Cold Morning

Cold Morning

Temps went subzero last night and it was hard to head out the door this morning.  All the smoke stacks were chugging out smoke this morning.

View at the Elementary School

View at the Elementary School

How do you know it is winter and the trails are in good shape?  Check out the parking lot at the K – 8 elementary school to see if they kids are snowmobiilng to school.  There are about a dozen or so kids and a couple of teachers that snowmobile everyday to school.  Beats a yellow school bus any day of the week.

Cold view off the hill at sunrise between Norway and Holiday

Cold view off the hill at sunrise between Norway and Holiday

Why no picture down at the lake of sunrise, because this is the view from my car with the heater running on my feet.  I will do a lot for a Blog picture but walking down to the lake at minus degrees is not one of them

Another view from the car

Another view from the car

Now on to the January News.  All the spring, summer and fall confirmation letters went out in the mail yesterday along with the January News letter.  Since there is a pretty big annoucement in the newsletter I thought I would share it with blog watchers so they are up on the big news.  There is one paragraph missing but you will have to wait for the letter for that info in your mail box, there is a reason for this and you will have to ask Craig why there is a good story behind it

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Happy New Year from the Northwoods

Wow what a year we have all been through. It is nice to start thinking of summer and the things that don’t change in this crazy world, slamming of screen doors, soaking up the rays at the beach, hours spent on the lake searching for the perfect fishing hole, swing on a swinging bed with a good book and time spent with family around a campfire. 2008 brought so many worries, financial stress and changes someone told me, time spent at Black’s Cliff is the one constant that they rely on in their lives as families have done for over 90 years.

We have gone through our own good and painful changes ourselves. In the hope that families that have come for generations or only for a few years will be able to come to the resort this year, we have decided to join the world in tightening our belts and have not raised our rates. It was a tough decision for us as not all our expenses have frozen, but we felt it was right. We hope this makes it a little easier for families afford their escape from the crazy world we live in.

One of the biggest changes in the resort happened behind the scenes in 2008. Craig and Lynnette wanting to have the resort continue in the tradition it has as a family run business all in one piece have handed down ownership of the resort to Jenny, Katie and Steve. Most resorts like ours have cashed in and disappeared to condo ownership. We are happy to announce that the resort has now passed to the next generation of Blacks who will continue to keep the wood chopped and fires burning. Most will not notice any changes, but Craig and Lynnette will now happily leave the 2 am septic calls to the new owners. Don’t call Katie for septics but it is now up to the next generation to keep going what the Keith’s started in 1918, Millie and Maynard Black bought in 1946, sold to their son Craig Black in 1972 and has now passed to Jenny, Katie and Steve and their families.

The next big change, started last fall and will continue over 5 years. Craig’s favorite rolled roofing that covers every roof in the resort has gone through such a reduction in quality that Craig, Steve and Troy have decided it is time to put the tar bucket away and try shingles. Bear Den was the first roof to change last spring and Red Pine’s roof is sitting waiting to be put on next spring. The main house and Kaubashine will hopefully be shingled by late spring or summer. The expense of doing the entire resort at one time was not a option so we will be picking off the roofs as needed the possibility of having a cabin with half shingles and half rolled roofing is very high. That is what we call part of the charm of coming up North, if it was perfect like the Hilton what would we have to talk about.

In mid July one of the nicest additions to the resort was added between Muskie and Birchwood. The Schmelzer family asked to build something in honor of Jack Schmelzer, who passed away last year. After putting our heads together and consulting The Great Architect, Craig, a design was decided on for a landing at the top of the hill with a wonderful view of the lake that I know Jack would have loved. Char and the entire resort that week spent a wonderful evening toasting Jack on Jack’s Landing. When you come to the resort take a moment to enjoy the view that Jack would have been honored to share with everyone. Thanks to Char, Ken, Karey, Jimmy, Danny, Anne, Bill, Sam and Katie for all their hard work during their vacation to make Jack’s Landing possible

Lots of time was put into a few other projects. Jenny’s landscaping project continued all summer right up to the first freeze planting new trees, ferns and adding new trails. The goal of this project is help bring back the quality of soil around the resort, control erosion and keep Jenny’s out of trouble. Craig and Troy spent a week in December installing a new energy efficient window in Birchwood’s lakeside bedroom. Guests in Birchwood will enjoy the better view and airier feel to the room. A couple of afternoons were spent taking down mature trees around the resort. I will not mention the cabins hit in the process and please do not ask.

As 2009 rounds the corner we hope that Black’s Cliff will remain the constant in your life that makes the time spent away from the resort and the Northwoods worthwhile.

Jenny, Troy, Jake, Ben and Grant

Katie, Bryon, Conner, Max and Sam

Steven and Jen

Craig and Lynnette