.  It is from the late 20’s and is a Saint Louis Canoe.  Happy to see it make its yearly paddle on Lower Kaubashine


Bella had fun keeping up with Steve and Peggy in one of the spiffy new kayaks


Anyone need a Christmas stocking they are 65 dollars each with names put on.  They will not last long as we get closer to Christmas

Contact Jenny at if you are interested in getting some


It has been a cooler and wetter week than normal.  Our folks this week keep asking me, is it usually this cool late in August.  70’s and 80’s are normal.  mid 60’s with lows in 40’s has stopped most of the swimming and had everyone enjoying campfires when ever the skies have cleared


Little Sophie was happy to get out the cabin with her dolls getting dad to hang with the dolls and her on the cedar swing


The ladies in Muskie who will go unnamed as they are in the witness protection program named “what happens in Hazelhurst stays in Hazelhurst” have had lots of good laughs and special time with friends


Troy and I escaped for a little bike ride down the trail for a pizza at the Hazelhurst Pub


The colors will be popping soon.  We are currently 80 percent booked in September.  If you are looking for some dates book them now before we fill up.  Our availability chart is up to date on the main website with rates.  We still have some nice mid week opening specials going on and a just a few weekend openings 


Time to get to the lake 



Summer has been sliding by and in our final week of summer brought some great fairy house building. 

Terri and her grand daughter Olive spent the week thinking hard one what to make and where.  They finally settled on the old playground grill


Here is a close up of their fairy house.  Inside it is a fairy baby sleeping


What is a fairy baby?  Well here it is decorated by Olive along with her fingernails

Great fairy house!


I also had this picture shared by the Chu Family.  They took all of the collected pop tops to Ronald McDonald House in twin cities.  It was the biggest haul yet.  We collect tabs all year for the girls to bring to Ronald McDonald.  Keep the tabs coming!


With a little inspiration from the Hollenback family we took a couple of hours to hack down the invasive thistles, burdock and knap weed plants along Lower Kaubashine that have crept in.  When we had our power lines buried last year the power company brought more than lines with them.  They also brought invasive from other areas on their trucks.  They have been popping up along the road concentrated by the power boxes. Steve had a particular gleam in his eye taking out this tall one

We hope it helps our road stay looking like the northwoods and not a thistle invasion

Thanks Hollenback Family!  Libby in particular who is an invasive warrior with her clippers and gloves where ever she goes


Bella was having fun picking this weed that I can not remember its name.   Troy was digging up 1st year burdock plants in the background


With the end of summer comes the end of summer jobs.  Grant has been working at the zip line all summer and was on his final day and final tour.  He took our whole family zipping through the trees as his final horah.  He had fun keeping Steve in line and clipped in


Grants final zip of the summer.  His summer of swinging in the trees is over but he sure had fun and earned money for college while doing it


Moved in to the dorm room with his buddies and ready for year 2 at Saint Norbert.  Ben is on the other end of campus in his senior year.  Ben will be graduating at the end of the year and ready to be a bean counting as an accountant.  Their brother Jake who lives in Green Bay is happy to have his brothers around again and not far away


Back to the woods for us while the boys are off at school.  This picture for a pilated woodpecker was taken by Libby Hollenback while she was hunting down knap weed last week

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Diving lessons were going on at the resort this week at the raft with the Hollenback family


Sophie finally went off the diving board and did not belly flop to the encouragement of her cousins in the water


Awesome job Sophie you get a 10 out of 10.  They might be a bit biased judges though


Put at the woodshed we have been getting it ready for fall and winter.  The kindling pile was getting worked on


That is about as full as the shed gets.  That should get us through to early next summer

I did just update Summer 2020 on our website availability chart through mid August.  I will add more weeks after Labor Day 


It was a relaxing week at the resort.  Great for paddle boating


We even got out for a ride around the lake….


It was relaxing on the way out but we always seem to have a reason for our jaunts on to the lake..  This one was to rescue the pontoon boat.  Everyone happily made it back to shore and the red pontoon is up getting a carburetor fix and will be back soon


Lots of fishing by the Wiederhoeft family


Perch and bluegills were the fish of the week.  I did get to hear a classic tale of a muskie following up to the boat a blue gill on a very light pole.  The bluegill jumped out of the water


Steve got the doors on our winter storage building and it looks finished!


Somebody got a bath…..


