Tag Archives: Geocaching

Skywatch Friday – Fall is Falling

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My wife’s cousin’s wife, Cheri Lou took this photo at the ranch in western Oklahoma. I love the rolling hills, grassy rangelands, and the big skies out there. The people are great also.

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Where we live in northeastern Oklahoma is more forest land and a lot wetter. Son Logan and I went on a little jaunt at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center. Lots of wildlife in Oxley. Lots of water also and it is right underneath the main approaches to our local airport and is right next to the police gun range so it can get kind of noisy but I love it.

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There are several sizeable lakes and ponds and it is known as a good birding site. I love birds but I don’t have the patience to put in the work.

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Here you go, any photoblogger worth his salt has the obligatory first red leaf of Autumn. I think this might be my first red leaf ever.

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This gave me a start! Don’t worry, it is a rubber snake placed near a geocache. At least I think it was near a geocache. I looked for it and didn’t find it. I lifted a rock and found me a real snake. Just a tiny little garter snake but I decided, enough is enough.

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Saturday I had some time so I went looking for some urban caches in Tulsa. Found one near the Saba Grotto. I think it has some relation to the Masons. There were a few instagram pics with Saba Grotto. it looks like a big man cave. They have a pretty active facebook page and they seem to have all sorts of benefits and events. Who would have thought? Stuff like that intrigues me. People don’t seem to join clubs any longer. They belong to “affinity groups” where they do people who have similar interests but is a lot looser. Anyway, one reason I love geocaching is that I find new places and learn new things.

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Another cache I found was on a freeway interchange. Talk about hiding something in plain sight. Lots of cars whizzing by while I figured out where the cache was.

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I am still training for the Tulsa Run 15K the last weekend of this month. Last week I ran 9 miles after work and I actually felt pretty good. Cooler weather and a hydration vest works wonders. I had already signed up for the race and went ahead and signed up for the Route 66 Half Marathon in November. This weekend I am running 11 miles on Sunday morning. At least that is my plan. Check back later. Plans change.

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A side benefit is running is the opportunity to take photographs. A great deal of my running (and a great deal of my photos) are along the Arkansas River. Tulsa really is a beautiful town. Of course I love the gritty west side of Tulsa where all the industry and refineries are.

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In the Fall the skies get a lot more interesting. This is a sunset photo looking east with my back to the sun.

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I’ll finish up with a selfie with a combuster at a waste treatment plant on the river. I was halfway on my nine mile run and I was really happy with how good I felt. Cooler weather, a hydration vest, and Metallica on the earbuds works wonders. That is about as big a smile as you will ever get out of me.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Oklahoma City Walk

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My last post was about a wedding we went to, this is about the day after.

I wake up earlier than everybody else and sure I drink coffee and read the paper but I like to get outside and I didn’t feel like running so I went geocaching.

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A simple type geocache is a skirtlifter. Located on the skirt on a parking lot light. There were two close to our hotel so off I went to find them.

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The caches have little paper logs that you sign to prove that you were there and also a separate web page that you “log” to show the world that you found it. Check out geocaching.com for more info.

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Some of the containers are pretty small. Plus under one of the caches I spotted a black widow spider.

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Who would of thought that high rise apartments in Oklahoma City would be around enough to need renovation.

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You are saying, “Hey this a Skywatch post, where is the sky?” Right here, behind this architectual gem. I don’t know whether this is mid century modern or Googie or what but I think it is beautiful. It is also empty, but seems well cared for. I love those arches with the cables. I am thinking this used to be a bank.

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This is the back side of what I think is a bank. I don’t know about you, but I really think they should install more lighting. Eleven lights is just not enough.

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And this building is a special place. This is Founders Tower and there is a restaurant at the top that rotates and that is where Heather and I had our first date back in the 80’s. It was called the Eagles Nest then and now it is called 3sixty restaurant and bar. We had a great time. Or at least I did.

It is also and office building. The oil and gas industry at a certain level is almost a barter economy. You have geologists, landmen, and reservoir engineers who will work for an interest in a well rather than cash. Lots of those guys used to have offices here.  That was back in the day when you could drill a vertical Redfork well in the Anadarko basin for “only” $1.5 million. Nobody does that any more. Now to drill and frack a horizontal Woodford Shale, or STACK, or SCOOP or other shale well is going to cost you $10 million. I have had customers with a straight face tell me about “pilot projects”  with seventy such wells.

