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

So far storm has not been too bad. We got 6 inches of light fluffy snow last night. No winds so far but that is supposed to change tonight

Oogie out trying to catch the snow from the snow blower. He thinks its a great new game

Best purchase of the year is a Toro electric snow shovel. I can use it with one arm. My other arm I can’t lift with due to lymph node removal in August. So this was a great purchase

If you have a hard time or limited mobility with a shovel check it out! I love mine

Snow in the pines

Woodpile blasted with snow

Took a walk down to the lake

Oogie still a little hesitant stepping out on the lake He learned his lesson after a couple of falls in the cold water.

Only one way for a pup to learn

Did not take him long to head out exploring

The snowmobile trails are opening Friday. I am not sure when they are going to mark the lake for the trail.

We will be getting our rink going as soon as the storm ends

We had a couple of cancelations. Check out the availability chart on the website for up to December 27th if you want to escape the relatives and the storm calms down

I have debated sharing my health issue on the Blog. Most of our guests who have visited from early August until now have heard. I am currently 1/2 way through treatment and feel it is time to share so everyone understands as they visit why I may be tired, wearing a mask or sporting a new hair style with lots of hats. August 8th I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. I am doing ok and and as long as I follow my treatment plan I stand a 90 percent chance of it not coming back. Triple negative is the most aggressive of the breast cancer so they are putting me through the wringer with treatments to get rid of it the first time. It did hit 2 of my lymph nodes and that is what made it stage 2.

I have made it through the worst of the chemo the first 4 treatments back in late September through October. They were brutal. Now I am on an easier chemo weekly every Friday until the first part of February. I get a month break and start 30 rounds on radiation mid March until April 26th. That is going to make me very tired. 

Going through this and recovering is going to be a long process. Getting my endurance back in the spring and summer will be a process. The beach steps will be my work out. An electric bike to keep up with Troy is in my future as well. My hair has started to come back in this easier 2nd round of chemo. Stay tuned for my new looks this summer. What color and how curly?

As long as my doctor says I am immune compromised with chemo I will be careful about exposure to all the germs. You will see me greeting people outside and dropping off bills to cabins. If you are in anyway sick with a sniffle please warn me before meeting up in the office. Bronchitis has taken me 6 weeks to gt over. I will open the office/sock shop and either limit it to 2 people at a time or have folks shop and I will total after and settle up in the bigger community room. My online store is shut down for Jenny’s Sock shop but I will text pictures of socks that are done if you want me to ship any. Making socks is my therapy through this but I am making less of them just when I feel like it.

All that being said, I am ok if folks ask how I am doing. I just hate surprising guests with this bad news on their first day of vacation. I have found it easier if they know ahead of time.The support and encouragement we have received from everyone has been amazing. Especially all the survivors out there sharing their story. As I become a survivor I will be here for anyone going through this awful journey please reach out. I have found nobody goes through this alone.

Early detection saved my life. If you have not gotten checked out make it a New Year’s resolution Breast Cancer and Prostate are the easiest cancers to cure if caught early. Mine was caught on a regular mamogram. Thanks again to everyone who has visited the resort the last few months and has been so understanding of the situation as we have struggled through hopefully the worst, diagnosis, surgery and chemo. Now we have 7 more weeks of chemo and radiation ahead. Makes us realize how important we and the resort are in so many peoples lives, its been heart warming

Jenny and Troy

We got some beautiful sticking snow last night about 10 inches. It made for great pictures around the resort as we shoveled out

Oogie was having fun checking out all the thick white stuff outside. We bought a new electric power shovel and he was trying to catch the snow as it flew

One of my favorite pictures of the day

There is nothing like snow in the pines

Trails across the road from the resort. The small pines bending into the trail The first person down the trail will have quite an adventure clearing the way

Lower Kuabahine winter wonderland drive

We love it when we have guests from Oklahoma that have never used a snowblower and want to try it out. We have plenty of places to try it out

Oogie trying to figure out what in the world that strange machine is throwing snow at him

Love the sleeping look of the boats under a layer of snow

Picnic table shows about what we have on the ground now. This snow was heavy and wet and will make a great base for the trails in the area

Ice fishermen say there is 6 – 8 inches of ice on the lake.

