Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


We had a snowy start to Thanksgiving.  It piled up more than we expected


But it made for great pictures


The lake froze over during the weekend


I took my usual walk around the resort taking pictures of the families in the resort making their dinners.  I caught most of them.  The Urbankiak’s perfecting sweet potatoes


The Mann family enjoying a fire and keeping a little one entertained was exhausting


The Walstad crew was doing what they do best watching football and cooking a turkey.  They have relaxing for the holidays down to a science


In between eating turkey and football they headed to the woods for a little deer hunting.  


The Rudatt family was happily not out of the PJ’s and enjoying the day by the fire


Best table decorations went to the Tornetta family.  They had the cabin decked out enough to make Linday Hoadley proud of her cabin


Down in Norway Joey and her family were keeping the fires burning while the turkey cooked

The rest of my families were snoozing when I walked through which is what being in the Northwoods for Thanksgiving is all about


Our own family all made it home as well.  Aunt Debbie gets photo credit for taking the picture of all of us.  


Friday followed the tradition of getting the outside lights up on the tree as the beginning of the Christmas season of decorating and getting the resort ready for Christmas families


I finished my final craft fair of the year Saturday.  The sock machine is happily headed to the house not to emerge til spring on the deck.  

I just uploaded my new Christmas socks for 2021 on my website

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Deer Camp week is always fun but requires protective wear.  About 1/2 of our cabins fill up with hunters who have made the resort part of their hunting tradition.  Whether they hunt our private land or public lands in the area they all come back to the cabin with their stories and a few deer

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The Walstad crew who specialize is seeing deer, eating good food and a trip or two to the casino


The Welnak guys have their own land close by and always a few stories to tell


You never want your hunting clothes to smell like breakfast which would be a dead give away to any deer with in 10 miles to steer clear.  Always store your clothes outside.  It is a cold put on in the morning


The Evans Family are our longest running hunting group.  Dan, Jeff and the guys are the ones who use the deer stands along our trails you see.  


The Sveda family is also one of our long running families.  They hunt the swamp down the road.  Last year a nice 6 point buck went home with them.


While the hunters were in the woods the ice creeped across the lake


Troy thought it was a good time to take the last motor off the last boat in the water


We had a few extra visitors this weekend.  Steve and Jake were out of town, so Apollo and Penny came to visit.  Penny was letting Apollo know in no uncertain terms she laid claim to the gator seat and was here first


Smart Apollo let her have the cold gator seat while he grabbed the spot in front of the fire


Mack was just happy to let the other 2 know he may be old but he is in charge and stay off his bed


I have one Christmas stocking left that is done.  I can make a couple more before Christmas.  I have patterns for 10 different stockings.  They are 70 each and that includes the name being put on.  I am taking orders as well for 2022 of what stockings to make after the New Year.  If interested message me for details and pictures of the other patterns.  I do have some of them on my site   


These are sold but are other patterns I make

I have also added some Christmas Balls to the site.  They are 12 each.  I will have them year round in the shop or you can order them through the site

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Now on to Thanksgiving

We have Holiday open for the holiday yet.  I have reduced it to a 2 night minimum.  I also put it on special for smaller groups with a 3 night minimum.  Wigwam as well opens up on Friday if anyone wants to come up after the holiday for a couple of days


We were gone for a few days and Steve took some pics of the first snows

Enjoy…. or close your eyes and imagine summer






Last boats and a few docks need to get out of the water and the beach front will be ready for winter

We have Birchwood, Restawhile, Wildflower and Red Pine open this weekend.  Thanksgiving we have Holiday open for the whole time and Wigwam opens on Friday the 26th.  Give a call if you need a little bit of the Northwoods


Birchwood roof project moved right along the last few days

Chris helping Steve and Troy pounding nails on the new rafters

Slowly the rafters went up


Plywood was the next challenge

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Definitely giving the old cabin a new look  This new roof should be easier to keep clean of debris and shed ice and snow better.  No more ice jams over the bedroom


Calm warmish Sunday morning.   A few things left in the lake had to come out


First up was the boat lift, it is heavier than you think


Heave ho onto the the dock


Penny over seeing the slide coming out


Summer 2021 is a wrap, till summer 2022 and we do this all over again


Last out will be a few boats.  I heard they are going up on the docks today



Our first snows have arrived.  Not much yet but more is on the way sooner than later


The resort has gotten quieter.  The next couple of weekends we have openings.  As deer hunting and Thanksgiving approach the availability is getting less and less.  If you are thinking of the woods for the holidays give a call.  We do have some private hunting land open during Thanksgiving if anyone is interested in staying and heading into the woods give a call


With the quiet resort it does not take the guys long to turn in their cleaning jobs with Amy and I.  They quickly headed to Birchwood and a project over helping with fall cleaning


Steve headed to roof with skill saw in hand


Straightening out Birchwood’s low pitched roof has been on Steve’s list for awhile


Off went the eves


The roof line is dramatically changing



More pics to come as the project continues


Meanwhile the cleaning stuff and sheets has been evicted from the sauna.  We are putting the old sauna back into use this winter.  In the spring hopefully, we will have delivery of a new barrel sauna and we will close the old sauna for good.  The old sauna will become and expansion of the Sock Shop/Office.  Can’t wait!


