Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


We have had some beautiful fall days!  Colors have been amazing


We had Northwoods Art Tour at the resort this weekend.  1/2 of the 40 artists on the tour that goes through the Northwoods to Art studios like mine, did not participate due to the virus.  We took everything outside along with masks and hand sanitizer and had some fun


Going to studios the artists on the tour were supposed to demo how they create.  My sock machine came outside along with my furry buddy


I had older machines as well on display from 1890 to 1904.  My machine is not much different than the old ones 


Erik Peterson was up with his wood working displaying and selling his cutting boards and other awesome wood products.  Swedish Butter Knives and Lefsa sticks were also on his table


Erik’s wife Heather and kids enjoying a fire while Erik was busy 



Ali and Ben our newly engaged couple stopped by as well.  They were helping clean cabins while Amy and I were selling socks and soaps


Even Aunt Debbie stopped by 


Olav and Anita Meserschmidt enjoying time with their family playing tether ball.  They are on their 30 plus year at the resort


Aaron and Jessica taking on the ball


Followed by a rousing game between Anita and Jessica


Some though like balls closer to the ground like Sammy



Our big news first.  Ben and Ali announced their engagement this weekend.  We are thrilled to be adding another member to the family officially.  7 years of dating through high school and college we are excited to see them enter their next chapter in life.  They are living in Stevens Point while Ali finishes up her Bachelors’s Degree and applying for her masters in speech pathology.  Ben has entered the working world in the middle of COVID19 and is thrilled after months of looking to be starting with Jackson Hewitt doing taxes later this year.  We are excited to see them heading into the world together and coming back to visit us and help at the resort when needed


The colors have been phenomenal



Troy has been busy making trees for my shop.  The Northwoods Art Tour is this weekend and we expect hundreds of people through the sock shop.  We also have 2 other artists coming Amy Jones and Erik Peterson who will be demoing their art along with the socks Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  It will be a fun weekend.  Troy will be busy churning out trees


Each tree has its own unique look 


Nothing says fall like helping put the storm windows on the house.  Jake and Sarah were also home and got the job of helping with those along with cleaning a few cabins before heading back to Green Bay to teach Biology and Spanish


We have been moving things around in our shut down rec room.  Since the resort rec room is closed until COVID is over we decided to move some of the games to cabins,  The foosball game headed out to Bear Den’s basement for the winter.  Centipede went to Red Pine.  Pacman and Rampage are headed I think to Holiday and Kaubashine.  We will bring them back to the rec room when we can


Back to enjoying pretty pictures




Keep an eye out for specials in the 2nd half of October.  I have posted a few.  We have been extremely busy in September and October with everyone trying to get away and social distance.  We expect this to continue into late fall and early winter so get your reservations in,.  Starting November 1st we will be guaranteeing 24 hours between reservations for cabins to air out with the furnaces on.  Until then we are opening the windows and doors and enjoying the fresh air in the cabins



Its been an absolutely beautiful fall in the Northwoods.  The colors are headed to peak




We have had a lot of regular guests through our doors.  Howard and Jean Berchtold have not let corona slow them down or rob them of their visits to the Northwoods.  They may be cooking in more and sticking close to the resort but they love every moment in the woods together


Mike and Michelle Tungett had not been to the resort in a couple of years.  It was nice to see them.  They enjoyed some great drives around the woods and a fantastic hike on the Fallison Lake Trail 15 min from the resort.  Michelle took a ton of pictures.  Fallison is a photographers paradise especially in the fall


We have had some visitors that are  not as welcome.  Red squirrels are the enemy of our family .  They have crossed a line with Troy in the past week sneaking in our basement and taking paper towel out for nests.  He can tolerate their chattering from the trees, and throwing pine cones from the trees but when you enter the house it is war.  They are not shy and seem to get joy out of laughing at us from the trees.  The live trap is set and the squirrel relocation program is in full swing.  They may look cute but they are diabolical


I have been busy making fingerless gloves.  The cool temps have had the gloves flying out of the shop.  I just switched from PayPal to taking all credit cards.  It you want to order you can pick local pick up and save shipping or I can ship.  You can even shop from the cabin if you want or shop ahead to save stuff that you want.  I have Art Tour coming through starting October 9th so the selection is best before the tour starts.  Last year the tour wiped out a lot of my stock.  Good thing I make my own stuff and don’t need to wait for shipments from China.  Made in Hazelhurst is my motto!


