Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


We had our first afternoon of horse racing and wine tasting at the community room.  The Madson Family were playing for the first time and had a lot of fun seeing who would win the most money to use in the rec room  

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Bella was running the other game for me with Emerson against the Larson Boys.  The Larson boys did pretty good I think Nolan was in red was the big winner from his family his brother Bryce had a lot less pennies in front of him and big brother Jackson came in 2nd

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The one who walked away with the most though was my buddy Emerson for the 2nd year in a row.  I think he has a big gambling story to write for his teacher when she asks what did he do on summer vacation.  He won at the ponies


It was all smiles in the Jelinek family as the oldest grandson has the highest score on pinball so far this year.  He was very proud of getting on the blog this year as his brother batman made it on the Black’s Cliff Calendar this year for the month of June in his Batman outfit from last year


Grandma Karel had to give the game a try but I think the record is in tact for the moment


A house full of teenage – 20 something boys ment that the rest of the green boats went in the lake

It was a trade off a little work and……


The first water skiing of the summer for the Gibson boys and their friends.  Grant was behind the wheel pulling his first skiers while the lake was still quiet.  He did really good and I might have just lost my boat driving for the summer.  It is a transition watching the next generation at the ski dock and driving the boat.  Grant is really getting the hang of it quickly it must be in the genes

We do have 2 openings left for summer

Blackwood June 17 to leaving the 21st 2 bdr 180/night

Wigwam June 26, 27 and 28th.  It is on special 190/night up to 4 people or 250/night up to 7

After that we are booked out til August 30th so give a call if you would like a short get away




Beautiful start to the week.  Everyone this morning had a fishing pole in their hand and the crappies were cooperating


Especially if you have a dad to help you out


And a good net


The ability to cast like a pro


The ability to let go your first big catch the dock


The ability to bravely get in a boat with 3 fishing poles all with hooks and all come back without a fishing hook embedded in any relative


Then there are others who are much happier on shore oblivious to any boys rushing by with bluegills on their lines or fishing hooks waving wildly in the air


There are others who get to sharpen up their motor fixing skills and bailing boat muscles


And others who just want to see what grandma is cooking in the cabin 

All in a good morning at the beach


We had a very special congrats to my nephew Conner, Katie’s son, who graduated this last week and is headed to UW Madison this fall.  He is so happy to finally be a college student and off on his adventure like his cousins.  Congrats Conner


His Graduation Banner was a special hand me down.  I bought it 6 years ago at Saint Mathias Thrift store for a dollar.  It has made it to every graduation since of some special friends of ours and all our boys and now Conner.  Each of the kids has signed the banner.  Conner joins a great tradition


People always ask us where do we go when we get away from the resort.  Troy surprised me with tickets to the Paul McCartney show in Green Bay at Lambeau Field.   Had a wonderful evening with Grant, Jake and Michelle.  Paul was amazing and we sat on the one yard line of Lambeau while he was in the other end zone.  I got cleaning done in record time to get to the concert.  


Lambeau Field, Paul McCartney, some great family and a wonderful husband!





My 2nd day of Grandma’s taking pictures of Grandpa’s and the rest of the family fishing while she takes the pictures.  I have determined that there are very few pictures of Grandma’s out there due to this fact.  My previous blog entry was all pictures Ruth Grady took of her family fishing and now Annette is my grandma of the day taking pics and sharin

Brent and Annette (taking the picture) spent a great week with 4 generations of their family fishing at Red Pine.  Brent’s parents are not pictured but there were there too.  Brent reeling in the crappies from day one


Maddox with his mom Amanda learning the fun of crappie fishing with grandpa and grandma at the lake.  


Little brother Ozzie much happier to stay on land and catch bluegills from the dock and no way is he touching them.  Grandpa help!!!!  Grandma put down the camera and help me!


No wonder Ozzie is a little hesitant going out in the boat when he sees muskies in the shoreline spawning


Generation 3 not to be out done by generation 4, Catilin showing the little guys what happens when you learn from Grandpa and take the fish off your own hook


Lots of fish and even more good times with the family.  That is what time at the lake is all about.  Unplugging from life and enjoying priceless time floating in the boat hearing tales of fish stories and learning to take those fish off the hook


Sunset on another successful family vacation on Lower Kaubashine

Thank you to all the grandmas out there that take the pictures while the rest of the family is having fun.  Thanks Annette



Mike and Ruth are on their 25th year coming to the resort.  Lots of good times but spending time this week with their grandson Bentley was among their favorite 


A boat, a cabin and a grandson for a week, life does not get much better


First bluegill.  What do I do with it grandpa?


I am happier when they are back in the lake


Ok this is getting more and more fun


Where did the worm go?