Here is the new cleaning hut across the driveway.  Complete with a heater so the cleaning supplies do not freeze in the winter.  A much needed addition.  Our sheets will be on the shelves as well in closed bins


In other things going on around the resort, we had a small sock machine crank in.  Connie Reeves came up to hang with Amy and I to learn from each other.  We had 3 sock machines whirling and creating


Christmas balls were our project


Here is one in the middle of being made.  Learning lace work on the machines was fun


I now have a bowl of balls.  They will be for sale in the shop for 14.  It will be fun to see all the different balls we come up with



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The lake mists were out and had to jump in a boat and see them up close.  Yes the metal seat was cold!

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Steve has the measuring tape out on Birchwood’s roof.  He has a plan… he has materials… and he has a work crew next week.  What could be happening…..


Lake mists have been beautiful in the mornings



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Loon in its dull gray winter plumage fishing.  They should be leaving soon.  This one was happily fishing

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Family time at a campfire with a good drink is the way to enjoy a weekend!


Or dancing around on a roof with a heavy leaf blower….. your choice.  Steve likes the views from the roofs


Sunrise to sunset.  Nothing beats quiet fall days.

We have a couple more cabins left for Thanksgiving.  One of them we have some open private hunting land if one group wants to do some deer hunting call for details


It was a beautiful weekend in the Northwoods.  We have extended Eagles Nest being open through October 22nd weekend.  We may keep it open through Halloween if the warmer weather holds.  It is open starting October 19th


Over three days we had hundreds of people through the resort to see the sock shop for the Northwoods Art Tour.  It is always a fun and busy weekend of art and friendship and wine at the end of the day


Mack when the wine came out

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We also had a guest artist, Erik Peterson up from Grays Lake.  Erik is an amazing wood worker.  You have seen his work around the resort with our new cabin signs

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Carrying on the fall tradition was Olav and Anita Mersserschmidt.  Every year Anita entertains us with her version of tetherball.  The best is hearing her hoots of laughter as the ball sails over her head


Such form!


Will Olav get it past Anita?  That shall remain a secret


It was warm enough for a few swimmers.  Johnnie and John Thompson could not resist a jump in the lake for one last afternoon on the raft.  Will there be another brave soul yet to swim out?  


In other news, Chris and Steve were busy working on our new cleaning room in the shed.  Steve got me to let him off the cleaning crew for 3 days to work with Chris on the project


Insulation and electrical light made it in.  This will be year round room for us to store our linens and cleaning supplies.  We will be reopening our sauna for winter use.   Hopefully our new sauna arrives in the spring so that next summer we can expand the office/Sock Shop into the old sauna




Raft days are quickly coming to the end


John and his dog Sammy up enjoying the fall colors.  Sammy almost blends in with the colors.  

The colors have been amazing this fall


Woods by Bear Den bonfire with yellows


Troy and Steve busy at the office taking out a few more boats.  Troy gets tired of keeping the paddle boats clean of falling acorns and debris.  They are done for the year along with all the green boats.  We have plenty left in as the temps go down and less guests go out on the lake


Penny along on for the ride


Beach front slowly getting put away.  We won’t have it all buttoned up till the end of October




We have Red Pine open this weekend.  I lowered the nightly minimums on this weekend and next for Bear Den and Red Pine to 2 nights.  

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are booking quickly.  If you wanted to spend the holidays up north now is the time to book before we fill up


My sister Katie out enjoying fat tire biking on our mountain biking trails in the area.  This time she was on the zipline trail 10 min from the resort.  Fat tire bikes are amazing to do trails with year round.  She loves her bike


Back at the resort it was a misty morning at the lake





Back up the steps for a cup of coffee and the day to start

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Need some fall beauty?  We have a Holiday and Red Pine open this weekend.  I put a special on Holiday for smaller groups 

Northwoods Art Tour will be going on this weekend.  You can follow a map to 39 local artists and visit their home studios or galleries and see them doing their art and check out what they have done for sale.  The Sock Shop is a stop on the tour.  I will be demoing sock making.  Amy will be felting her soaps.  Eric Peterson will have his beautiful wood work in his tent and a fire going.  Stop out and see the fun.