Author Archives: Alan Bates

Weekend Reflections – A Glass after Class

Heather and I went to the gym the other day. Being the empty nesters that we are we went to a local tavern for a burger and a beer that had an outside area because we wanted to be safe.

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It was a beautiful late afternoon and we had some great late from the setting sun.

I am linking with Weekend Reflections and Ruby Tuesday come join the fun!!

Skywatch – Standup Paddleboarding on Broken Bow Lake

Heather and I on our recent short getaway to southeast Oklahoma had a great combination of activity and rest. We spent a lot of time at the cabin reading but we also spent a lot of time hiking and one afternoon we rented a kayak and a paddleboard at Broken Bow Lake.

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The lake is also part of Beavers Bend State Park and we found a concession who is open on the weekend. I got the kayak and Heather got the paddle board. I can do paddle boards, I really can, kind of, but they are a lot of work. Kayaking is a lot easier. Heather loves paddle boards. She teaches a class in our gym’s pool where one stands on the boards and does things. I take the class but I am pretty shaky.

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The lake was beautiful and the day was gorgeous. A slight haze in the air. I was wondering if was from the horrendous fires in California, Oregon, and other places in the west.

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Being the weekend after Labor Day there were not that many people out on the lake. Seems like most of them were from Texas.

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Heather showing her chops with the paddle.

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And busting out some yoga moves for good measure.

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We were out for two hours. We went here, there, and everywhere.

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And then it was time to bring them in.

And of course I wore my Garmin watch to document the adventure. I mean it didn’t really happen if it wasn’t documented, right?

And then back to the cabin to chill. It was a great place to chill. We didn’t spend much times indoors. We spent most of the time on the deck with its sectional couch and the hot tub which I didn’t take a photo of for some reason. So if I didn’t take a picture of it, did it really exist?

I’m so thankful that we could take this little trip.

Anyway, we had a great time. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Go check it out.

Our World – Hiking the Lakeview Lodge Trail

Heather and I went down to Broken Bow, Oklahoma this past weekend for a long overdue vacation and reset. We were supposed to go last Spring for a combination birthday, retirement, and other things weekend but then the pandemic showed up. We rented a very nice cabin for the weekend.

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We did a couple of hikes. The first one was in Beavers Bend State Park, a four mile route on the Lakeview Trail.

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It was a clean, very well maintained and marked route through the mixed hardwoods and pines.

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I think they use controlled burns to keep the brush down. It really makes a difference in forest health where it can be done safely. It really opens the forest up to where you can see into it.

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The loop trail borders Broken Bow Lake on the return leg leading to some nice scenery. This looks like a good place to go fishing to me.

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Another cove seen on the trail.

Right at four miles. We were tired but happy!! Ready to chill out at the cabin we were renting.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – “Pops” on Route 66

We had our son with us for the Labor Day weekend. On the way from college to home, we jumped off the interstate and got on a short section of Route 66, “The Mother Road” just for a change. We stopped at Pops. A convenience store with several hundred kinds of soda and a cafe in Arcadia, Oklahoma just northeast of Oklahoma City.

They feature this gigantic soda bottle. The bottle has a geocache that I found years ago.

Logan got a triple cola something.

And I got this peach soda. I generally try and get a blackberry cream soda of some sort but we were trying to maintain social distancing and there were people paralyzed with indecision crowding around the cooler in one area so I moved to the Peach section. It was really good!!

Anyway we downed our sodas and were on our way.

We are traveling this week and so I won’t be spending as much time online as what I usually do so I apologize for not being able to comment on your blog like I usually do. The Skywatch Friday meme is set up and should be okay. There is a fourteen minute delay in the Linky’s clock compared to everybody else’s in the world. I don’t know what to do about it.

Anyway, come join the fun at Skywatch Friday

Shadow Shot Sunday – Losing a Tree!!

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We had a tree removed last week. So this post is about losing shadows.

This is a photo from just a day or two before it was gone. It was an ornamental pear tree. My Forest Ranger Dad had been telling me for a long time, “Alan, that is one crappy tree.” I didn’t say anything to him but I was thinking “That crappy tree is the one we have.”

The crappy tree developed a crack that went clear down to the bottom of the trunk. You can’t get much crappier than that. A turkey wishbone type tree.

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Here it is in healthier days.

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And during Christmas.

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And a winter shot with another crappy tree that we removed a couple years ago. My master gardener wife is planning on another tree, a better, tree to be planted in the fall.

