Category Archives: Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – 2018 Tulsa Auto Show

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Friday afternoon, I hooked up with one of my friends and we made our way to the Tulsa Auto Show at Expo Square.  The show features lots of new cars and has quite a few older cars. This year the hit of the show was the 1939 GM Futurliner that I posted about a couple days ago. Hit the link to go to that post if you wish. I am of two minds about cars. I love the technology, safety features, and durability of new cars but I love the styling of the old cars. Having said that, old cars of any type are a pain in the rear to own without major upgrades.  Changing spark plugs, condenser, and coil the time, checking the timing was a major pain. Flooding out whenever you splashed through water was terrible. I hate older cars. I love the newer cars. Except they all look alike.

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So we looked at all the cars but I took photos mainly of the older cars. Especially the Ford Thunderbirds. I don’t think there are that many more beautiful cars than the mid 1950’s Thunderbirds. They styling, the colors!!

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But like I said before. I don’t want to own one. Hey, you have one and want to loan it to me for a day on a nice sunny day. Sure, I will take you up on it. But I will return it and drive back home in my old Kia Soul. (All is Well, With My Soul, as the hymn goes.)

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Not just the tbirds, most of the cars had nice streamline, swoopy styling and many unique paint jobs.

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And some had chrome everywhere. I love a lot of chrome.

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So I admit, I took photos of almost all the old cars and hardly any of the new cars. The new cars all look like Toyotas anyway.

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I love this two tone paint.

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Here is an oldster.

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Here is an ugly older car. it looks like an upside down bathtub.

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Here is something unique. It looks like a gangster car. You can tell I am not a real car guy. My friend was and knew what all the cars were and he told me but I am an old guy and it was in one ear and out the other. If the cars have window tags I generally take photos of those for later reference. No window tags though. So you are on your own identifying these.

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Now this, this is a Pierce Arrow. Love, love, love this car. I highly recommend that you buy one, and let me borrow it from time to time.

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It has got one of the prettiest hood ornaments ever. The Tulsa Route 66 Marathon passes out replicas for their race models. I am a proud owner of one of them.

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How about one of these. What child of the late 50’s and 60’s didn’t get hauled around in a station wagon.  Nine or ten kids would fit in these, some laying down in the back. It is a wonder we didn’t all die.

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Here is a new car I found. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. It has a 707 horsepower engine and brakes to match. Its kind of sad. When it first come out a few years ago and was on display it was mobbed by guys looking at it. Of course, their were young women in short skirts and high heels answering questions. Now, you got guys with clipboards wanting to answer your questions, at least when they look up from their cell phones and happen to notice you. I felt like asking them where the women with high heels were but didn’t want to get all swarmed up in the me too movement.

So that’s a wrap on this years Tulsa Auto Show!!

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World -The Prairie Schooners of Tulsa

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We have something new in downtown Tulsa. Stickwork artist Patrick Dougherty, with a lot of help, installed “Prairie Schooners” at Tulsa’s least used park, Chapman Centennial Green on the south edge of downtown. The project was sponsored by the Urban Core Art Project.

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It is made up of branches and sticks from trail cleanup and tree trimming projects here in Tulsa. They are in there very good. The day I took these photos there was a gale blowing downtown and the structures were not going anywhere. The tops were waving about fairly well. I don’t know how they rooted the structures in but they in good.

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Prairie Schooners is what the covered wagons that the pioneers used to go west and steal land from the Native Americans. I can see the resemblance to that. It also looks like sailboats out ocean.

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The structures bend and wave in the strong wind and seem almost alive, they way they move. They look ghostly.

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An example of the complex and very strong weaving of the natural materials used to make the structures.

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They are very complex and make little rooms and there are no “Do not touch” signs anywhere. The place invites touching. It’s a very happy place.

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It is due to be installed for a year, until March 2019, so you got some time to check it out yourself.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday.

Our World – Spring Break at Big Cedar Lodge

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A week or so ago we had the perfect storm appear of the kid getting a break from school, and a few days off from his job at Walmart and me having some time so we dashed off to Southwest Missouri to Big Cedar Lodge, near Ridgedale to spend a couple nights.

