Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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

Browsing Posts published by Jennifer Gibson

I am glad Steve pays attention when we have lots of snow as to what trees are leaning over cabins or need trimming. Today it was Wigwam’s turn to get some trimming around it. The tree guys arrived. Left over stuff was mulched into our trails by the office

Dangling above Wigwam

We did take this tree out due to having a double top

Frisch Family fish fry was one of the highlights of the week. They catch all the fish for the whole family

Warming up the frier

Ted Tempel our head boy scout encouraged us to get a few life saving items. First was a hook for the beach in case we have anyone in trouble int the water. It will by by the step to the beach if anyone is ever in trouble

We are also investing in a AED in case of anyone needing it for heart attacks. It will be located in our office area where anyone can get it quickly to save a life

Things you never think of till you need it. Thanks Scout Master Ted

Howard Berchtold stopped by and found our what it means to be Ooggied. Oggie still thinks he is a lap dog and it quick to give anyone a hug that he thinks needs a little extra love. See Oogie if you need a smooch

The correct way to start our a week with wine. Jean enjoying a glass with Julie and Blake. Howard and Jean have been married 67 years this year. Congrats to them!

Red Pine is our next opening August 19th if anyone needs an escape. I will consider 4 night rental for the beginning of the week and a 3 night for the tale end if anyone wants to do a shorter stay. Red Pine is also open Setp 1 and 2nd on Labor Day Weekend. After that our first opening on the other cabins is Monday Sept 4th check out website for fall openings

Its been a cool week but lots going on. The loons are getting bigger. Happy to still see 2 of them on the lake

Deer have been getting bigger as well. So thankful when folks share such nice pictures like these with me to share

It started out as a warm week but a front came through with hail and cooled things off. Thankfully it was not bad. We still have not had to actually use our generator yet and we are ok with that

Getting a little white in July, not a picture we like to see in July

Mark and Ted enjoying time at the cabin. They had fun seeing Steve and Erik put up the new Wildflower sign. They are taking the old one home to Virginia

Steve and Erik trying to figure things out

The old Bayview sign is being delivered to Sharon, Wisconsin. Erik has made most of the signs in the resort now. We love his work!

Taking a break Erik and Heather headed off for some crappie fishing

Yes, Oogie has become quite the ham. He takes his job seriously.

We snuck off early morning for some berry picking. We have some awesome pick your own berry farms in our area. Next week blueberries!

With our ebikes, we have covered a lot of miles, exploring many new trails. If you want some new trails to try just ask. This is from the end of the Bearskin trail over Bearskin creek

4th of July brings around our annual Roy Tungett Memorial Horseshoe Tournament Tom Hixson is our planner now organizing 45 participants into teams and off to Hilltop we go

We work on just making it to the pit with the shoes. Amelia has watched the tournament since she was little and now plays in it

Our biggest thrills come when we purposefully or accidentally ring the pole. We call this pole dancing. Linda was thrilled to be a pole dancer with the right bounce this year

There were a lot of first time ringers. Julia was thumbs up for her ringer

What form Kim, you must be a professional

Lisa was all smiles with a definite ringer that needed no judge to declare it

Beth with a great one as well. The ladies were really pulling out the ringers this year

Laura matched her mom Linda but sadly it did not keep her off the Pony Plaque this year

Chris and Will did their share of ringers as well

Audience cheering. The legendary Bob Robotka of horseshoe fame gearing up for his big match

All smiles from Roxanne Hixson…. but who would be in the finals this year and who would end up on the Pony Plaque

Amanda Hixson….. that is some pole dancing if I ever saw it

Yes I did it!!!

Then there are the Losers out in the first round…. no pole dancers here

In the end it was 2nd place to Mike Hixson and Heather Peterson

Our big winners were on the left. Bob Robotka and Brigid Hixson

See you next year Tom. Its time for the picnic

Our 2nd picnic of the week from this end of the table too….

To the other end. We lost track of how many we had but we filled the tables

Nobody got their name off the pony plaque this year, and nobody was sadder about that than Terry Hixson. Paul got to add his name to the plaque this year

Even with that nice ringer, Laura sadly was finally tracked down to add her name to the plaque. She was not happy about this occurance

Gloria adding Brandon’s name to the plaque as well

Til we meet again in 2024 good time was had by all. Roy is smiling somewhere and happy we continue what he started many many years ago….