To which he promptly went for a good dirt roll afterwards


A really cool new sock machine found its way to the resort in July and I just got it out to try it out.  It is a Legare made in Canada in the 20’s.  It has more gizmos than my other Gearhart machines.  It was fun to play with.  It specializes in making wider socks


It came with a wildly large yarn mast that was made for argyle socks which I do not know how to make buy maybe I should


I also had a fancy cone winder arrive to wind yarn on cones for my hat machine.  The hat machine goes so fast that I need yarn on cones so it feeds the machine evenly and no knots


After working all week we returned to Boomba Bar in Tomahawk for our 2nd fish fry of the summer  Last time we went with Kim and she had raved about the fish fry enough that her husband Will had to come try it too.  Will agreed and voted it best fish fry of the summer and hands down best cheese curds ever!  The drive to Boomba is lots of twists and turns but worth it.  If you take the back roads you can go out Cedar Falls to County Y or take Why 51 South to L and follow your GPS either way as there are too many twists and turns for me to type here

We did have a cancelation this week in Eagles Nest until August 30th if you need a quick last minute escape to the woods



We took an adventure with our neighbor Kim Flower.  Kim wanted to go someplace new for a fish fry.  I said some place with more than beer battered cod and interesting…  Kim found it.  The GPS did not though and took us down a dirt road at first until it straightened itself out


Back on the correct road with stomachs growling to Tomahawk


We found it!  Boomba Bar and Grill in Tomhawak about 20 minutes from the resort


I forgot to take a picture of the outside seating along Lake Nakomis.  There were lots of folks but we found a spot inside


Cheese curds to start things out of course!


Perch with a light breading.  It was delightful.  The rye bread was the best I have ever had.  The Old Fashioned was the topper!

Can’t get better than this on a Friday night in the Northwoods


Good job Kim you deserve and Miller 64!


Back at the resort it was a afternoon of fun int he office between the Walsh and Bechler Families


The pennies were lined up and it was some serious competition


The Walsh’s were ready 

In the end everyone walked away with dimes for the pinball game and lots of smiles


Steve went to town for a little shopping and came back with a truck


Penny is very excited about the back window feature


Ya…. whoooo…


Steve was not sharing his truck with Ben, Grant and Conner.  They were fine with this as they were off 4 wheeling with the dirty linens and garbage


It was a beautiful morning at the lake.  The lake mists and sun coming out




Always gotta take a raft pic


Water tramp in the mist is fun too but the raft is just more photogenic


It was a happy day at the lake as the boat lift for the red boat arrived.  The red boat was sunk a few weeks ago in its dock when it was overcome by big waves from a wake boat.  No sinking will happen again with this lift


Boat looks much happier and will not be banging around in the waves up on the lift.  Just what an old boat needs a little TLC in its old age


That way it will be ready for many more days like this cruising Lower Kaubashine


I ment to post this picture a week ago when the Chu girls were here.  Leo Hodes along with many other guests collect pop tops for the Chu girls to take to the Ronald McDonald House.  Leo is definitely the biggest contributor.  He collects them in his class room and brings them on vacation to give to girls he has never met but loves to help out.  Big thanks to Leo and his kids for their hard work.  I am waiting on a picture from the Chu girls dropping off the load at Ronald McDonald House in the Twin Cities

We had a personal experience with how great a Ronald McDonald House is when you have a sick kid in the hospital.  We will be forever grateful to them for being there when our family needed help.  You hope and think you will never have an emergency or need one but they are there when you need them through the good works of many people.  We collect pop tabs at the resort year round.  So bring your baggie of them large or small and we will get them to a Ronald McDonald House


Back to enjoying the views

Our first openings start Sept 2nd.  Weekends in the fall are filling up fast.  I did go in and put all the big cabins on special for mid weeks in September and October.  If you can travel mid week we have some great spots open at a reduced rate.  If looking for a week call Jenny and see if we have any on special for the weekends 


One family and 52 years of summer fun on Lower Kaubashine enjoying mornings like this


That would be The Thompson Family.  Some will remember their infamous commercials from a couple of years ago telling the entire mid west to come to Wisconsin and enjoy it as much as they do.  We fit as many of them as we could on one pontoon boat but are missing a few members.  The boat came back with this crew a hour later and none lost along the way


John Thompson was thrilled to have his first grandson, Jackson join the family on vacation this year.  Jackson got a bath in the kitchen sink just like his dad did many years ago.  Jackson is ready for many more years of fun in Wisconsin with his grandpa


Jackson not as awake picking up his new Christmas stocking along with Mom and Dad.  They join the long list of families that have Jenny’s Christmas stockings hanging from their mantel this Christmas.  If you want any Jenny has them all made up right now and the supply goes down fast as Christmas gets closer, they always sell out


Leah and Brian Darling ready to toast their own resort tradition at 8 years along with the Thompsons.  Leah told me a funny story of the first time she drove into the resort and saw a lady in her PJ’s and coffee cup headed to the lake without a care about hair or makeup.  Leah decided this kind of relaxation was just what she needed to be comfortable in a place and people around you to go out your door with your PJ’s on.  I do think I have spotted Leah at one time or another with her PJ’s and coffee headed to the lake 


Steve and John had been talking over the year about the entrance remodel for Muskie.  John always likes a project as long as it does not start at the crack of dawn.


Steve loves a chance to use whole logs!




Going up slowly over 4 days



Another project off Steve’s list and John had fun helping.  Stick around the resort for 52 years and you get a say in the projects as long as you help which John always has.  Our office building was another project he enjoyed being a part of


Muskie ready to welcome the next 52 years of Thompsons through its new door