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I really didn’t know what to expect. Big Cedar is owned by the same company who owns Bass Pro and if you have been to a Bass Pro store you know they push the time share condos and Big Cedar hard. (They also the founders of the now non-profit Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, that I discussed in my previous post.) So anyway we got to Big Cedar and it was very nice and very low key. The staff at the hotel act like they like there jobs and are very engaging and spend time with you to make sure that everything is good. What little problems did occur were set right quickly with very little fuss.

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The property is huge and has lots of amenities, most of which are at no extra charge such as the nice mini golf set up that they had or the paddle boats. This is not a resort where they nickle and dime you to death.

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They had a nice chapel on the property available for weddings.

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Lots and lots of flowers. I like it when owners take pride in their properties. There really is not a rate of return to flowers.

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There were lots of people there on the property but it is so spread out and has so many activity centers that it did not seem crowded at all.

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This is the marina where you can check out the paddle boats, kayaks, and other equipment.

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I had never seen so many mounted heads of deer and other wildlife in my life. Whole herds must have been wiped out to furnish the place. (I am being sarcastic folks). These were in the fully equipped fitness center.

Anyway we had a fun, relaxing time. I know this sounds like a puff piece for Big Cedar and I assure you that we paid full price for stay there and were happy to do so and will probably be back. I think it is a great place for our family for a long weekend. The accommodations were nice despite very thin walls. The food and drink in the restaurants was good and reasonably priced and the staff was friendly. What else do you want?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Flowing Water – Our World

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Hey after all these years I figured out how to do make a photo with the smooth flowing water look.

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It takes a tripod to hold the camera steady, a long focal length, a long exposure time.  I am going to go crazy.

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I am about to finish my first photography class. I have been taking pictures for years and little did I know that there is a whole world out there. We have a final assignment where we put 15 pictures out of 21 subjects on a poster board. Wow, actually printing out physical photos. Imagine. Walgreens to the rescue!! One option was photographing “purple” I found a purple truck. I am not claiming any artistic breakthrough but it is purple. Notice that I hid the license plate. I like taking pictures of cars and posting them. I have had car owners tell me that license plate numbers are private information and it is illegal to publish photos of them.  I tell them that I won’t tell anybody that they are the owners of the cars so its okay. They just look at me.

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And a large sculpture. In Tulsa where else but the praying hands (what the world calls it) or healing hands (what the alumni prefer to call it). I like the sideways aspect instead of the full on look. It almost looks like one hand and its reflection in a mirror.

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So here is my board to present Monday night. You’ve seen some of them.Others are new. I am signing up for the second class. Portraits, journalism, any takers for free portraits. Wife and son have already told me NO WAY.  Oh well.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

My World – Photography 101 Continued – Depth of Field

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Our second lesson in our photography class was learning about depth of field and how you increase it by increasing the Fstop at the decreases the aperture which reduces the light hitting the sensor which means you have to increase the iso setting of the camera which makes for more graininess in the photo. It’s all connected in photography, there is no free lunch!!

Anyway I had all week to do the homework assignment which consisted of setting up objects in a line and then decreasing the Fstop from f22 down to f5.6 to illustrate how the depth of field works.  The teacher said that a shallow depth of field works well with portraits, especially those outside, where one wants to “fog” the background to focus on the subject.

So anyway, I waited to do my homework until Sunday when we had a cold front hitting Oklahoma. I decided to use chess pieces for my objects but that did not work well as the wind kept knocking them over.  So as we say in the oil and gas industry I decided to plug back and perforate, in other words proceed to plan b.

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I moved the table up closer to the house to protect it from the wind and used a chess board and pieces from my late father-in-law that were a lot heavier. So the above is at f22 and I am focusing on the 3rd pawn from this end. So I shot the same scene at f16, f11, f8, and f5.6, the lowest fstop that my camera with the lens I was using.

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So I am still focused on the third pawn and you can see that the rook closest to us might be a might bit fuzzier (we use “might bit” in Oklahoma without irony) and the pieces on the far end are quite a bit fuzzier.  I am sparing you the intermediate photos.