Always a lot of fun on the 4th of July week Lots of family and friends. Too much to do and too little time is the theme of the week but we cram a lot in

This year we seated 56 people at the table for the seafood boil a new record

The cooks were cooking!

Th old fashioned bar was open with Will Flower serving your choice, sweet or sour

Loved a few of the T shiets

Missing pic was Paul’s wife with the I Love Hot Dads shirt

Everyone in the crowd clapped along thanking the cooks!

After all that eating it was time to do some walking up to the stop sign and back a daily dose of exercise and cameraderie

When starting off vacation the most important thing is finding a good spot for first dinner with enough room for just a couple of friends. Ottos in Minocqua if the weather is great has the most amazing patio to accommodate a few friends. Much fun and laughs were had around this table

Next most important thing is finding your missing piece of furniture that got moved to a different cabin over the winter. Cause vacation is not the same if you don’t have the same lamp you have had on your porch for 50 years

Next thing is to wet your line while Ooggie looks on

Beach work outs are a must. Especially when your daughter spent the entire car trip coming up with the hardest work out possible

Future work out influencer in the making

Playground maintenance is a must, especially when recycling the old raft

First of many baskets this summer

Field trip to the Manitowish Heart of the North bike trail also a must for any vacation preferably with an ebike

32 miles Manitowish to Boulder Junction and back

After a busy day grab a friend or two with a twenty dollar bill each and see what happens

There were a couple thumbs up but more thumbs down but fun was had by all

Back to the lake to enjoy quiet moments with the new loon family. Two chicks this year!

This week I Summer has really hit. Most of our spring projects are either done or on the back burner for next spring. I have been slow updating the blog. Sorry for that. Between the late spring and my recovery from my treatments it has been a bit of a challenge. Shaking off winter, my cancer treatment recover, getting the resort ready along with having a busy May with the cabins had us scrambling a bit longer than normal. I can happily say the place feels ready for summer now

Quick update on how I am doing. May 1 was the end of my treatments. My first check up comes at the end of June as they keep any eye on me, especially for the next 2 years. So far so good. My energy has finally returned mostly back to normal. My right arm I will be protecting from Lymphodema the rest of my life and I have to be careful with it. You will notice me wearing an arm sleeve when working to control any swelling. My feet continue to recover from neuropathy from the chemo, I hope they get better. You might notice me still stumbling with words with a slight stutter at times. So all and all, yes I am done with my treatments, now it is assessing the collateral damage of what chemo and radiation has done. I have bumped into many breast cancer survivors the last few weeks and I am encouraged to hear their survivor stories. So long story short, I am doing ok, and cautiously optimistic I can hopefully put this chapter behind me. Tripe negative breast cancer however, you never loose the nagging fear in the back of your mind. As I type this I put out the call to everyone to do your preventive screenings, mammogram and colonoscopy. When caught early they are so treatable. A regular 3Dmammogram saved my life. I hope my story does some good and saves others by getting screened

On to happier things. Nothing like a cute guy looking in your door. Resist feeding Oogie no matter how cute he looks. He is carrying in the long resort dog tradition of tramping through the resort. Oogie as well likes to steal things off porches, picnic tables or from the beach. This week we have returned one kidspurple shoe twice, beach bucket, towel off the line (great game of tug o war), grill scraper, empty box of swedish fish, and several paper plates. If you are missing anything see Oogie

Oogie has never met a stranger who he does not want to greet with a woof or a sniff of a butt. He is a loving ball of fluff who steals anything that fits in his mouth with an innocent smile on his face

This is one of my favorite pictures from last week. We had 3 generations of the Urbaniak family here. They called themselves the Littles, Middles and Oldies

These are the middles out on the town at Hilltop enjoying a cousin night out. We caught them at the beginning of the night. I asked where the Littles and Oldies were.

The Oldies were watching the Littles while the Middles had fun. I asked for an Oldie pic too but did not catch them. The Middles were thankful for Ron, Sue, Claude and Leslie

Purl felt left our of my Oogie pic. Our nick name for her is Perfect Purl. We could not have asked for a more perfect resort dog. You can tell from the pic she wanders around and gives a shoulder to lean on as long as you give her a scratch. She is 4 and wiser, calmer, than our little thief. Purl is throughly enjoying her new life at the resort after spending 4 years in an Amish barn cage having puppies. She will wander around a little with Oogie but mostly found underneath my feet

We truly have the best cleaning crew in the Norhtwoods. We have all worked together for more years than we care to admit. This was our 3 mop finish at Norway last week.

