Living Arts of Tulsa has the Day of the Dead Arts Festival every year on November 1 and 2. I had something else going on that day so I missed it that day but the had the ofrenda’s display for a few days afterward so I got a chance to see them but of course missed out on the other festivities.
What I mainly like are the Ofrendas or Altars in memory of departed ones. They might have favorite foods and drinks of the departed.
They also have murals. Most of them were outside so it was hard to get a good photo. This one was inside.
Due to the pandemic, they did not have near as many ofrendas as past years.
Typically there are lots of photographs and bright decorations.
Skulls, marigolds, and religious symbols.
A fellow Dallas Cowboys fan and beer drinker here.
I love the ofrendas and the idea that a couple days of a year you honor your dearly departed.
So if somebody wanted to make an ofrenda for me when I am gone. What would I like on it. My Cowboys hat and a beer would be good. One or more of my cameras, some of my photos. My laptop!! and Iphone. A Chinatown poster. I don’t know. What would you like or do you find the whole idea strange?
Monday morning I decided to go check out the North Woods trails at Oxley Nature Center. I heard there was a new trail and I wanted to go check it out.
I don’t need much of an excuse to go to Oxley, especially what they call the North Woods Unit. Seldom do I see another person.
Usually there are lots of birds and squirrels. This day I saw a bunch of deer running through the woods, too far away to even try taking a photo.
The leaves have pretty much got blown off the trees already so you can see deep into the woods now.
Oxley is kind of low. There is almost always water. It is kind of halfway a swamp.
Hah, I found the new trail. It’s not very long, its kind of a cutoff from one part of the existing trail system to another. That’s okay. I love networked trail systems. It makes for options and I love options.
I soon got to the boardwalk. One of my favorite spots. Something about a boardwalk in the woods looks great to me.
Oxley hasn’t added the trail to their trails maps yet so I am doing it for them. It’s the blue line highlighted in yellow above. I’m a thinking when I start trailrunning again I can do a cool 4 mile route of the new network. I had been reading on social media on the new trail at Oxley but I couldn’t figure out where it was, so now we know.
I went on a little tour of Tulsa Saturday. It was a tour of a movie locations for “The Outsiders” based on the coming of age novel by S.E. Hinton. The movie was shot in Tulsa in 1983 by Francis Ford Coppola and several rising young stars in it including, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, and Patrick Swayze.
I went to several places including “The Outsiders House” where many of the scenes were shot. It is in a rough neighborhood that now appears on the upswing. The house had gone through some rough times since the filming and was about to be demolished when rapper Danny Boy O’Connor purchased it in 2016. The house was gutted and rebuilt with a lot of help of volunteers. It is now a museum and is pretty cool.
The inside has been restored and there is a lot of memorabilia on display. It’s kind of like walking through an old house, because it is an old house.
I also went to Will Rogers High School where some of the scenes were shot. It is a beautiful old Art Deco school. My wife and I attended a concert there several years ago and the interior is gorgeous.
Another scene was shot at the Circle Theater. Excuse the terrible photo. It is still in service but is now kind of art movie type venue.
And the Admiral Twin Drive-in which is still in use. It burned down several years ago and was rebuilt.
In times past I have been to other Outsiders Locations. This is a gas station in the suburb of Perry north of town and across the street…
Is another location used in the movie.
And this is Boston Avenue Church in downtown Tulsa. An exterior shot of this was made as a hospital.
So I had a lot of fun on my little tour. It was actually a type of geocache called an Adventure Lab where one has to travel to the various sites and answer a question about the site, while at the site (it uses your phone’s gps to keep you from cheating.)
This past weekend was the annual Fall Fest for the Tulsa Area Geocachers (“TAG”) at Lake Bixhoma. Usually it is a multi day affair with camping and catered meals but this year it was an abbreviated one day affair. No camping, bring your own food, etc. I was busy with flooring and wall repair contractors so I was very late getting out there.