So anyway, next class is Monday night and we will be talking about freezing action with shutter speeds.

I’m still just a lowly picture taker but I’m enjoying myself.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Thoughts on a Turkey Mountain Ramble

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I have run by this a bunch of times and never noticed it. A big trunk with several wraps of barbed wire. Turkey Mountain used to have farms on it and was an active oilfield back in the day.

Sunday morning I went for a walk on Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa. There was a running group that was leaving at 8 am but I didn’t join them. I have not run since I injured myself during the Route 66 Half Marathon in November. Since then I have been walking, cycling, rowing, walking, elliptical machining and a lot of resistance training. I still don’t feel like I should be running. My knees are popping a lot and I don’t know if I will ever run again. (sniff??)

Turkey Mountain Wire fence

This was a wire fence, almost decorative starting from the tree in the first pic. In fact, if you go back and look at the first pic you will see that it is this fence that is imprinted in the tree trunk! It makes me wonder if there was a house here at one time. Turkey Mountain has a history, and a lot of ghosts. I can sense the ghosts when I run here at twilight. Again something I never saw before. Maybe walking and hiking will give me a new perspective on things?

So I have been thinking about why I started running in the first place. I started running a little late in life. I am not a natural athlete.  I was 37 years old and had found out that my cholesterol was sky high and my cholesterol ratio was terrible. The exercise guy I consulted said that running was the most bang for the buck. So I started running and really never stopped. I entered races and eventually ran a couple of marathons and a whole bunch of half marathon and 15 to 25k races and countless 5 to 10K’s. I loved the hopeless feeling of being 5 miles from the finish and exhausted and then somehow making it to the finish. I didn’t care that I finished 57th out of 62 in my age group. Finishing was the goal, and I always finished, one way or the other.

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A base for an oil well pumpjack from way back. There was a geocache here that I never could find and it is no longer active.

So that was then, and this is now. I can see me hiking instead of running the trails. I can see my biking a lot more. If you can’t do what you want, do what you can. So my doctor says “… your tread is running a little thin.” So I am going to save my tread for hiking and maybe the occasional trotting 5K. I’ll be on my bicycle a lot more and in the gym a lot more. Taking care of my tread.

Turkey Mountain Tree

I collect trees. Here is one on Turkey Mountain. It seems a little here and there and perhaps unstable? Do you know unstable trees? Do they make you nervous? This one makes me nervous.

I can deal with it. Circumstances change, you have to change with them. My goal is to be as active as I can for as long as I can, however I can.

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Turkey Mountain is an urban wilderness and is maintained mainly by volunteer labor. It is not groomed like a city park. The trails are kept clear. Many of them by people showing up with their hand saws and power saws and cleaning things up on their own initiative. The cuttings are tossed to the side. They are not hauled off. So the woods show the cumulative effect of windstorms, ice storms, and tornadoes. We vounteers pick up the trash but leave the organic material to rot on its own. It works. No way could anybody afford to come clean everything up. The people who love Turkey Mountain don’t want them to do so. I’ve had friends say, “It is so icky up there, why don’t they clean it up.” And I would never tell them but my thought is, “Turkey Mountain is not for you maybe?”

The ironic thing is that all this running didn’t do crap for my cholesterol levels. It lowered it by about 10%. Now drugs, drugs knocked my LDL’s in the butt. At $7.50 for a month’s worth, I am sticking with that. Of course, with statin drugs, deaths from heart attacks are cut but total mortality doesn’t change!! Huh!! Yep, true fact. I am going to continue taking them anyway. In the long term, the mortality rate is 100%!! You can’t argue with that.

What about you? Are you having any changes lately?

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – 2018 Keystone Ancient Forest 5K

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I went to a road race Saturday morning. It was cold and I hate being cold so I dressed warm. Note the oilfield Carhartt coat and the fire resistant pants. Don’t laugh at me. I was warm!!