It takes two crews of 4 in the cabins cleaning, Steve and Bella following behind making beds to turn over all the cabins in 4 hours. Outside this year we have Troy, Jake and Ben hauling garbage, filling up wood, raking, cleaning grills, organizing beach and boats. Then there is inevitably the fix it things that crop up in the cabins on Satudays from leaky sinks, curtains needing repairing or our favorite changing out fridges when they get iced up from humidity. We could not do what we do without this great crews

After cleaning our favorite time is sitting down and having lunch. Usually it is pizza on the deck, this week it was a treat heading to the food truck at the Hazelhurst Park where there was a craft fair. We were happy to kick back at little after 4 hours of work before anyone arrived and walk around the craft fair after lunch. Troy and I found a great addition to the bathroom at the office. You will need to stop in and spend some time with our acquisition. It is guaranteed to make you laugh and keep you busy while you are busy

I got to go yarn shopping in Stevens Point this week at the Herschners Warehouse sale Lots of great new sock yarns in the bags will keep me busy this summer

We had a fun visitor stop in, Terry Grim. Terry was a neighbor of my grandparents back in the 40’s and spent many summers at the resort from 1946 and forward

Terry found himself in our history of the resort book, he is on the right side with the hat on. My Uncle Dave is in the middle of the pic. One of the Keiths is also int he pic but I am not sure which one on the left. I think Terry said another one was a Meyer. Terry had a nice time walking around the resort seeing how it had changed but also stayed the same.

He shared this pic of my grandpar3nts by Bayview I have not see before

I have some new stuff coming in for the gift shop. Here is the first arrival. I have yoga pants and a sweatshirt in 3 fun colors coming yet

Our first opening this summer is Red Pine August 19 – 25th and Bear Den is open the following week the 25th to to September 2nd. For openings starting Sept 1 check out our availability page

There has been a lot of fishing going on the last couple of weeks with the spawn drawing the fish into shore

Bently was all smiles keeping his grandparents baiting his hook. He has a fish story to write about when school starts in the fall

With our late spring our time has been sucked up getting the resort back to summer mode

This year we rebuilt the raft. It needed a revamp. Its been around since the 50’s and has been rebuilt a few times

Casey has been a great help the last 2 weeks helping out before he heads off to training to hopefully become an amazing cross country skier at Vermont one of the premier schools for skiers. In the meantime his training has been working hard at the resort helping Steve

Casey holding it steady while Steve drops the anchor

You will notice the raft is not painted white. We are trying it for a year not painted. Scraping it every year and paint chips flying everywhere is not a favorite job

Looks a little different but we like it

Staining the dock was next. Casey blew Steve’s record for time to stain it out of the water

Casey likes breaking records

Troy likes his picture taken less but I caught him in his walk way project Slowly our wooden walk ways are going to brick as they wear out

Back to the Steve and Casey show painting half of Norway

Casey getting his arm work out for the day

Paint Paint Paint

Next up was winter trail pick up. Steve and Casey cleared downed trees from our big snow falls off the trails

Casey at home in the woods on a trail, just missing snow and his skis

Plenty of room Steve!

In between teaching and accounting jobs, we had help from Ben and Jake as well Nice to have them back a bit this summer

Both of them will be helping out when they are off from regular jobs Ben is an internal accountant with an online job and Jake just finished up teaching as he starts teaching summer school 1/2 days and starting some master program work he is very excited about. Between all that they will be helping out. We are waiting to hear if Grant finds an online marketing job so he has more flexibility to be around the northwoods more than 24 hours a time. Online jobs make the Northwoods much easier to be in as long as you have good internet location.

Its been a busy spring but we took some time for fun and rented some ebikes from Chequamagon Adventure Company in town and took a 26 mile round trip ride with friends. It was a great ride zipping down the trail. If you have not tried an ebike we highly recommend it. They are 50/day for 30/half a day try reasonable. The Bearskin is a perfect trail to try them on

My bike we own and since this picture we bought another one for Troy cause we enjoyed the trip so much. We are ready to enjoy a summer of biking

We made it down to the Goodnow tressel, 13 miles from Minocqua. We decided we were good, now and time to go back 

We made it back with 1/2 our battery life yet

Back to work at the resort.