Things look like they are shaping up well for a great time in the Northwoods for the holidays playing in the snow. We are currently booked December 26 – January 2nd. Birchwood is open up to December 26th and Red Pine does open up one day earlier than the rest of the cabins on January 1st. Starting January 2nd we have lots open up to January 13th if you are looking for a post holiday escape. We are full for Martin Luther King Weekend but most weekends after that we have several open. Time to come up and play in the snow!


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It has been really starting to look and feel like winter. I heard from an ice fisherman that we have 6 – 8 inches of ice on the lake

I wait a bit longer to venture out on the lake. I heard a few walleye’s were the reward for early ice fishing on the lake

Boats hibernating for winter

Smack talk about our Christmas Eve family ice hockey game has started. Can’t wait til we are all flying around on the ice with hockey sticks in hand

Before Christmas and dreams on hockey gold…. there is work to do. The guys cleaning up the last of the wood pile. Steve plows snow into this area so it needed clean up before the big snow on Wednesday this week

Turning our wood splitter sideways was Steve’s go to, to getting the big ones split

I have been trying to get a walk in the woods everyday. This is the Valley of Darkness on the red trail

Magical almost Christmas sparkly snow.

Birchwood is still open up to December 26th and our first openings after that are January 2nd. Weekends in January and February are filling up

It is getting a bit Wintery looking

Oogie would like everyone to know we got some great snow to play in

He also would like to report the ice is not quite safe as he took a very cold ice plunge next to shore. We think he might have learned a lesson in staying off the ice for awhile yet

It was a heavy wet snow that clung to the trees

No sun today to capture the ice in the trees

Definitely a pretty snow

We currently have openings up to December 26th. Beware the only cabin open December 23, 24 and 25th in Birchwood. The rest of the cabins are booked. If you were thinking Christmas don’t wait. Our next opening after the 26th is now January 2nd

We have plenty of cabins open on most weekends in January and February but they are slowly booking up. Martin Luther King weekend we only have Bayview left

I am spending this afternoon typing up our Summer 2023 rate sheet. I hope to get working on the Summer 2023 confirmation letters soon.

Beautiful quiet time to come up and enjoy the woods before Christmas

I was a little under the weather this week so pictures of our deer hunters and Thanksgiving guests did not happen like usual

Sunrise just before the big hunt

The Evan’s family has been hunting with us for 20 years or so. They hunt the land across the road and got a nice 8 point buck this year

Congrats to them!

The Pryzybl crew have been with us almost as long. They hunt down by Kitty Springs. No deer this year but lots of fun as usual

I missed catching our other hunters but lots of good memories made at the Cliff opening weekend

Chris and Amanda Moran practicing their wreath making skills with Steve’s crimping machine before heading back home for Thanksgiving

Thanks to both of of them for helping us get so many projects done over the last couple of weeks. The Office/Sock Shop expansion, Shamrock’s new deck and the new pink trail

Back to watching the lake freeze over.

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving

Looking at spending Christmas with us, we have Birchwood and Bayview open up the the 26th. Our next opening is January 2nd over the Holidays.

We have plenty of cabins open from this weekend up to Christmas if you want to escape at the lower rates. Come see the resort during the quiet weeks up to the Holidays and enjoy the quiet while we watch the snow pile up

We have been talking for about 3 years of expanding the office into the old sauna. First we needed to build an area for our cleaning supplies which we did last fall. Next was the new sauna arriving and putting in our electric car chargers. We finished those projects in August

Now it was time to convert the sauna to being part of the office/Jenny’s Sock Shop. First step was cutting out a new window. How to do that? Chainsaw!

Popping out the bay window

Finetuning the cut

Yep that went as planned

Here it is with its new window in. They also added a small window in the side of the old sauna

This is the old changing room of the sauna. This room will be filled with items from Steve’s wife Jen. She does beautiful crafts and it will be fun to see what she fills this room with. She has been hard at work on needle felting

Many remember when Steve and Jen had an antique store in town. Jen, enjoys recreating old things into treasures. Lots of neat things will fill this room

The old sauna with a new floor and trim. The back wall will be filled with my old knitting machines on display. The rest of the room will be Amy’s cabinet of soaps and lots of socks. Everything that has been in cabinets in the community room are headed into this room. That will allow more room in our open community room for tables with games and our foosball table to return

View from current office. Notice the two new door ways into the new rooms

I hope to have things in the rooms by this weekend

Other projects going on are at Shamrock. Steve and Chris rented a stump grinder and got to grinding. The new deck on Shamrock is taking shape. There will be some flattening of the grill and fire pit area bringing it to be more level with deck. There is a roof coming to this deck similar to Holiday and Muskie.