I miss my crappy tree though. I loved its shadows.

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday.

Weekend Reflections – Arkansas River Sunset

Heather and I went to eat at a restaurant on Tulsa’s Arkansas River front. We left right after sundown so we walked to the bank to check out the sights.

The above is just to the southwest. It is a turnpike bridge over the river. The water is very low right now.

Turning a little bit to the northwest we have a slightly different scene.

I’m linking with Weekend Reflections. Come check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Bridges and Such

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This is the beloved Pedestrian Bridge across the Arkansas River that I posted earlier. I posted a similar photo on the Abandoned Oklahoma facebook group and boy talk about a strong response. Most people want to keep it and are outraged that nobody got any notice. Seriously folks, its been in the news for three years. It’s a little late because the demolition contractor moved this last Monday. I got messages asking if it would be possible to get a bridge section. I don’t know folks, I’m just the picture taker. Call the River Parks!! I’ll miss the bridge but am looking forward to the new one.

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A play castle at Tulsa’s fabulous Gathering Place. Oh to be a kid again.

A cool sign on the drive to Sequoyah State Park. I was by a year or so ago and the motel was all run down with a for sale sign. It sold, the place is spruced up and it looked like they had a lot of people there. I love it.

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And a 90% full moon. We had a big bright moon, but it wasn’t full but with rain in the forecast I went ahead and took this photo.

I hope that everybody is staying healthy. Here in Oklahoma, Covid is surging and our Governor is not really doing anything about so our family is still hiding out, wearing our masks, and avoiding clusters.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday Update

This is what is keeping Heather and I nervous. Our pear tree in the front yard has a big crack in it. Our tree guys is supposed to be here today, unless it rains, then it will be tomorrow. So we are hoping for no wind.

My Dad the ex Forest Ranger always told me it was a crappy tree. We knew that.

We got a little home project going. We bought a new giant television and are getting it installed next week over the mantel on this paneling. So I am sanding it, then I’ll caulk what needs to be caulked, prime and paint. Kind of ironic since we are having the rest of the house painted but that isn’t going to happen before the television gets here.

Here’s Lizzy the kitten (on the floor) and LJ kind of playing. We kind of underestimated the effect of losing our dachsund, Ginger, would have on the rest of the critters. They seem a lot more needy and clingy, even with each other.

Here is a sight never seen before, Abby and LJ sharing a cushion.

I went to Walmart yesterday and grabbed one of their baskets. They have tags on them. I guess they sound an alarm if you try and take one out of the store.

I’m all masked up working out at the gym.

I got a little volunteer gig evaluating trail conditions for a local government agency. This is one of the worst I’ve seen so far.

While evaluating I come across this block valve owned by one of my former employers.

And we are starting to unload stuff we don’t use. Took these games to Goodwill the other day.

Have you tried the app 1sec. It makes a video over any days you want and uses one second per day either video or stills. So the above is August.

I hope your week is going well!!

Our World – Out with Old, In with New

Sunday afternoon Heather and I took off on a bike ride on the Tulsa RiverParks Trails. Not only was it a bike ride but we said goodbye to one community landmark and hello to a new one.

First up was the Pedestrian Bridge across the Arkansas River. It’s 103 years old, starting off life as a railroad bridge for the Midland Valley Railroad and then repurposed to a pedestrian bridge in 1976. I have walk, run and rode my bike over that bridge a bunch. In the summer you were shaded and there was always a nice breeze blowing up or down the river. Running on the wooden deck was a great respite from the asphalt. It’s been deemed unsafe to continue so we got a brand spanking new bridge coming in about three years. Here is the conceptual design. It’s all swoopy and swanky. The curmudgeons who never watch the news or read the newspaper are all coming out against it now, as the demolition crews start staging in. Hey Curmudgeons!! wake up, your asleep.

And then we rode a little further north where old Route 66 crosses the Arkansas River. Tulsa is putting in a Neon Sign Park using replica signs from actual Motels that are no longer around.

I think it is supercool. They have placards giving the history of each motel. The electricity isn’t connected but I’m told it is coming soon. It will be super cool at night when they get them lit.

So some lady came by and said she hasn’t been able to figure out how to get all three signs in the same picture. I couldn’t figure out what her problem is. I got all of them, and my beautiful wife in the image as a bonus.

Anyhow, fourteen miles and change on a hot humid afternoon. Sign me up.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday.