Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


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


Howard and Jean Berchtold gathered with just a few members of their family to celebrate Howard’s 88th birthday at the resort along with a great vacation with the family.  4 generations of a family gathered together for a week is not an easy task to accomplish with our busy lives but Howard and Jean make sure as many as can make it every summer.   43 years for their family at the Cliff 


Howard with most of his grandkids and great grandkids saying happy birthday.  Don’t we all wish we could pull off tie dye like Howard at 88



Howard may not be water skiing like he did at 83 but I know if he could he would be shredding up the water showing the kids how to do it

Happy Birthday Howard!  


There has been a lot of fun going on at the resort from four legged fun above to swimming and games


Some very intense fishing being done from the steps.  Rosie perched on the beach steps in the early morning sun before swimmers are down looking for blue gills to swim by 


The beach has been full of lots of laughs


Soaking up the sun


Swimming with a pizza and a cousin


Swimming with friends and sisters and friends who are sisters just from another mother


Perfecting moves off the diving board without landing on any relatives


Hanging out with just a few members of your family as the dock and pontoon boat are not big enough to hold everyone at one time


Horse Racing for pennies…  Did someone hear a cry down South from Megan G who would love to take on these kids with her own in racing and wine tasting


Topped off with a rousing game of Werewolf/Mafia sniffing our the bad guys and who is lying through their teeth before everyone gets killed


Game moderator, Nick, keeping everyone entertained and eyes closed


All in a good day of fun at the Cliff


After being sunk by huge waves on Lower Kabuashine the red boat went through a check up at Ryden’s Marine and is back in action.  We took it over to Lake Katherine for a quick cruise before putting it back in Lower Kaubashine.  Lake Katherine is a beautiful lake if you get a chance to go out on it.  It also has a narrow channel that connects it to Lake Tomahawk


It was a full boat with Grant along who wanted to ski for the first time on Lake Katherine


Lets go!


Ya Whooooo



We then turned the boat over to John and Susie Thompson so they could cruise the lake too.  

Good day for all and happy to have the boat back.  

We are installing a boat lift this week so we will not have another problem with big waves from wake boats.  


Our 80’s video games we added to the office we are using as a fund raiser for the Northwoods Wildlife Center.  We ask guests who use Pac Man, Centipede and Rampage in the community room to put a donation in the box for the center.  I asked the Wildlife Center if we could donate the money to something they need.  They have decided to put it towards a new fence for the orphan fawns who come in.  The Center raises them until they are ready to go back to the wild.  The fence is badly in need of repair


A storm last year blew trees over on to the fence and thy are keeping it together but as you can see it needs repair.  The cost estimate is 1,000.  We think it is a perfect use of the video game money



Here are some of the patients in the fenced area right now.  So stop and play Pac Man and make a donation

Thanks from the Wildlife Center


We have had some smores experts stop by and learn how to play Pac Man along with having some smores


End of another great week at the resort.  Mike Frisch doing the sad walk up the hill with the empty gas tanks after a great week at the lake

Til next year Mike!



Its been a beautiful hazy warm week on Lower Kaubashine


We had some amazing fairy house designers stop in.  Fairy houses were popping up all over the playground


There will either be some happy fairies or chipmunks with a new fancy home




Katie put out the call for help to load up some hay bales for her horses.  She goes through about 30 bales a month and it was hay cutting time at a local farm.  We just had to show up and load up the new bales.  Troy grew up working on a neighbors farm and felt right at home in a hay wagon


Bryon and Troy throwing off the bales


Grant learning why wearing pants instead of shorts is important when doing hay


All the bales made it to Katie’s barn in on piece


The new hat machine was cranking out hats one right after another


One of the first hats headed to the shop.


After working hard all week it is understandable that falling in the lake while cleaning out paddle boats may be refreshing and entertaining for the picture taker who was dry on shore with Mack laughing



Beautiful July days at the lake


Lots of fun paddling around the lake


Catching fish like Megan here who is knows how to take her fish off her own hook!  Yeah Megan!


Sitting back like John and Lillian in the background enjoying some rays while the kids have fun


Learning how to drive skiers for the first time and spending more time with a rope behind the boat than a line in the water with Mark and Charles


Lauren and Abigail living it up keeping Mark and Charles on their toes pulling them around the lake and taking them horseback riding

Dad’s and uncles are the best!


Paddle boarders having fun!


Keeping the trampoline inflated 


Catching some rays on a leaf



In other news this crazy hat making machine has found its way to our house. It is electric and goes around a little faster than I am comfortable with.  Steve tried to slow it down with a Rheostat switch.  Basically it slowed it 15 percent…. kinda like going from 50 to 40 miles an hour.  What is the difference between 40 or 50 when your fingers are involved.  So I am slowly and carefully learning how to make it work

 or IMG_9801

Here is the first hat off the machine.  I am going to go find fleece and line the hats with fleece for softness.  Stay tuned to see more coming off Gertie the Hat Machine