In the meantime it is back to the fun of a machine and grinding up a stump

Earlier in the week we had the semi annual tetherballl mother daughter tournament between Anita and Jessica. Always entertaining and gathers an audience. I will not say who won but we can see who put out the most effort

Oogie found out what the live trap gets used for. The red squirrels, when it gets cold make the mistake of seeing if our basement is their winter hide out. Troy objects and out comes the trap for relocation. Oogie was fascinated by this development

As the days stay cold and Thanksgiving and Deer Hunting approach we start to wonder if the ground is going to stay white. I know the water at the lake is getting the thicker and stiller look it gets before freezing

If you are interested in Thanksgiving we still have Norway and Red Pine open

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I tried to capture the beauty of the morning sunrise.

We have had a busy week getting the resort ready for winter. Chris Moran and Steve were blowing off roofs

They are next going to cut a bunch of wood into chunks for splitting with our splitter. Anyone interested just holler:)

Jake and Grant were around this last weekend. It was time to get the last of the docks and the boat lift out

Who got the leaky waders? That would be Grant

Out went the slide as well. Where is Troy? Sidelined with a bum knee and not happy about it

Surveying the situation

After working we all headed down the trails with the dogs. Oogie is not far from his buddy Cooper. Linnea one of my good friends walking Jake’s dog Kira with Chris and his dogs Cooper and Libby.

Sunset on Lower Kaubashine with some migratory unidentified birds in the middle of the lake

I have taken pictures of all 3 of my goldens at this same spot on the walkway. Oogie carrying on the resort dog tradition. I was sure he was going to fall in but he somehow stayed dry

Sunset on a great fall.

We have plenty of cabins open the next 3 weekends if you need an escape. Thanksgiving we are down to Norway and Red Pine

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Sunrise picture from Muskie shared by the Peterman crew this weekend. It was a beautiful weekend at the resort

We had a few nice muskie pictures shared from the Setzer guys who were up fishing the lake for the first time

Nice Fish! All returned to the lake to be caught another day

We have slowly started the resort shut down. It will not be long before we are putting the slide back in the water

We are trying out an experiment this fall. If anyone loves to help split and stack wood with our splitter or axes, please get ahold of us. We are opening up a cabin or 2 to invite folks to help us out filling the shed

Work 9 – 3 two days with us and get a cabin for 2 or 3 nights. We are doing this from now till November 18th. We may open it up again for after Thanksgiving until December 18th and again in the late March, April and early May time frame. In spring we will be looking for help with raking, painting, docks, wood, and other things. Interested message jenny at to be put on the list.

We also just received word that The Town of Hazelhurst has just added 3 percent room tax to all lodging in town starting January 1, 2023 Unfortunately that means our tax rate is changing from 5.5 to 8.5 for 2023. Wish I had better news

First of all the big news of the neighborhood. There was a moose on the loose. This young male moose browsed through the neighborhood yards. He grazed got his picture taken and was in no hurry to move on

Troy and I got no closer than this as stories of charging moose came to my mind. We sat and watched him in Kim and Will Flower’s yard for about 5 minutes

It was the first time either of us had seen a moose in the wild. I have occasionally heard stories of them being spotted in the area but never in person

It was one of the neatest things we have ever seen

Back at the resort the dock crew assembled and the big swim docks were quickly taken out of the water for the season

Yes, Troy got the leaky waders again

Summer stuff headed to storage on the pontoon

Back to enjoying the late color

The colors are still beautiful

I just put a special on Wigwam for next weekend.

Our booking calendar is now open up to October 9, 2023 if you would like to book next fall

We have lots of cabins open starting October 23rd if you want a little escape with 2 night minimum