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


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There were some amazing colors in the skies preceeding a storm on Friday

It was hard to capture the colors but my camera did the best it could

Thankfully the storm went through with no damage. It was sure erie to be outside with these skis

Cause there is nothing cuter than one puppy other than 2 puppies

Ben and Ali came up with their corgi puppy Gnoochi who is Oogie’s favorite visitor

Yep Oogie is getting bigger and he still thinks he is a lap dog. He has been loving all the kids at the resort this summer and they him

I am more happy than you can ever know that I got him earlier than I thought. He has had a great summer adjusting in to being a resort dog

If you have not noticed, I love taking this shot at different times of year with these two Red Pines framing the shot. It is always pretty but this morning even more so

Misty lake mornings never get old

We are enjoying every last minute of the end of the summer. Never enough ice cream

My favorite order from Bricq’s is chocolate ice cream with hot fudge and raspberries. They close Labor Day and we will be missing out ice cream breaks

I still have Wildflower open Sept 5 and 6, Restaswhile the 6 and 7

Wigwam just canceled from Sept 9 to the 14th with a 3 night minimum. We also had Bayview open the 12 to the 18th of Sept also with a 3 night min

I love watching families enjoy quiet time at the dock, especially in the morning. There is nothing like quiet time at the lake in the morning

We had a lot of changes the last week. The big dig for electric lines for our electric car charging stations went in. We are installing 2 level 2 charging stations for guests

Lines got all buried. Now we are waiting on an Amazon delivery of our charging stations. They cost 700 each to be delivered

Our next delivery was our new Sauna. Straight from the UP of Michigan, a Finnish barrel sauna. Our old sauna is being shut down and turned into an expansion of our gift/sock shop this early winter

Jake and Steve had prepared the landing spot earlier in the week

Backing it in place.

The Sauna Guys are proud of their work. They are a small company who know how to build the best

They are a year out on orders right now

We can’t wait to try it out. Steve has to get the electric lines run to it before we can fire it up

There is a small changing room and it is supposed to sit 8 people but we think more like 6 would be comfortable

Steve is proud of his new addition to the dog park. Please make sure to fill it instead of the ball can we have out there. Make Pootin full of poo

Steve also taught Oogie about squirrels Oogie was very interested in the moving chew toy.

My firefly jars have been the hit of the summer. Check out what I have in the shop. They are constantly changing. They make great night lights or decorative lights around the house or yard. Jake has had his on his deck all summer turning on every night. They are solar powered

My Jenny’s Sock Shop website will no longer be taking orders. I am shutting down the cart on the site for awhile. I like it better when folks shop in person at the resort. I was working too hard to make sure I had the right inventory on the site. Now I just take stuff out to the shop and do not have to upload pictures to the website. I can still take pictures of socks and send by text if you want to shop that way I will ship. The jars though I am not shipping, to much of a pain to pack glass to make it through the mail.

The latest shipment of pop tops to the Madison Ronald McDonald House left this week. Thanks to all who brought tabs to the resort. Especially Leo Hodes and his students in Indianapolis

Keep the tabs coming if you have them at home bring on vacation I will get them to the Ronald McDonald. You never know when you may need the their help. Health is a funny thing you don’t appreciate it until you have a situation then you are grateful to folks like the Ronald McDonald House who are there for so many families at rough times

We are currently over 80 percent booked for the month of September. Check out our calendar for our few remaining openings if you are thinking of coming up. We have cabins open starting September 5th

This picture explains why being at the resort and sharing family time is so special

Dawn who spent many summers at the resort watching us as kids, then many summers with her own boys at the resort vacationing, is now sharing one of her favorite spots with her granddaughter Rose. John her oldest stopped in with Dawn to say hi. We had fun catching up and seeing Rose enjoy the resort with Dawn just like she did with her husband Buck, Tony, Phillip, Nick and John

Rose jumping in to dad

Squeals of happiness, and happy mom, dad and grandma

I think John remembered the slide being bigger


I know Grandpa Buck was smiling down on this picture and with them in spirit.

Goodbye Rose, it was nice to see you and your dad, mom and grandma having so much fun

The resort will be here waiting for you next time you stop in

Its been beautiful weather at the lake. Not too hot and not to cold as the rest of the country has been baking

It feels like we have been in puppy fest. Ben and Ali brought their new corgi to the resort to meet Oggie. It was 2 days of puppy wrestling

Lots of dog pics, yep cause that is what we have been doing lots of puppy time

Not to leave the big guy out, Mack has been very tolerant of the pups

Beware of leaving your shoes outside the door. There is a thief that will steal them off your stoop. I caught him this time

He knew he was in trouble

But really how can you yell at the little guy

We had a few fun trips away from the resort. Ben and Ali gave us tickets to the Charlie Berens show at the Langlade Fair. I post his comedy on the resort Facebook page once in awhile. He is the best Wisconsin comic. If you get a chance to see him in person or online he is great. I learned at 50 years old that the word Unthaw is not real. I always took things out of my freezer to unthaw on the counter. Charlie loves Wisconsin and is so much fun to listen to as he points out things that make Wisconsin unique

Thanks for the laughs, Charlie

We took some time with all our kids to go to the newest bar in town Forestry Tap and Axe. It is an axe throwing bar. Great drinks and fun trying to hit the targets. Forestry is on Hwy 70 west just past Walmart on the left.