Dock work continued. We got our new dock tops on the old docks.

Looking pretty snazzy

Straightening other docks

Getting pontoon ready to go in now that we have docks to hook it up to

Oogie off enjoying the first pontoon ride of the summer. Purl was curled up in a ball at my feet unsure of the experience

Feet back on the ground it was time to see what Cheryl had in her bag of treats

We still have Norway open for Memorial Weekend and the weather looks great. Openings still up to June 10th 2 night minimum

It is finally starting to feel a bit more like summer approaching

Steve caught this picture of a porcupine up a tree on our trails. Luckily it stayed put

We have a bit of winter clean up to do on the trails. Our big snow falls left a lot of debris on the trails

Back to work, the resort got cleaned up from leaves this week

Thanks for some help from Steve Weiloch. He helped a lot getting our leaves picked up this week. Thanks Steve!

Lots of blowers working together along with Troy cleaning up the piles

Amy took a break from cleaning cabins and making scones to do some painting. We finally had some good weather for it

Quiet spring moments before the resort gets busy

This weekend we have Wildflower still open at 160/night, Kaubashine has as special for smaller groups at 175/night up to 4, otherwise 225/night up to 7. Norway, Muskie and Holiday are also open for the weekend if you want to treat mom to a nice weekend away

May 20th weekend we are full. Memorial Weekend we have Norway open yet

June 2 – 10 I have reduced our weekly requirement to 3 nights for our remaining cabins. Restahile 2bdr, Holiday, Bear Den and Red Pine 4 bdrs are all open for this week

After June 10th we are booked out till August 19th. See our website for openings beyond these dates

I have not written much about my health journey on the blog but I would like everyone to know we had a celebration Monday as I finished my last radiation treatment. It has been a long 9 months of surgery, 20 weeks of chemo and 30 radiation treatments for breast cancer. May 1st was my liberty day! All done! Not to start living again. I stand a 85 percent chance of never seeing this return. Now is the beginning of the recovery journey. Nobody goes through all that and is the same person. There are a few more aches, scares, and a bit of chemo brain left over. It will take me awhile to fully recover but we started recovery with a jalapeño mango margarita. Thanks to all who have helped us the past 9 months and guests understanding and grace to give us space during this time

There was a lot of bell ringing around the resort

Back at the resort there has been a lot of work going on. Red Pine bathroom getting a little remodel

Kevin Carr came up to help our Steve. Kevin was happy to practice his carpentry skills

There was some comment about a bigger hammer being needed

Kevin got practice putting up ceiling tile in Muskie. All the snow we had some ice jams that did some damage. A new roof, some new insulation, ceiling tiles and a new tub arrived at Muskie

Steve did some fireplace repair. He says nobody will notice the white after a few fires and smoke

Shamrock with its new front entrance Its a great change

Out in the office we got to doing some painting. The anchors, oars, dock ladders and beach chairs have been slowly moving through the building

Bob, Tammy and Kelsy Robotka originally were going to come up and help us to rake Instead it turned into a painting morning in the office. Kelsey had fun and enjoyed meeting Purl. Kelsey was Mack’s biggest fan and she loves Purl Purl is very laid back compared to Oogie who still has puppy in him. Purl got her first treats from Kelsey and I see a great relationship forming

Kelsey hard at work. She will have lots to talk about with everyone at the dock this summer

Here is Kelsey meeting Purl for the first time. Mack and Kelsey had a very special relationship. She could be gone for a year but the minute he heard her voice he would run to Kaubashine. When we lost Mack I immediately thought of Kelsey and how she would be. I need not worry. Purl is on the job! Oogie still has a lot of puppy in him and likes to give puppy kisses and Kelsey is not a fan of being licked. Purl is perfect for Kelsey and she immediately pulled out snacks I left to give Purl and Oogie. I love it when dogs find their roll in life and Purl has found hers

Kelsey’s smile says it all. I love golden retrievers for the above pictures they are simply the best dogs. Purl has found the life she deserves after living in a barn for 4 years having puppies

While Tammy and Kelsey were painting, Bob and Troy filled up the kindling pile

The resort may never get raked but the painting is getting done and the kindling pile is full!

Next week Monday through Friday we think we will be getting to raking and blowing leaves. Docks are probably going in as well. Anyone who wants to work 9 – 2 and have a free cabins get ahold of us the more the merrier this spring