Having Mack stop by for treats is another fun part of vacation.  Mike and Ruth usually have a golden of their own along, but they lost her a year ago.  I am waiting for them to show up with a puppy sometime soon.  Til then Mack fills in as a vacation dog, he is more than happy to stop by for homemade dog treats from Ruth


The sign of a good vacation with Grandpa and Grandma.  Til the fall…..  


Sunset on another great vacation,  Thanks to Mike and Ruth (who took all the pics and was not in any) for sharing a little of their vacation adventure


Beautiful morning at the lake.  


Mack stopping for his morning drink.  He is happy to have the swimming steps back in.  Much easier for an old guy


The Blankenburg family were out fishing for crappie this morning.  The spawning fishing season is in full swing.  


The Lillies of the Valley have finally sprouted up atleast a week behind.  Usually they are blooming right now


This summer stop by when I am working on this old machine on our deck.  It is a 1873 Lamb flat bed knitter I ran in to in March.  I plan on having it working in the next few weeks.  First step will be to take it apart and soak it in Evaporust.  These machines are rare as they were mostly melted down during the wars.  I know of a handful of folks around the country with one.  With their guidance and pointers I hope to have it up and operational again.  Old machines are fun to work on as they are basic mechanics with gears.  Get the gears moving again and the machines comes alive.  Not bad for being almost 150 years old.  I believe the box is original as well.  This machine was destined for a scrap heap in Milwaukee until I was contacted

We still have nightly openings up to June 8th, Blackwood June 17 – 21 , and Wigwam June 22 – 29th which I will break up nightly.  After that we are currently booked out till August 30th so jump on those openings if you want to escape to the woods


It was a beautiful Memorial Weekend.  70’s for temps and no rain Saturday and Sunday.  Perfect for enjoying the first days of summer


The water tramp made it out on the water to join the raft.  Grant and Quinton helping Troy get it set on the anchor.  They wanted to go water skiing but the red boat is not in yet so the water tramp was the next best thing 


Grant and Quinton enjoying the ride back from the tramp.  All in a days work at the resort.  Much better than finals week at the dorm


This lady was enjoying her 33 year at the resort watching her family have fun fro the top of the steps.  Nobody had a bigger smile this weekend than she did and nobody styled hats as well either


After getting the stink eye from a couple of humming birds it was time to get the feeders up.  One particularly aggressive hummer flew over this pile of feeders getting our attention as if to say “Hey get off your butts and get these hung up”  Grant, Quinton and Conner got to making sap for them.  We boil it 4 – 1 water to sugar no red dye


Steve and Bella spent part of the winter making the worlds best jump ropes as voted by Bella

They are for sale in the gift shop


Here are their sizes.  Bella will demo them if needed


Back to enjoying the rest of the weekend and remembering why we celebrate it.  

Salute to our Veterans who sacrificed and gave their service for us to enjoy this great place


Rosebreasted Grosebeak stopped by when he heard and a bunch of his friends….


Someone at the resort turned 50 not saying who but there was much fun had by all…. 


After a long week of work getting the resort ready everyone was ready for a party.  Ben and Grant tired and thinking finals week was easier than resort opening


Ben boning up on his skills to weave anchor rope on the boats.  If any anchors get loose this summer see Ben.  


Lots of beach cleaning


Steps going in, ladders on the raft and slide in place


Blue dock going in


Big Brown dock with lots of hands to help


Is it straight?


Alright I declare it straight enough!  Now who wants to put the raft out?


Off it goes being pushed out from shore


Now I learned all the wrong ways to do it from Paul….  now to do it right…


Yep looks good and done in record time

We have not had great weather for getting things done this spring but we have taken advantage of every good day with lots of hands to help and got it done!

Memorial Weekend we are full Friday, Saturday and Sunday

I have some specials going for before and after the weekend check them out at click on Availability.  Weekend rentals over June 1st weekend require 3 night minimum except for Bear Den which can be booked for 2 nights at 320/night up to 10 people

Eagles Nest June 1 – 8th 135/night mid week and 165/night Fri and Sat or 920/week

Birchwood May 29th and 30th and June 5 – 8th at 155/night

Wigwam May 27 – June 8th 175/night mid week 210/night Fri and Sat or 1200/week

Muskie May 27 – June 1st on special for smaller groups up to 4 people at 165/night or 210/night up to 8 people

Bayview May 29 to June 3 135/night mid week and 165/night Fri and Sat 3 night minimum

Norway May 30th – June 3th 190/night mid week and 245/night Friday and Sat 

We have 2 remaining openings for the remainder of the summer 

Blackwood June 17 – 21st 180/night 2 bdr 4 nights

Wigwam 3bdr June 22 – 29th at 1715/week.  I will consider breaking this week up into a 4 and 3 night rentals at 250/night but you must either start on June 22 or leave on June 29th so I can rent the other nights

Call 715 356 3018 for more details




It has been a busy week.  Besides all the work going on with the late spring Bryon has moved our website to a different more secure server and there have been days of things moving over from servers including the blog.  