I did it the target once in awhile. Don’t tell Troy but he definitely was better at it than I. Lots of practice in the woodshed

With our 20 something kids it was a fun hour of axe throwing

Back at the resort it was Howard Berchtold’s 91st birthday. They had most of the family at the resort this year.

In the woods it is raspberry picking time. We got 4, 1/2 filled pail full. Blueberry picking in Merrill is next

In the meantime if you are looking for us, check out the driveway. Lots of walking and Cherrios handed out to both dogs whenever Oggie does what he should outside

Hide all shoes!

Currently our first openings start Sept 5th. We have openings posted up to June 17th next summer. Starting June 17th we are booked out through July. I will add more weeks in as they go through. I do not expect any 2023 openings until the 3rd week or so of August for 2023. Keep an eye on our Facebook page I announce any openings there and on our availability chart on the website

Mack would like everyone to know he is doing good with the puppy. He does not love him but considers him part of his pack. He does love the toys Oogie comes with. He claims a few and Oogie knows old dog gets first pick

Mack especially enjoys walks were he is off leash and the Oogie is in his training collar on a leash. Pays to be an old dog who knows better than to poop in the dinning room

Nothing like a puppy enjoying life and exploring

We had a nice couple of weeks with some of our long standing families. I remember getting lollipops each afternoon from Jeanine’s grandpa, Papa Ott. Jeanine is carrying on her grandpa’s tradition with her own grandchildren. I was half tempted to have a lollipop too but they were not the exact ones Papa Ott handed out. Her grandkids though loved them as much as everyone loved Papa Ott’s treat

Both the Pyfer and Ott/Frisch families found their names in 1960 in our old hotel register. Donna Pyfer found her parents signature and old address. Our hotel register goes back to 1941. That makes it atleast 62 years for both families vacationing at the resort. 5 plus generations

Donna found her parents the Johnson’s

If your family dates for 1976 ask to see the registry to find their names

I found Ted and Joey Tempel’s names in the registry on one of the last summers it was used 1975. Lots of memories in Wildflower

Donna brought over popsicles for the guys while they worked on a little project for her

Some how doing the project Troy might have cut the gas line. An afternoon of turning off the gas to fix it, turning on the gas and then relighting all the pilot lights kept the guys busy.

This summer we are replacing a lot of our walk ways. They replaced the walkway between Muskie and Bayview already. Now it was our turn in front of our house. Trying some new brick

My sock shop is part of an Art Tour twice a year. 3 days in July and 3 days in October. Folks from all over the Northwoods follow a map to 40 different artists studios in the area. Our shop is one of the stops on the tour.

My Fairy Light jars were a huge hit. I have to spend the week making more. They are solar powered and automatically come on at night or you can put the jar lid on covering the solar charger to get them to come on during the day

Lots of folks were going to use them for night lights or outside along their decks

I had 35 of them in all sorts of colors at the beginning of the sale

We also have been busy making Christmas ornaments with the same pattern as I use on the jars

Keep your eye out for what is hiding in the ferns

This next week will be filled with lots of berry picking. Raspberries and blueberries are in season and my freezer is empty

For those looking to book for fall we are very quickly filling up. We are currently booked out till Sept 5th. Check out our availability chart for our openings. Remember it only lists out things when we have openings If the chart is empty we are booked

Our openings for summer 2023 are open up to book up to July 21st. I have to add in 2 openings Red Pine June 16 to the 23 and July 7 to the 14th. If interested in either of these openings let me know. Beyond that everything if booked out from June 17 – July 21. I will add more weeks as they go through in 2022

There has been a bit going on in the last week an a half. We welcomed this ball of energy to the resort. Oogie Boogie, Oogie for short arrived and not much sleep was had for a week. Lots of time on the grass convincing him to pee outside. So far so good. The little bugger is doing well. Mack has decided he is not the worst thing in the world as long as he respects Mack’s space

On to other things. Internet in the Northwoods is a pain. The last 2 weeks have been tough to even work on the blog. Internet and phone towers in the Northwoods get over taxed during high times. Between the 4th of July and Hodag in Rhinelander we have had a lot of people in the woods. I met with Wisconsin Governor Evers this week to talk about how rural internet service hurts our business. He was up announcing a huge investment going in for broadband in Oneida and Vilas County. 80 percent of people in our county, including us, do not have broadband. It still will not be perfect but a step in the right direction. Slowly over the years it has gotten better. I was happy the Governor took the time to listen.

Due to a puppy arrival I missed our horseshoe tournament this year. So I have borrowed a few pics from the folks there. Sorry for the delay in posting. The tournament in Roy Tungett’s honor carried on with new and old faces

One of our photographers Linda Tungett Hoadley showing her moves to get the shoe in the pit

Rich Snodgrass aka GOAT of our tournament showing why he has won it many times

We even had an over seas contingent represented by Irish Kate straight from the Green Isle

Many just happy to get their shoes in the pit let alone capture a ringer like Grace above

The awards we all covet!

