Skywatch Friday – Vacation 2018 Update

We are towards the end of our vacation this year on the Alabama gulf coast. The highlight so far was Heather riding a paddleboard in the open water. She teaches a pool based paddleboard class but had never ridden a paddleboard before this trip. Logan and I went kayaking during this outing.

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I have been taking lots of photos. The water and surrounding area are always a rich source of images for me.

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Here is a shot of Heather just starting out on the paddleboard. I am in my kayak so I guess this is a “kayakcam.”

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We have been out on the beach a lot. Both sitting on it, in the water, and walking the beach.

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I have fair skin so stay covered up but my feet really got burned on this trip.

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We went on our first ever family bike ride. Logan has never learned to ride a bike so we rented him a three wheeled version. He did quite well. Heather and I tried it and agreed that it was a lot harder to ride than the two wheeled variety. Steering in particular was hard. The bike had a mind of its own.

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We passed this sign. Lots of alligator habitat in Gulf State Park where we were. It inhibited by geocaching quite a bit.

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We cooked a shrimp dinner one night. We have our shrimp place, so we boil them, and Heather prepares the sides.

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And the skies. The skies have been magnificent.

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I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World Tuesday – Tulsa Tough Bicycle Races 2018

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Tulsa has a big street party every year on a hill near the River Parks called “Crybaby Hill.”

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In amongst (amongst is a word in Oklahoma by the way) the party a bike race breaks out. It is Tulsa Tough. A three days series of bike rides and races for everybody from Sunday cruisers like me to top professionals around the world.

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They have it in early June every year and it is generally sweltering. Tulsa Tough is sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital, a local Catholic Hospital Medical System.

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The last day of the race is the most popular. The races all criterium style which means that they go round and around the same short course multiple times. The last day’s though is brutal. You start by the river and climb up a very steep hill then you come down off the hill and at the bottom you have to make a very sharp 120 degree turn and most of these guys/gals don’t appear to use their brakes at all so there are some spectacular bike crashes.

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So down on the river is where the races start, and the top is where the party is. It appears to get a little bigger and a little wilder every year. Couple that with no parking, very few sidewalks and the crowd and the races get very close to each other. They have painted the race lanes in bright colors and there is an army of volunteers who are constantly yelling, “mind the gap.” The race lane area.

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So I went out and made a lap of the course with my camera, walking and with the heat it about killed me. I cannot imagine riding the course up to nine times or so.

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I love the contrast, the party with people getting drunk, and laughing and having a good time, and a high stakes race in the brutal heat and humidity.

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I’m linking with “Our World Tuesday

Previous Year’s Tulsa Tough Posts

2017

2016

2015

Tulsa’s “Top of the Town 2018” – Exploring Tulsa’s Notable Buildings

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Thursday night Heather and I attended a fund raiser “Top of the Town” in downtown Tulsa benefiting  the Community Service Council of Tulsa, a social services organization

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So you pay some money, you get a wrist band, and you get access to some cool buildings downtown that are not public. So we got to see some really neat rooftop patios, and a deluxe apartment and other spaces. They had some kind of either drink or food or both at each place.

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This is the old Petroleum Club. It went defunct years ago and now some internet based company ripped out the flooring, ceilings, wall coverings, put in some funky lights and miles of tables. Cool, trendy, yes and I think a comment on where our society and culture is going. Things are changing, whether we want them to or not is what I say.

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We got to go into somebody’s private apartment in another building. I fell in love with the place. I loved this cozy space in the corner with the big windows. We have three dogs though who are thoroughly spoiled and like going outside a bunch to do their business and give the neighbors a good barking. And books, the people that live there are readers, reading decent books.

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And from the living space you open a big double door into an office suite. How nice is that!! I don’t know though, that may not be enough space.

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One of the neat things about Top of the Town is that from one party you could see the other parties going on. We attended all of them, except for the VIP venue. I heard it wasn’t that good. sniff, sniff.

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And here is another one attended.

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And yet another.

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And got to photograph and see some great buildings from the oil capital days.

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And here is the Mayo Hotel with its beautiful terra cotta details and the big neon sign. I love that sign but it is hard to get a decent pic of it.

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And one of my favorites, actually a little bit out of downtown. Bruce Goff’s magnificent Boston Avenue Church in all its art deco glory.

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We enjoyed music at several venues.

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We ended up at the 110 West Seventh Street building, everybody calls it the Oxy Building or the Cities Service building. I worked in the building up until 19 years ago. The top floor was out of date back then, and they haven’t changed a thing!

We had a great time!!

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Skywatch Friday – A Moon and some Oklahoma Country Skies

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Kind of a mishmash this week for Skywatch Friday. This is the last full moon that we have. I love all the names Full Corn Growing Moon for example, I like Milk Moon the best.