While that was going on Ben and Grant made it home in time to help with resort opening.  They got all the green boats painted and then moved on to docks


And painting the perch….


After a week of finals painting steps is relaxing.  We put them to work


Troy worked ahead of them getting the scraping done.  Picnic tables quickly got spiffy


Nobody takes pictures of me working but I had my own projects


Lots and lots of paint slinging was going on


Steve in on the action as well with his own projects painting trim in Birchwood


Steve got help from Chris Bognar who had a quiet week at home till we called with lots of work to keep him busy


Steve and Chris made quick work of Shamrock and Kaubashine getting painting done there


Keep going Grant!  We are not done yet and resort is full this weekend.  Paint paint paint!


Troy made quick work of straightening the docks while everyone else was painting.  He happily has non leaky waders on and is not sharing them with anyone


Our first shipment of new shirts arrived today.  I ordered a bunch of new kids shirts.  Check them out in the gift shop


Penny following Mack’s lead on sleeping her way through all the work.  She just wants everyone to finish and throw the ball for her


Despite how busy Mack looks we had a busy weekend with 8 cabins at the resort and trying to get spring work done around the resort.  Don’t let Mack fool you that spring around a resort in relaxing if you live here.  


While Mack was busy sleeping we got the raft painted


The ladders for the dock and raft got a fresh paint job as well.  This next week is going to be all about getting the beach opened up and ready


Meanwhile someone woke up long enough to wander down to the beach with a  stick to chew on.  He really has a ruff life


The big brown dock also got a scrap job and we started painting it before the rain hit


Big blue dock spread out drying also for a paint job later in the week.  Troy did get the white steps into the lake painted as well in the corner of the picture


I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon working on my 4 sock machines I am rehabbing and selling this summer.  So far 3 of them are cleaned up and getting closer to being ready to go


Troy helped me with this repair on one of the machines.  It is a 1920 machine and its cams needed a new spring.  We pulled an old spring out of a pen and that is all it took to get the came flipping again


There was some fishing going on this weekend.  Rob Schulz was out test driving one of the motors as the first user of it this spring.  All was good.  I did not hear how the fishing went


Amy the soap lady stopped to drop off my first shipment of goat milk soaps.  We are putting her soaps in all of the bathrooms in the cabins for guests.  They are great and I think everyone will enjoy them.  I will also have her larger bars for sale in the gift shop.  Lilies of the Valley, Oak leaves and Acorns, and Oatmeal and Honey are the first find we are trying.  I will also have her Sportmans soap that washes away human scent for fishermen and hunters to use


All this work, Mack needed a break.  Charlies Cheese opened and he got his first doggie cone which he spent 5 minutes slowly licking and enjoying on the ground

Its a Dog’s Life



The lake has opened up and the loons are back.  We heard our first loons a couple of days ago.  There was supposed to be a poser in this picture on the dock….. I swear he knew before going to the lake that I would ask him to pose out on the dock because he would not come down the steps and when he did he kept out of range.  Who could this chicken dressed up like a dog be…….


Ummm… no I know what you are up to with that camera and the ice is gone and my paws are staying on ground.  No docks and certainly not stepping out nom the raft


So imagine a golden retriever sun bathing on the raft.  The sun was as scarce as the golden retriever.  Raft is ready for a coat of paint as soon as the sun dries it out and 2 boys make it home from college.  Only a week and a half and Ben and Grant will be home for summer.  


Dock parts waiting for a warmer day as well to go in the water


Sock machine news.  This 1924 machine will be the first of my rehabbed machines for sale starting next week.  It is running really well.  A few more tweaks and it will be out in the office for sale.  If you are interested in buying a sock machine I will have 4 of them for sale from 1920 – 1924 all Gearharts ready to make socks.  Contact me at for more info.  All machines will come with a sock making lesson


One of the repairs it needed was a new heel spring attached by JB Weld.  We did this repair for 3 of the machines on their masts

I did have a cancellation June 22 – 29th on Wigwam 3 bdr and Bear Den is still open July 26 – August 2nd

We have nightly openings up to June 8th with a 3 night minimum.  Check out the website for details on these at or call 715 356 3018

Shamrock is on special from now until May 17th at 155/night for up to 4 people or 170/night for up to 6.

Fishing Opener May 4th weekend we still have a few cabins open starting at 135/night