It was not Rich’s year to win. He became a refreee, and pit raker

This year 2nd place went to Chris Moran and Kim Flower. Chris’s big smile comes from finally getting in the the top 2 teams and getting his name removed from the pony plaque a goal of his for as long as I can remember

First place went to Eric Peterson and Brigid Hixson. Congrats to both!

Another great year of pole dancing

After all the festivities Tom Hixson led us out in the hanging of the plaque ceremony in the office and a moment to remember those who are no longer with us this year who have played but are not forgotten

Buck Cass played many many years and his laugh made us all smile. We were sad to add his name to those we miss

A glass was raised and toasted to Roy Tungett who started everything off

Til we all meet again in 2023

It was a great 4th in the Northwoods. Unfortunately one thing that is not good around the 4th is the internet and dropped calls. There have been no blog entries due to the clogged up internet from a very full Northwoods with a few too many people for a few days. But we all had fun

I had fun taking pictures of our raft in the fireworks. Our neighbors put on quite a show

Along with a whole lot of other things this week we had a wonderful meal of Low County Boil cooked by our world famous cooks. They started this tradition last year and had so many requests for a repeat that I think they are now locked in for steaming a Low Country Boil every 4th of July. Chris above with the crab legs

There were several cookers and lots of LP tanks cooking up the feast

What everyone waits for is the dumping into the kiddie pool

The smell is amazing. The hungry crowd taking pics

We had lobster, crab legs, shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage and lots and lots of it

Every piece disappeared in record time.

We also had Will Flower mixing up Old Fashions for everyone. He mixes a great drink. Thanks Will!

I lost track of how many we had at the table. Good food, Family and Friends is what 4th of July is all about!

Next up the annual horseshoe tournament and our new puppy arrives. Get ready for cute golden retriever pics as Oogie Boogie arrives today

Nothing starts out a good morning like relaxing in perfect chair with fishing pole

Just as perfect

Meanwhile at the main docks there was a lot going on picking the perfect worm

Grandpa Rich was giving the tips to Amelia, Graham and little Miller.

Miller was getting casting guidance from Grandpa.

Later as it warmed up Eleanor was trying out the new paddle boat. She found the perfect way to enjoy it getting a tow from Kyle and his family

Big thumbs up on the canopy from Eleanor. We will have to see later in the week if Eleanor has any movie picks for the year. She is our official movie rater

Speaking of reviews. We headed to Hilltop to try out their new menu that includes smoked ribs, pulled pork and chicken wings. All got a huge thumbs up from the crew

Good luck to the new folks at Hilltop Elana and Paul we wish them luck and our support as they do a few changes at Hilltop but also keeping many things the same. Stop and say hi to them and enjoy a trip to the Rathskellar

Linda, Kim, Rich, Tom and Murry checking out the new Hilltop and happy to return next week for our big horseshoe tournament

Troy and I stopped in to the newest doughnut shop in town. They are open 9 – 5 everyday in the Gaslight Square downtown

Great doughnuts. You choose the topping. Our favorite is salted carmel. They did not last long at our house

Our puppy pick up day is getting closer and closer. Ooggie Boggie arrives week Get ready for cute puppy pictures. We hope old Mack is ready for a new little buddy

We get all sorts of visitors at the resort. This little snapping turtle was in my garden. I gave him a lift in the right direction back to the lake

Much larger version was photographed by Anne Kurtz by Holiday. We do not get the big ones up in the resort very often. I think it was looking for a place to lay its eggs before heading back to the lake

Big snappers are fun to see. Thankfully they hang out more in the swampy ends of the lake. We do see them periodically swim through. They usually avoid crowds thankfully

View everyone loves that makes the walk up the steps ok

Lori MaComber and her family enjoying a campfire this week. Hi to Donna and John Pyfer!

Before it gets too hot time to fish in the morning

Better than being in school anyday

With temps going to 90 this week, Mack was swimming. After a swim what could be better than a roll down the hill in the Lilly of the Valley

Any summer visitors please help me keep any eye on Mack. He is having trouble getting out of the lake. If you see him go wadding in the lake please call me or help him out if I am not around. His old legs are not what they used to be

Speaking of dogs….. Our new pal Ooggie Booggie is getting bigger and bigger. Pick up day is July 6. We hope Mack sort of likes his new pal

I have been busy working on Fairy Lights for the shop. They are solar charged with small lights in them.. It is fun to see the different colors light up

My latest batch waiting to get their solar tops on

Stop at the shop to see what I have done. They are 20 each

2 new paddle boats are headed to the beach. One has a sun shade we thing everyone will love. Hopefully nobody breaks the sunshade. Please use carefully

Here is the one with the shade rolled up in the back

Even with this heat I have been getting fall and Christmas week bookings. Don’t wait to book. Birchwood just opened Sept 24 – October 1st, prime color time.

Our first opening is August 19th when Red Pine opens up.