Skywatch Friday – October is Here!

We have a pretty good vantage of the sky at our home. Here it is looking west. No need sometimes to drive places for Skywatch photos.

And here is a netted sky at one of those fancy multi level golf driving ranges. Never been although it sounds like fun.

This is a sculpture of a bison that I photographed at a low angle through the glass. It is called Guardians of the Plains and is on the turnpike in Sapulpa, just west of Tulsa.

This is a short video of a geocache hunt at a car museum in Tulsa. That is supposed to be a huge gasoline pump.

One day recently we had the swirly winds and funny clouds indicative of atmospheric disturbances which in Oklahoma means tornadoes. We didn’t have tornadoes. I used the Hyperspektiv app to kind of give an idea of the atmosphere.

I went out for a bike ride the other day. One of the best days of the year, sunny and cool, about 68F and hardly any wind. It was perfect. About ten minutes after this photo was taken I had a head on collision with another bicyclist who veered right into me. Luckily I had seen that he was a little jittery and had put on the brakes and tried to go to the right to avoid him but he panicked at the last second steered right into me.

We both ended up on the ground, I hit my head pretty hard on the pavement but I was wearing my helmet. The other guy landed on a guard rail with his ribs and was in bad shape and his bike was all mangled. Several people stopped to help and we went to a nearby parking lot. A buddy of his came and got him and his bike and Heather came and got me. My bike is okay. People rib me about how heavy, old fashioned and slow it is but it suffered no damage at all that I can see. I am going to have my bicycle shop check it and my helmet out to ensure there is no damage.

I went to our Bone and Joint Urgent care and got some xrays and checked out by a doctor and prescribed some meds. I can’t drive or drink alcohol while on them. So I just have a sore back is all, and a gouge in my hip where my handlebars got torqued into me when the guy hit my wheel. I hope the other guy is okay. He was hurting when he left the scene.

So if you ride a bike, wear your helmet. I hit the ground pretty hard with my head and I didn’t have a concussion. The other guy was wearing his helmet as well. I am thankful also for all the people that stopped to stop and help us.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday – come check it out.

Our World – Hiking the Keystone Trail

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.

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A political trail sign!!

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.

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We didn’t see any deer, we saw lots of squirrels and this guy.

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And these two, not friendly at all. I think we were interrupting something.

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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.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, go check it out!

The Room where it Happened by John Bolton

I just got through reading Bolton’s memoirs of his brief time in the Trump Administrator as National Security Director. The book is certainly eye opening as Bolton describes working with Trump on issues such as China trade, North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, the threats from Iran, and finishes off with the crisis in the Ukraine that led to Trump’s impeachment.

Bolton gets way down in the weeds and what comes out is his contempt for the way Trump does things. To Bolton, our president cannot maintain a train of thought for very long, cares little for issues except to the extent that he can use him to advance his own interests. He also doesn’t know the first thing about negotiating and mistakes personal relationships with international relationships. Bolton describes Kim Jong Un of North Korea laughing at Trump when he figured out that he could easily use that personal relationship to get concessions in negotiations.

Bolton also excoriates the House of Representatives for a lazy kind of impeachment where due to electoral schedules the calendar was abbreviated and so in the interests of time the issues were all focused on the Ukraine where in reality there was probably grounds for impeachment in a consistent pattern of self dealing by the President. The House also did not pursue their subpoenas in court so there was not much of an investigation and the process because ultra polarized and resulted in an acquittal by the Senate.

Bolton fears an unleashed Trump in a second term. The only thing that restrained him from many things in his first term was the fear of not being re-elected. Trump was barely constrained anyway and he’ll be much worse.

The book was interesting also as it gave me an insight into Bolton. The guy is pretty smart and has a lot to say. Once I understood where he comes from I could see where he got a lot of his beliefs. He is big into American Sovereignty for example which makes him very suspicious of any treaties that limits that for example. Despite some reports Bolton is not endorsing Biden. Bolton doesn’t say much about Biden but really goes after Obama and his policies.

The book scorches Trump pretty good. Trump did everything he could to stop publication of the book. It does not cast him in a good light.

I highly recommend this book.

Weekend Reflections – Kayaking on Broken Bow Lake and more

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A scene from our retreat to southeast Oklahoma. Perfect weather, no wind. A great time to relax. I used an app called ArtCard to create this.

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Another reflection from historic Shannon Springs Park in Chickasha, Oklahoma. A former water stop on the Chisholm Trail and and now a beautiful park. Lots of infrastructure built by the WPA way back when.

I am linking with Weekend Reflections, come check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Visiting the Kid on Sunday

Last Sunday we motored from Tulsa down to Chickasha to visit Logan at college. He’s doing very well down there but we need to go see him anyway.

We ate at this very decent Mexican Food restaurant. We all had burritos! It was a lot, in fact it was my last meal of the day.

And then we took advantage of the weather and went to Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park. It is a great place with walking tracks and playgrounds and that big western Oklahoma sky.

Way back in the day the springs were a water stop on the Chisholm Trail. It was probably was not near as nice with hundreds of cattle standing around and in the water but very important.

The sun was shining and the air was warm but not hot.

Some of the trees look like they are getting read to turn colors.

Heather and Logan found a cool swing that you could make go by pushing your feet. We all three tried it for a little while.

And we found what I call a hippie bridge. Kind of racy for small town Oklahoma. It’s not too small a town as we went to the big Walmart to get the kid stocked up on supplies. You know, snacks and pizza. I’m surprised he doesn’t have pizza squeezing out his ears.

And then back to the dorm and saying goodbye!! It was a great visit.

Our World – Monarchs and More

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.

What have you been up to?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, check it out!!

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