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There is a new race in the Tulsa area, the Keystone Ancient Forest 5K/10K at a nature preserve with that name about 15 minutes west of Downtown. The preserve is pretty cool because it has trees that although small and scrawny are several hundred years old. You can read more about it on its  Nature Conservancy site. It is a special place and due to manpower and budget restrictions it is only open a couple times a month or so. The proceeds from the race all went back to the preserve.

This is the first year they have held a race and even though the scheduled start of the race before dark they had over 140 people signed up (at least I think that is what was said during the pre-race briefing.)

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The scheduled start was 7 am but it was dark so they delayed it about 15 minutes plus it gave some stragglers time to get their packet pin their numbers on.  So they started the race and everybody ran away from me. Don’t feel sorry for me, I was able to walk through the woods all by myself in the early morning. Even though it was 18F. The course started out with a half mile or of asphalt then, gravel, then dirt.

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The course went downhill and then uphill via series switchbacks. A nice easy, wide, rock and root free trail. I liked it anyway (just kidding) the trail is in great shape.

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At the far end of the loop, we had some nice views of Keystone Lake.

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Much of the return loop was on a fire trail turned into a trail recently.

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Found me a natural gas pipeline running through the area. It looks like it has been there a while.

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I loved the pattern in the sky after a while.

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They had a water stop that we hit both going and coming. I grabbed a bottle and it was nice. The water was partially frozen!! Kind of a surprise at first. Also, in keeping with the ethic of the preserve there were not discarded water bottles. I think everybody did like I did. Drink the water,and hold the bottle until I went back by and through the bottle and cap into the trash can.

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And the final stretch commingled with the 10k runners  to the finish. I think I came in dead last which was my goal. I don’t think anybody enjoyed the event more than I did.

 

I was pretty pleased with my knee. For a long time it hurt to up or down the slightest inclines and I couldn’t walk very far without things hurting. I had no problems so I am going to continue the twice a week leg workouts, and continue with the stationary bike and elliptical machine and walk at noon. I don’t feel ready to run yet but I think I might start running a little bit in March. I’m just taking it slow.

 

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Kudos to those who organized and worked the race. Everything was perfect. They even had Starbucks Coffee for us at the finish and Panera pastries, and a big roaring fire!! The course was well marked, they had a fire rescue crew out on an ATV checking on everybody, and a decent tee shirt. And of course thank you to the Race Director and all the volunteers that got out there at dark thirty to get everything ready for the runners, and thanks to TATUR Racing  who timedthe event and my fellow racers.

The race is for a great cause. I’ll be back next year. Maybe I will be able to run it?

What have you been up to lately?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday!

Our World – First Hike of 2018 on Turkey Mountain

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Son Logan and I went on a hike on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain Wilderness Area last Friday. It was cold to start but sunny.  The sunny part of it made for some great shadows.

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I’m still recovering from my knee injury so I picked an easy trail. The upper yellow trail from the south to north. When I run I like to take this route to start because it is a slight downhill the whole way and I feel like areal runner. No running this time but it was still pretty easy.

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We found us a tree. Turkey Mountain is full of trees. There is plenty for everybody so if you come here feel free to claim one. Please leave it though. Take all the pictures you want and visit anytime!

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The upper yellow trail passes some moonscape type terrain.

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We also found an old oil well. Turkey Mountain used to have lots of wells back in the day and there are reminders around everywhere.

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We also found this shelter made of branches. It is at the highest point on Turkey Mountain. I am not sure who used it. I doubt it was a homeless person. The surrounding area had no trash or debris at all. Most homeless camps are pretty messy. Plus most homeless camps are near places where they can get water and food. This place is a pretty arduous hike for a homeless person. So it is a mystery to me. I have a feeling somebody came up and camped here. In my evening runs on the mountain I have seen several people leaving the parking lot with camping gear. Camping is forbidden but I am not the camping police is my motto.

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By the time we got back to the parking lot, it was a lot warmer. Plus if the hike is downhill all the out, then it is uphill all the way back. Plus I decided to pick a little tougher trail with more rocks.  We were ready to get home and down some cold water.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, come join the party!!