So here is proof that I can be social. I’m on the far left with two other geocachers. Yep, there was a cache on that dock.
In addition to meeting people, the big thing at Fall Fest is all the temporary geocacaches that people put out. There are typically dozens of them. I only saw a few. You will never see caches like this “in the wild” because they would be muggled in no time. (Muggles are people who are not geocachers, muggling is vandalism by muggles.)
Many of them involve puzzles or riddles to solve. Me and another guy had worked on this one for a while and the young man showed up and solved it in no time.
This was a pinball type cache where you had to notice numbers that were revealed as the ball fell down to solve a code.
And there were some water caches you could use a kayak to go find it. It was cold so I declined.
And then you had some more straightforward ones that even I could find.
I didn’t join the big group, I said hello to a few people and then found a trail around the lake. Social Distancing!
It was cold and overcast but still pretty in my book.
Bits of Fall Color were present. And then I went home!!
Come to find out that while I was off at the lake, the flooring guys knocked off early and my wife reclaimed our living room and master bedroom. We had been living upstairs during the time they were working downstairs and it was nice to have a couple rooms back. Our dogs and cats were highly stressed and they were glad to have Saturday afternoon and Sunday without being locked up with all the banging and other noises going on.
Abby loves the contractors. They give her belly rubs in the morning and evening but she slept almost all day Sunday.
Lots going on at our house these days. We are doing a “refresh” new floors and pant mainly. Last week the tile demo guy showed up and wow, what a mess and what hard work!! One guy showed up and worked from morning until night with no breaks.
First he had to take all the tile up and then the “grinding” where he ground the mortar off the floor. Noisy and dusty. And guess what he had to stop halfway through the second day because his wife was having a baby. So he was gone that day, missed the next day and showed back up the day after that. We wouldn’t have minded if he took a few more days off. I am sure that he has no benefits and no time off. We really do live in separate worlds in the USA. Those of us that have benefits and time off live one way and millions don’t have that. That being said, I am in awe of the guys work ethic.
The noise was huge! Our two dogs and cats are traumatized. I am as well.
So Saturday while that was going on we had a garage sale. We are really trying to declutter drastically and change the way we do things. We even sold our Christmas Trees. We got rid of almost everything in the garage. We met a lot of people. I met one of our neighbors. She was from Vietnam. She came first then over the years she brought seven of her brothers and sisters over (all legal! she said). They all live within a couple blocks of each other. They all showed up and chatted and bought some of our stuff. Really nice people. Our world is changing before our eyes.
Except nobody wanted Heather’s Windsor Bears. Anyway, it was great but stressful. Meanwhile the tile guy completed his work so Heather and I dusted, swept, dusted, and vacuumed for hours. The grinding made everything gritty despite the fans in the doors and the open windows, and the plastic sheeting covering everything. (Our air conditioning guy said to not run the A/C or heating to avoid damage so we didn’t but the weather was cool) I think that we’ll be working on the cleanup for a while. So this week, new tile, new laminate!!
So Sunday was a regroup day. I went geocaching and had a lot of fun going down the lonely trails and abandoned roads.
I even found a geocache in a dog park featuring this statue. What kind of dog is this to you? It looks to me kind of like a gorilla, but what do I know?
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I am an active geocacher. (Check what geocaching is here and here.) It is a scavenger hunt using a GPS device (or the gps function of your smart phone) to find objects hidden in the world by other people. To me it is an interesting combination of the physical world with the online realm with a significant social component. I have hidden over twenty caches and have found close to 1800 in the years I have been doing it.
Often geocachers use the game to bring attention to significant spaces such as works of art, special outdoor areas, and historical items. I noticed that somebody had placed a cache close to Tulsa with a reference to Blue Duck’s grave site. That immediately got my attention. The Blue Duck I was thinking about was the character in Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove” series of books. So I went to find the cache and see the grave site.
