August 2013



If you have read through my blog you will see a few posts on cheap but effective ways to raise animals on your own small property. One of the posts talked about an egg mobile.

Egg-Mobile 1.0

Egg-Mobile 1.0

This contraption that I built I will call Egg Mobile 1.0. It was modified from it’s original design according to the material I had on hand. I used a lot of wood which made it heavier than desired. Though its design made it relatively easy to pull along the grass for myself, it was a little more difficult for my wife.

I recently tore it down to the pressure treated base frame. I went to tractor supply and bought 2 cattle panels that were 16′ long and about 3.5′ wide. They were $20 each. I attached the bottom of one to the inside side rail, then flexed the other end over to the other side rail board and attached it also, forming a sort of hoop house shape. I made sure that the bottom edges were attached just above the bottom edge of the boards so as to not catch on the dirt and grass while being drug. You can attach the panels in whatever way works best; large staples, screws screwed in on an angle, nails bent over…etc.

Cattle panels attached.

Cattle panels attached.

Then I attached the next panel right next to the first and joined the two in the middle with zipties about every other square to firm up the panels. Then on either end I added chicken wire, also along the sides because the panel holes are large enough for the chickens to get out if they wanted.

For a door, I had saved the one from the previous build (Egg Mobile 1.0). However,

I didn’t want to add more wood for installing the door. My wife had a great idea! She asked if I just couldn’t hinge the door sideways, on the bottom, on the wooden rail. So thats what I did. I really like the way it has turned out. The only issue is that with the door turned sideways, it is difficult to get the waterer and feeder in with ease as they are taller than the opening, and heavy when full.

I then put a tarp over the top, slightly favoring one side (the west), and slid small lengths of wood across the inside corners for perching.

Egg Mobile 2.0

Egg Mobile 2.0

Egg Mobile 2.0

Egg Mobile 2.0 

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The Nature Inn facing the lake

As stated in my last post about bikes, my wife and I spent one night at Bald Eagle State Park. I surprised her for our 11th anniversary with an overnight at their new Nature Inn.

In the past we have stayed a night at a bed and breakfast in Benezette, Pa called Winslow Hill B&B in the heart of Pennsylvania’s elk range. I will do a write up on that place too since its a great little bed and breakfast and the host is wonderful! However this year I decided to switch it up a little for a surprise.

ImageOn my way back and forth from a job in the Moshannon State Forest, I was passing Bald Eagle State Park. I never realized how large the reservoir was, nor that it even existed. So one day I drove in to have a look around. The camping spots were not my taste. Just about all of them are basically in a cleared field with a paved road making the loops to each one. They have a few newly planted trees around but thats it. I was unimpressed. Then I saw a sign pointing toward the Nature Inn. I followed the road back in towards and along the lake. There it sat by itself set up on a small rise overlooking the north end of the lake.

The structure itself is desirable to look at. Built with exposed timbers and riverstone, it really fits its location. Right away you know that it was built for a more luxurious stay, and its interior proves you to be right. The inside is decked with tan earth tones and light colored natural wood everywhere you look. The walls are dressed with many large windows for lots of natural light.

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View from our balcony

I reserved a room called the Robin. It was on the second story and faced the lake with a small balcony. Each room has a small balcony whether you face the lake or the woods in the back. I couldn’t reserve this kind of room and NOT face the lake. The room was spacious and very comfortable. In the morning we had a full hot breakfast served smorgasbord style.

The only things I would do different would be to reserve a second night, and bring a boat.

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Grills and fireplace available for the guests to use.

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Some interior decoration.

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View from our room.


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Raliegh USA M50

I recently updated my old free used mountain bike with another old used mountain bike. But I believe the upgrade was TRULY an upgrade. For one, the bike I had, was a cheaper brand, Murray. The new one is a Raleigh USA. Also, the parts on the newer bike are much better. The place I found it at was quite unlikely. My wife and I were in the State College area, on N. Atherton Street to be exact, when in the middle of new big block stores and trendy restaurants was a rundown trailer park where there were hundreds of bikes out on someones lawn with a spray painted plywood sign stating “Bikes For Sale”.

Now, backup a few days prior. My father in law took me and my kids on a bike trail in Philadelphia, the Schuylkill Bike Trail. I fell in love with the idea of biking any where you want or need to go. I don’t know what it was, I have ridden bikes for fun since I was a kid. But something just clicked that day.

So since I already had a bike of sorts, I decided to buy my wife a mountain bike for her birthday so that we could ride at our getaway a few days later for our anniversary.

Well during our anniversary getaway is when I saw all those bikes for sale. I traded in my old Murray and got the Raleigh for $50. The guy who sells these bikes really did a great job going over everything and replacing with quality parts.

After we got home, I got the urge to ride the bike to work. Now, where I live and work is no flat city street stroll. It’s in the northern mountains of Pennsylvania. THere is no such thing as flat. It was a 13.75 mile trek …and I made it! Not only once, but twice so far. It really is a pleasant ride with only some spots being on a “busy” road where there are curves with minimal road edge to ride on, Otherwise its passing farms and Hills Creek State Park.

I think I am hooked. Now I am thinking about better bikes and equipment…and riding MORE!