We are quite booked up now the first half of October.  I have put a few specials up on some midweek stuff in October and Shamrock is on special at 160/night November 1 – November 18

Get your reservations in, if you are thinking of coming up.  Bring your food and enjoy quiet time at the cabin away from politics and virus

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The trail was calling out name on a warm fall day.  This is the paved bike trail that runs through the Raven Trail in Woodruff.  The trail starts at Indian Mounds in Tomahawk and runs through this beautiful part of the Raven Trail through old growth forests.  My sister is not a fan of the destruction to parts of the Raven Trail to make this paved trail…. but Troy and I sure enjoyed biking down it.  You can’t beat the scenery.  The Raven Trail portion is hilly but it flows nicely with down hills before uphills most of the time.  We biked 2 miles both ways  and it flew by


The colors were amazing on the trail


There was this blurry guy behind me chasing me down the trail LOL


We parked the bikes at the Clear Lake Boat landing


Clear Lake


Can’t beat the colors!

I just added some specials through the end of October if you check out the availability chart at



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The woods are slowly getting more colorful.  Next week the colors should really get going


Warmer temps and lots of late night campfires around the resort.  Ted and Jackie enjoying great times around the fire with Dan and Steph Christian.  Nothing like wine and a good fire and friends to get through this crazy year


Other folks find pumpkin carving a great release too.  Julie Richards decorated Birchwood with this great pumpkin


I was enjoying and relaxing with one of those great warm fall afternoons on the deck.  Nothing like the clickty clack of the sock machine and a good old dog.  The red squirrels were the only distraction this afternoon.  Their chatter from the trees


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It is that time of the fall when you see little glimmers of color that hint at what is coming soon


Looking out off Bear Den’s dock.  That shoreline will be a beautiful yellow in 2 weeks



Lots of rain coming in 2 days ago.  Troy and I pulled out the paddle boats so we would not have to bail them.  Bailing paddle boats on cold September mornings is not my idea of fun.  Much nicer this way


We have sent many guests to enjoy our little oasis in Minocqua.  Dorwin Park is a hidden gem along side the Minocqua Museum.  It is off the main strip and hidden on a side street.  We have gotten together outside many times here this summer enjoying coffee and sandwiches with family and friends.  We will miss Dorwin Park when it gets colder out.  We grab our goodies from Great Northern Coffee Traders and head straight to our spot for a safe outdoor spot to enjoy a few laughs and good times.

October, November and December reservations are in full swing.  We may be full in September but we do have some October spots open.  Don’t wait long as the phone has been ringing.  

I do have one spot left in September into October.  Kaubashine Sept 28th to leaving on October 2nd

Starting November 1 we are putting in place the 24 hour hold between reservations that we are guaranteeing.  This we hope continues to keep our cleaning crew and guests safer when we have the furnaces on and windows closed.  November 1, we will also be extending out check out from 9 am to 11 am since we are not cleaning cabins the day you are leaving.  All sauna lovers in the winter we will sadly have it closed this winter until COVID is under wraps.  


Cool September weather has hit.  The lake fog is back



Color peaking through the greenIMG_3892

We had lots of groups out enjoying a fire


Nothing says Labor Day like good food around a weber grill


Troy is still getting our TV system to come back after the lightening strike a couple of weeks ago.  We called in Joe the TV dude to help.  Joe found a few more places the lightening stuck, including some connections in our basement.  We have gotten the local channels out to the cabins.  Our satellite is still not broadcasting to the cabins.  The lightening shattered the COAX output from our satellite receiver to the cabins.  The HDMI output still works but the output to the cabins is still COAX cable.  Right now the cabins get the 12 or so local channels and we are working on trying to figure out the satellite


Troy has put up a few TV antennae receivers around the resort to get better reception.  Eagles Nest and Holiday got them on their roofs.  Eagles Nest cable we figure is fried from the lightening.  We had splitters and amplifiers under Shamrock blown apart from the strike that took the signal to Eagles Nest


Part of our cleaning crew celebrated with margaritas after Labor Day cleaning.  We made it so far through COVID19 in one piece and smelling like bleach


Mack just takes it all in stride.  He has partially torn ACL and is on partial bed rest for a few more weeks.  