I didn’t find the cache but I found the grave of Bluford Duck. Born in 1858 into the Cherokee tribe he was already an outlaw in the 1870’s in Oklahoma Territory, cattle rustling, bank robbing, and horse stealing was his trade. In 1884 he and two of his compadres killed a farmer named Samuel Wyrich for no reason. Duck was apprehended and sentenced to die by hanging by the Hanging Judge, Isaac Parker, of Forth Smith, Arkansas. His sentence was later commuted to Life in prison. He got tuberculosis in prison and was released and died soon thereafter in 1895 and buried in this humble cemetery in the Tulsa suburb of Catoosa.
Besides being a “notorious outlaw” (are not all old west outlaws, “notorious”), Duck’s claim to fame was being romantically involved with Belle Starr, another “notorious outlaw.”
And here are the love birds. (Note the manacles on Duck’s wrists.) You can tell he is an outlaw because he is wearing a black hat. He is an attractive looking guy though. Starr though looks a little rough in my opinion. (I’d of never told her that to her face you understand. Notorious outlaws are a little twitchy about stuff like that.)
Larry McMurty’s character, Blue Duck, has no relation to the Cherokee Blue Duck besides being “notorious outlaws.” McMurty’s Blue Duck is combined Mexican and Comanche descent and killed a lot more than one person. From what I read, there is no evidence that McMurtry even knew about the Oklahoma Blue Duck. But hey, he might have. Blue Duck is a great name for an outlaw especially the notorious kind.
I love finding stuff like this that helps make history more real. My favorite is from a German POW’s grave at Fort Reno, Oklahoma that I just randomly googled and found out he, Johannes Kunze, was murdered by his fellow POWs for being a snitch. The Germans were prosecuted for the crime during the war by Leon Jaworski, who later led the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Read the post here.
Have you ever found the grave of somebody who is “almost famous.”
Friday afternoon Heather and I took off way past Sand Springs to the Keystone Trail which is on US Corps of Engineers Dam near Keystone Dam and Lake.
It’s a six mile plus or minus loop that is popular with the mountain bikers in the area. When we got there there was only one other person in the parking lot. We took the loop in a clcokwise direction and he took his bike counterclockwise and met him on the trail. We saw nobody else the whole time and ours was the only car in the parking lot when we left.
We didn’t see any deer, we saw lots of squirrels and this guy.
And these two, not friendly at all. I think we were interrupting something.
And rocks, we saw lots of rocks, big beautiful rocks. We didn’t see hardly any litter though. We walked through some spider webs which means that the trail was not very busy.
The trails were well designed and maintained. Not much erosion going on.
We even saw a little fall color. I think coming back in a month the forest would be beautiful with color.
Here’s a 38 second video of our hike. We went every which way. We covered about five miles in all and loved it.
This past weekend I helped build a Butterfly Garden on Turkey Mountain. It was part of an annual event called Monarchs on the Mountain. This year, for safety, it was scattered all over town. Families could reserve a time spot to help with the garden. It was great seeing all the little kids excited about digging and planting stuff.
I helped taking out the bermuda grass. I was sore all over at the end of my not very long shift. Anyway, we ended planting a lot of plants. They lady leading the effort was great. She told the children that this was their garden now so come check on it. One child asked if they could add to it and was told, yes, just make sure the plant is native to Oklahoma because we don’t water, fertilize or spray these plants so they have be hardy enough to survive on their own.
We are getting a little of the fire haze from California. My heart goes out to the residents there. What a nightmare.
I’ve been riding my bicycle up and down the trails on the RiverParks. No road crossings!!
Fire Station number 9 here in Tulsa is sponsoring this geocache. It’s a gadget cache which means that it is easy to find and hard to get into to sign the log. This one requires tools, but it provides the tools, so first you have to figure out how to get the tools, and then what to do with them then. I loved it.
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.
We did a couple of hikes. The first one was in Beavers Bend State Park, a four mile route on the Lakeview Trail.
It was a clean, very well maintained and marked route through the mixed hardwoods and pines.
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.
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.
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.
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.