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Last Sunday I was in my first bicycle race ride. It was a grueling 24 miles over roads in hot weather and I loved every minute of it. I learned that hills are what makes rides interesting for me.  They are never as bad when you are climbing them as it looks when you get close.  I think that I am addicted. Help me to figure out how to sell the idea of a new bicycle to Heather.

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I went on a flat as a pancake run on an old railroad bed that cut through ranchlands and oil fields and we had a great sky.

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And a visit back to the magical Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch.

Hey everybody, what are you doing about the European General Data Protection Regulation? I am considering getting out of blogging because of it. You can see I have no ads. I don’t sell email addresses or any other information you guys/gals share with me. I just want to publish photos and look at your photos and exchange emails about my thoughts. I am a big believer in privacy but not a believer in regulations. Anyway let me know your thoughts.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

My First Bicycling Event – Tulsa Tour de Cure 2018

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Saturday morning I participated in my first ever bicycling event, The Tulsa Tour de Cure , a fund raiser for the the American Diabetes Association. It is a ride, not a race and so the vibe was friendly and loose. I’m okay with friendly and loose.

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So no race, means no timing. The announcer said lets go and everybody kind of moseyed out. I waited and moseyed out pretty close to last.

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There they go! We had a police escort the first six or seven miles which was handy. We were on two lane city and county roads with lots of stop lights and the police waved us through the lights.

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About eight miles in we came to the first rest stop. And did I need it. The weather was hot and sticky so I downed a bottle of water and several cups of gatorade and a half of a banana and off I went again.

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The ride was hilly and windy. It took me a while to get used to riding on the road and having cars and trucks passing me. The drivers were cautious and there was only one that I thought got a little close for my comfort.  I pretty much do all my riding on trails which is great but after a while you want different routes. If I decide to ride roads I’m going to get me some front and rear led safety lights. Many of the riders had them and it really made them stand out a long ways away in broad daylight.

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I finished and had another bottle of water and a snack and then a couple of cold beers. Lunch was catered by Naples Flatbread and it was great. I had a turkey guac wrap and it was good. The finish came just in time. I have never cramped during a foot race but I felt it coming on during this event along with a general just feeling zapped. And my butt hurt big time. I’ve had biking shorts before and they don’t seem to help.

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And here is the shirt. I used a cartoon app that opens up in selfie mode. For some reason it does a mirror image. Oh well.

So this place hit all the buttons for a great event.

Great cause – check
Multiple events – check – they had various bike rides and a run and a walk. Something for everybody.
Support – check – the Broken Arrow police were plentiful and very helpful. Their were several trucks patrolling the course and I noticed that they hauled several riders in who were having problems with the heat.
Facilities – check – lots of tents for shade and portapotties
Rest stops – two of them with water, gatorade, snacks.
Friendliness – lots of gabbing going on.
Beer – check!
Food – check
Extras – check – they had a guy who could really sing perform the National Anthem and the Muskogee Creek Tribe provided a color guard. That was very cool.

So a great event. Thanks to the American Diabetes Association, the volunteers, the fellow riders, sponsors, and everybody else associated with the event.

Here is a relive trace of the run. Relive is very flattering because their videos are designed to meet the one minute Instagram video limit so it makes one look like he was hauling butt the whole way and doesn’t reflect the struggle into the winds up the hills. I love relive.

Relive ‘Tulsa Tour de Cure Bike Race’

And here is the Garmin version showing the struggle up the hills, into the wind, the dawdling at the rest stops, the extreme gearing down.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Riding the Osage Prairie Trail and Checking out Movie Locations

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Earlier this week, I took my bicycle up to Skiatook, Oklahoma and rode about ten miles of the Osage Prairie Trail. It is on the roadbed of the now defunct Midland Valley Railroad. Being an old railroad, the grades are very easy and the route very straight. I love it though because you ride through old farm and ranch country away from the roads. Sometimes I see deer and other wildlife and always lots of birds. The other night there were lots of birds, no deer, but a couple of snakes crossing the roadway. Hmm, a thought just popped into my head. How come snakes always go across trails and never along trails? Let me know if you have the answer. Okay I’ll get back on track.

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The trail goes right through the town of Sperry. So what you say?

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This is what. This a former shooting location for the movie “The Outsiders” based on S.E. Hinton’s book of the same name. A coming of age novel set in Tulsa in the late 50’s-early 60’s. It was shot in Tulsa back in the early 1980’s. I don’t think it is used for anything these days. Check the image here.

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Right across the street is another shooting location for the film.

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So much for Hollywood. A little further along I come across this scene of a workover rig on an old well well. The rig has been up for quite a while and I am not actually sure they are working on it. Most activities in the oil field go on pretty much 24 hours a day. The way oil and gas wells are, if you lose a day’s production, you don’t make it up until the back end of the of well’s life which could be years away because you can’t double up to make up so producers end up being pretty demanding with their service providers. Speaking as a service provider.

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The trail has several grade crossings of local roads. Best to slow down before you get there so you don’t get run over. That would ruin my whole day. I don’t know about you.

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I passed a big group of people walking on the track. I love that kind of stuff. You know, getting out and actually talking to each other and exercising. Great stuff.

Relive ‘Biking the Osage Prairie Trail’

A video of my little almost 20 mile jaunt.  Be thinking about me Saturday. I am participating in my first biking event. A 24 mile race. I expect to finish dead last in my big heavy cruiser bike. My goal is finishing.

Skywatch Friday – A Visit to the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch

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Sorry about the decapitated horse to the left.

Continuing from my previous post where brother Bob and I visited the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, we drove about 20 miles or so north to the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch. The Rogers family name for the place was, the Dog Iron Ranch. We were told at the museum that the ranch was a beautiful place and I can confirm that indeed it is. It is at the end of a road and the property has waterfront on a lake. The place teems with birds and very green grass and nice big trees.

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We met the ranch foreman, Fred. Fred was very bossy and loved to have his photo taken and was just generally very fussy.

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We ventured briefly down a hiking trail and saw this longhorn cows. They checked us out when we first approached and then quickly became bored.

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We didn’t go very far, I hadn’t thought about needing bug spray and if we had gone any farther we would need some. I am not a big fan of chiggers and ticks.

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The house is beautiful. Apparently this kind of house was common in Territorial Oklahoma but is now rare. It was once known as the “The White House on the Verdigris.” The lower floor of the house is open.

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I loved the light from the tall windows.

A beautiful sitting room with a piano. I love those old walls and the fireplace. The house started out as a log cabin, actually two log cabins with a cover over the “dogtrot” between them. The house was expanded gradually and a second story added with two bedrooms. The old dog trot was enclosed and is now the foyer. Somewhere along the way, the white clapboard siding was added. I just love stuff like that.

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And the master bedroom. I love that big multicolored rug.

The ranch is a quiet place with just the horses, donkeys, Fred,  and the birds. Besides the house there is an authentic barn and wood fences. The hiking trail is a little rough but I’d of done it if I had my bug spray. The place has RV spots and and airstrip!! You have to make arrangement in advance to stay out there as there is no staff on site.

I recommend a visit highly. It is one of the nicest place I have been to in Oklahoma.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

A Visit to the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma

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My brother Bob and I drove to Tulsa suburb of Claremore to visit the Will Rogers Museum. Will Rogers may be the most popular Okie ever. Even more revered than Garth Brooks. Will Rogers was a humorist, author, actor (both film and broadway), radio personality, author, and columnist. He was known for his folksy ways and friendly demeanor. His most popular saying was that he “Never met a man he didn’t like.” He was born on November 4, 1879 on a ranch near Oolagah, Oklahoma and died in an airplane crash in Alaska on August 15, 1935.

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He grew up ranching of and worked his way into wild west shows and later vaudeville doing roping tricks. Later he was in Broadway plays and movies.

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The museum is chock full of Will Rogers information and art. Their are statues of him, art of him. They have film clips of him. And all sorts of information about him and many of his possessions are on display including a large collection of saddles.

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I loved all the movie posters. They have mock ups of the various rooms in his house in California where he lived when his film career blossomed. The museum is very nice and you can tell that it is a labor of love for the staff and volunteers that work there. You get a very good sense of the man. Talented yet humble and a very understated manner of speaking. I left there wondering, “Who is our Will Rogers today.”

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Will  Rogers is buried on the grounds there on a site overlooking the beautiful hills of Oklahoma. I love this statue that they have near the grave.

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Here is a carboard cutout of Will along with my brother. Sorry about the dark shot.

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Soon, I will have a post about Rogers’ birthplace in nearby Oolagah. Brother Bob and I ventured up there after our visit to the museum.

If you want to visit the Will Rogers Museum click on the link. They have lots and lots of information including the basics such as where they are and when they are open.

Birthday Weekend!!

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Son Logan is having a birthday this weekend. For some reason either he is growing or his mother and grandmother are both shrinking.

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He is a patient kid, he puts up with all my hiking, geocaching, and other things I like to do.

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He’s a scholar, presently at a community college and may be going to a four year university soon, and staying in the dorm. And his mother and I will be empty nesters, except for our five other kids (dogs and cats.)

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And he is always ready for a good stretch!!

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And he is patient with his dad sticking a camera in his face. I have almost 5800 photos of him in my archives.

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And lucky for him, he takes after his mom. I think he is a good looking kid.

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Especially when he is next time.

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He loves chilling in his grandmother’s poo.

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And he is a big reader. He goes everywhere with a book.

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He and his mom love parasailing together.

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And he loves video games.

Happy Birthday Logan!! We love you.