I went on a hike on Turkey Mountain on a cloudy day on MLK day. The parking lot was full but I didn’t see very many people. You don’t on the backcountry trails I like to take. The more popular trails are on the east side of the mountain and overlook the Arkansas River and south Tulsa, and those trails are better mapped. You have to kind of know where you are going on the back country.
I love getting in the woods on cloudy days in the winter. Everything just kind of pops out, especially the trees. We get to see their greedy fingers reaching for the sky competing with other trees for enough sunlight to live on.
I love a twisty turning trail disappearing into the distance. I also love that some of the shrubs are still green despite the season.
This is the area called Rock City or the Rock Garden.
Elsewhere on the mountain I found this bucket sitting on a rock. Turkey Mountain used to be the home to farms, ranches, liquor stills, and oilwells and the detritus from those previous uses still litter the landscape. With the advent of industrial scale meth production in Mexico, meth making on the mountain has disappeared. We used to find small meth labs and “shake and bake” containers during our periodic cleanups in the park. It was part of the briefing to the volunteers that if they saw something like that to leave it alone and let one of the leaders know so it could be removed safely.
I came upon a flotilla of mallards who paddled away from me. I was lucky they just didn’t fly off.
I got a glimpse of the new buildings going up at the Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA (formerly the Westside YMCA). The Y occupies the very northwest corner of the park and have been in existence since 1956. They got a ton of money and are completely rebuilding the facilty and will open this summer. Check the link for details. It’s going to be great. One of the great things about Tulsa is the generosity of the corporations and wealthier citizens who really step when needed.
As part of it’s past Turkey Mountain has at least two active pipelines, two major powerlines. They were there long before the area was made a park. The owner of the above pipeline recently “cleaned up” right of way so it’s kind of a clearcut through the area. And we park users make it into a trail of course!!
So anyway, I had a good time and went about 3.5 miles. It took me a while. I got a couple phone calls in the middle of the hike. I am not a walker talker (on the phone) so I talk in place. I still had a great time.
Have you been on any walks lately?
I’m linking up with Skywatch Friday – lots of friendly, talented people from all over the world participate