On to fall!.  You will notice we are almost 100 percent booked in September and October is filling up fast.  If you are looking for some time away in a sparkling clean cabin give a call.  The COVID busters are on the prowl keeping the cabins clean and as COVID free as we can make them



We took a little trip away from the resort to Firefly campground with Mack by Boulder Junction.  Mack enjoyed looking out at Firefly


Close to Firefly is Fallison Nature Trail.  We send lots of guests each year to hike Fallison.  The wonderful thing about Fallison is most of the time you are hiking with lake views around the lake


You can’t beat views like this 


Or views like this 


Mixed up with amazing red pines


Lots of steps 


Throw in talking to a loon.  Fallison is the perfect long lake for loons to take off and nest on



We took a few minutes to find a Geocache we found 10 years ago in the same spot


Back to Firefly Lake for a beautiful sunset

Troy and I enjoyed this quick get away.  September just hit 90 percent full in the cabins so we are recharged and ready to clean cabins for the next 2 months.  We have throughly enjoyed so far 7 little trips this summer in our RV to little get aways like this.  Don’t be surprised if once in awhile when you are here you see the boys watching the resort or Steve’s number on the door while we take off for a little R and R

If you want a nice hike Fallison Nature Trail is a must do when you are in the area


Mornings like this on Lower Kaubashine are the best.  Crystal clear and calm 

Gavin was out floating in his boat enjoying some quiet moments at the lake


I found out it was swim across the lake morning for his wife Tina and daughter inlaw.  Absolutely beautiful morning for a swim.  

Tina worked for us about 30 years ago helping out at the resort.  She has stayed in contact with us and has brought her family to the resort many times over the years.  Always nice to see her and her family.  


Swim Tina Swim!


We had a sad goodbye to John and Barb Ellis.  They have been staying in Birchwood since 2001 in August.  We are happy they have their own little cabin on a lake now but will miss them as guests.  I know Mack will miss Barb’s ear rubs and treats.  Good luck John and Barb!  Hope to see you in the offseason for skiing or hiking  Enjoy your new cabin


In other news we had a lightening strike in the resort Friday  It blew up this maple tree.  This is by the playground on the road to Eagles Nest.  Our cable lines from our satellite dishes pass by close to this area.  The lightning blew up those lines and entered our house and fried our TV system that sends out TV signal to the cabins.  Troy is doing his best to get things back on.  

We had the smell of burnt electronics in our house.  It blew apart all the TV splitters and amplifiers in the house.  Troy has had to dig a new cable line.  We are slowly getting things back to normal.  Our internet routers were also damaged to our house and at Eagles Nest.  We had folks through the resort that night see sparks in the air.  It was quite an event



If you can see in the picture the lightening blew out the roots of the tree.  Thankfully the tree was mostly dead anyway.  It was not a maple we tap for sap


At the sock shop I had a delivery of hand painted super wash merino yarns arrive.  They were hand dyed by my friend Hilly Jacklin in Missouri.  They are absolutely beautiful.  I will be posting pictures of what these make up on Jenny’s Sock Shop Instagram and Facebook pages.  Check them out to see what I make.  See a color you love and want to see it in a particular sock size or gloves let me know I am taking requests

Black’s Cliff is also on Instagram as well.  Keeping Facebook, Instagram and the blog up to date is a challenge.  

COVID Update:  We will be guaranteeing 24 hours sit time between reservations starting November 1 to May 15th.  We think this is a good safety measure for our guests as well as our cleaning crew (who is mainly our family).  We are doing everything we can to keep Black’s Cliff a safe place for people to come to during COVID and keep our family healthy


Beautiful late summer morning at the lake


Red squirrels have been starting to harvest their pinecones.  They are nasty little buggers.  This one was literally dropping pinecones all afternoon on our deck from above.  It was returning for the spoils.  It was aggressively chattering for Mack and I to get off the deck


It went out to the end of the table and chattered at Mack who promptly ignored it


Our great guard dog on duty.  Troy further pissed off the squirrel by picking up all the spoils off the deck and hiding them in the house


Big thank you to all the folks who dropped off pop tabs this summer.  Our usual family did not have room for them in their car to take to Minneapolis.  I have another guest who works at the Madison Ronald McDonald House.  That is where this years went.  Theresa told me that pop tabs for her Ronald McDonald house amount to about 10,000 a year and they really appreciate the donation.  


Keep bring them with you on vacation and dropping them off.  I will always make sure they make it to a deserving Ronald McDonald House.  You never know how great this place is till you need it.  We used one twice with our middle son years ago and have never forgotten how important they are for families who need them


In other news it was fun watching Troy and Jake move the raft around to its correct spot in a stiff wind.  There was some rearrangement happening but the raft got put back in its spot


This is one of my favorite pics this summer.  Father and son feeding bluegills worms.  These two were having quite a good time together playing with the bluegills.  This is what vacation is all about moments like this with your family.  


Anybody who likes Amy’s goat milk soaps in the cabins I have just added her soaps to  They can be ordered both regular and felted soaps.  She has over 20 scents listed on the site.  check them out.  I also have finally gotten half of my scarves up on the site.  Currently all the socks, gloves and half of the scarves are current on the site.  I have hats to do after I am done with scarves


Wiped out from squirrel defense