Our World – New Year’s Eve at Oxley Nature Center

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New Year’s Eve morning I decided I wanted to go on a little hike. I’m in recovery for an injury and my doctor told me to walk or run on level surfaces. Running is not happening right now but I am walking more and it doesn’t get any more level than Oxley Nature Center in north Tulsa. It was cold, in the low twenties, and there was a stiff breeze. Look at the flags standing at attention. Notice the empty parking lot! I had the whole place to myself.

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I am not afraid of the cold. After years of running in the winter in all kinds of weather, I have the right gear to wear in cold weather. It is a balancing act dressing for the cold. Too little clothes and you die from the cold. Too many clothes and you overheat and sweat and possibly freeze. Also, avoid cotton!! Cotton kills in cold weather. Wear tech fabrics close to your skin. They wick the moisture away and breathe. The other thing about cold windy weather is I like to hike in the woods. It cuts the wind a lot. There are some parts of Oxley where you can hear the wind howling in the tree tops but it is calm at ground level.

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Another reason to hike at Oxley, in the woods is the deer. They have deer there and I see at least one almost every time I go. I saw this dude when I walked into a water pipeline right of way. He had a group of four or so does he was bossing. So he stood and kept watch giving me the stinkeye while his harem left.

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Then he gave me one last glare and left.

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I walked on and had to backtrack when I came upon a frozen over trail. Hadn’t seen that at Oxley before.

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Lots and lots of deer tracks.

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I got to Lake Yahola and observed this dude from one of the blinds they have set up. Does anybody know what this guy is? I am wondering if it is an American White Pelican.

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Hiking further on I found these deer. There were about four of them. I had a devil of a time being the newbie, picture taker that I am. I had to take the lens of autofocus and focus manually but there was a lot of glare so I had to shield the viewfinder while focusing. I’m sure it looked pretty hilarious. As you can see, I didn’t quite get the focus right.

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And then yet another group. There was the big dude letting me know he was watching me and then he left and then mom and a teenager showed up.  They kind of strolled past. In the background you can see another deer grazing. It was part of another group of four or five.

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And got to the other side. This was pretty close to my car. I got in the car and while I was messing around with my gear and getting a drink a security car came by and checked me out.

Time to stop for some hot chocolate at Quik Trip, head home and check on the Dallas Cowboys in the game against Philidelphia. Dallas won but it was very ugly.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

2017 Runners World Half N Half Marathon

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The Half N Half Marathon is a unique race where one can run a trail half marathon or a road half marathon or do both halves. It is one of those quirky things about running that I love. Runners are never just happy running races, many of them like to add little twists and kinks to it. I was planning on running the trail half this year but the running gods intervened and I have a knee injury and I am waiting for the insurance company to okay physical therapy and in the meantime I am hobbling around. So I wanted to do something for this race and I decided to just go out and take photos of the contestants all on my own with asking permission or anything. I I loaded up the Nikon and off I went.

Both races start at the same time and I couldn’t get to the start line so I parked on the upper parking lot at Turkey Mountain and found a good place to take photos and just stayed there and shot a couple hundred shots.

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I am a picture taker and not a photographer and my shots prove it. Talk about cutting off people’s heads and feet and slicing them vertically and getting their faces in shadows. I did it all!!

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It was fun though. It reminded me that everybody in a race is running a different race. The leaders are racing against each other. Lots of people make it a social event. Some people have a personal goal they are trying to achieve, others are just out there for being outside. There are as many reasons as there entrants. The leaders are hitting it hard and it shows but most of the rest of the people look pretty darn happy.

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I was totally jealous!!!

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After the last of the trail runners went by I hobbled back to the car and drove down to Riverside Drive where the Road Runners were. I found a good spot and took a bunch more photos.

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I saw a lot of the same thing. Really fast front runners and a lot of smiles. Runners are a happy lot.

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I have never been waved at so much in my life. I might do this again.

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I am still very jealous though.

I uploaded my several hundred photos into a facebook album and then shared that with the Runners World facebook page. it seems to be pretty well received. I didn’t really know how people would react.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday