2016 – Projects and fun

I have plans for 2016: Finish the PCT and travel some more in the Pacific Northwest.

In the meantime, I’ve settled in the town of Jamestown for the winter.  It’s beautiful up here in the Sierras, and I love strolling down the Railroad tracks near my RV Park.  So much so, it’s hard to break away for a real hike.

I did that yesterday, Saturday Jan 1st.  A little 8.5 mile hike up Peoria Mountain near the New Melones dam with some friends from Meetup.  A real nice hike, and I will return again later in the spring.

However, some days the weather just doesn’t make hiking fun.  So I’ve turned to projects.  This is an grand example on how to turn something simple into a Major Project!

20151220-IMG_3858I have a small tree in front of my window, and I hung a $6 Nyjer Seed Sock outside to gauge the interest of the local birds.  It was a hit!  Within two days I had 3-4 birds all over it and within 5 days it was nearly empty.




Immediately I found some problems:

  • The socks are a pain to fill
  • The hill the tree is on is very steep and slippery
  • And the sock, ultimately, is too far from the window to make watching the birds fun.20151220-IMG_3863





Well, thought I, I can do better!

What I wanted was a bird feeder that hung from the side of my RV.  However, I didn’t want any holes in the trailer, both to keep the resale value and not to have any leaks.

The window is part of the Dinette which is part of the Slide-Out.  There is a four inch lip on the exterior top and sides which has the weather seal when the Slide-Out is retracted.  My design will use the lip to hang the feeder.

So I made a trip to Orchard Supply hardware and started spending money.  Then to Lowes to spend more money.   Annnd, repeated as necessary for the project.

Here is the basic batch of parts I began with:20151220-IMG_3862

This project was done inside while it was raining outside.  A nice winter project.  Here I am painting the bare wood.20151222-IMG_3868

Then it’s putting the pieces together.  Here are the parts for the thumb tightener, and how it looked when mounted:

Here is the finished hanger:

And how it looks on the trailer:20151227-IMG_3892

Overall, I’m very happy with the result!  I’ve since added a Hummingbird Feeder to the left of the main feeder, but no luck with birds there so far; They may have migrated down the hill for the winter.

The main feeder is a hit, is far easier to fill and looks great outside the window.20151230-IMG_3907

The cost comparison:

  • Nijer Sock with seed: $6
  • Wooden bird feeder: $40
  • Hummingbird feeder: $20
  • Wood, paint, chain, brackets, misc hardware: $60
  • Birdseed, suet cakes (2): $18

So, $6 compared to $138…

Enjoyment: Priceless.

Now if the weather would cooperate and let me do more hiking…

5 thoughts on “2016 – Projects and fun

  1. Hi Michael: Great to hear that all is well with you. Yes, the bird thing got to me also several years ago when I moved from San Diego to Auburn CA. I now have Summer and Winter visitors and over dozens of bird species. The smallest being the humming bird to the large raptors being the hawks and turkey vultures. The price goes up to feed them also. The die in the red humming bird food is not good for them. Boil four cups of water and add one cup of pure white granulated sugar. Let it cool and store in the cooler and use when needed. I got some trips planned this Summer also. The Colorado Trail thru hike and Steve Ropers High Sierra Root a 200 mile half trail and half cross country. I usually train for these hikes doing the Tahoe Rim Trail first to get in shape. Well nice hearing from you and when you start the PCT at Donner Pass or when near there let me know. Nitrojoe PCT 08

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael, I will be attempting the PCT maybe this next year and am looking to resupply at the Muir Trail Ranch (I was following your blog this last year and saw that you stopped in there). How far is the public camping/hot springs from the ranch. I see you crossed the river to get to the hot springs, however, some of the information I’ve been reading suggests that in a normal year, this is not really an option because the river is running to high/swift. Is there any public access to hot springs where you don’t have to cross the river. I plan on being through there about the same time you were there (or a day or two latter). Don


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