The technology invoved used to be almost generic but now the players keep their secrets very closely held. I am out of the game a little bit now but I wonder how the barter economy has survived. As Alan Jackson says, “the big money has come to town” or something like that.

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And then back to the hotel. Notice the pedestrian friendly streets in Oklahoma City. I’ve always loved Oklahoma City for its pioneering boom and bust attitude.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Catching Up Edition

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I mentioned in my previous post that my father passed away in Idaho recently. That was sad but our small family gathered and we got to see our newest member from Arizona. What a sweetheart she is and so active. Getting friends and family together is a positive part of funerals so we gathered from the various corners of our country including brother Bob, a civilian employee for the Navy who was evacuated from his home in Corpus Christi because of Hurricane Harvey. He thinks his apartment is okay but will not be sure until he gets home.

My heart goes out to the Texans who are flooded because of the storm. I used to live in the Houston area.

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Anyways from the scene above I could take photos of the Idaho sunsets over the back fence.

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I also got some great sky shots while passing through the Denver Airport. I’m headed home this afternoon and will pass through Denver again.

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One of my trips up here, I had to drive back to Salt Lake City to catch a flight home because of the Eclipse madness. I took the opportunity to find my first Utah cache. I’ve now got all the states in the west except for Nevada.

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I had to turn around and fly right back to Idaho from Tulsa and I got to see a sunrise on the way back.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Life’s a Beach – In the Air, on the Ground, and in the Water

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Heather and Logan went on their parasailing adventure the other day. I didn’t go, the pics were taken by a boat hand.

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Up

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And then way up there!

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Before coming down for a little shark dip, and then the credit card went though and they went up again.

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While they were up there, I went to the beautiful Gulf State Park’s Backwoods Trail.

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And found some geocaches. No snakes, no bug bites (thanks DEET), but a few thorn scratches.

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Heather and I have taken several long beach walks along the Gulf underneath everchanging skies.

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And I have been crushing beers in the surf. That is what us guys do, we crush our beers. We have found some decent beer here finally. Alabama is a bigger beer wasteland than Oklahoma.

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And I found me a friend at the fishing pier at Gulf Shores. I’m not much of birdwatcher except for the big ones like this Brown Pelican.

Today, we are going on a Segway nature tour of the Gulf State Park. I’ll give you a report later.

The Kid Bows Out and Other Happenings this Weekend

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Last Friday was Logan’s last performance with the Laughing Matter Teen Improv Group at the Clark Youth Theater here in Tulsa. He is aging out of the program. Heather and were trying to figure out how long he has been with the program. We think that it has been about eleven years but we are not sure. What kind of crappy parents are we anyway??

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He’s really enjoyed it and it has been fun watching the other kids grow up also. We are going to miss it. He hasn’t really started looking at what’s available for him now in the community but we’ll keep you posted. He just finished his first year of college and did very well. His mother and I are pleased.

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The kids have really blossomed. Maybe they blossomed too much. They are an independent bunch and I think that is a good thing.

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Saturday morning we did our cat rescue gig at the the Petsmart in Broken Arrow. We have gotten kind of fond of the cats and are happy that they all eventually get adopted.

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There were three new ones Saturday morning. The one above is a male that got caught in a fence and some asshat shot him with a bb gun. He’s a sweetie but he is a little traumatized by his new surroundings. He’ll make somebody a great cat.

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After the cat gig Heather and Logan went home and I went geocaching. I’ll post in detail about it later but I bushwahacked for 0.3 miles through the woods alongside the Verdigris River looking for a geocache. All told I spent two hours  on that gig and didn’t find it. Three ticks found me though! The cache above is one I found later. I guess that I can find them if they are painted pink and have yellow caution tape so that I don’t trip over it. Yep, I love geocaching whether I find them or not.

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We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy II later on. Heather and Logan loved it, and me I was just confused. Still am. We did build a fire in the patio and chill out for a bit afterward though.

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Sunday was a work day at the house. Logan and I mowed the yard. Heather “amended” the soil. I got my chainsaw down and cut down a volunteer tree in the greenbelt behind the fence. We got a lot done, heathen pagans that we have turned into.

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Later on we went to Nana’s house (Nana is the world’s greatest MIL) and grilled burgers and chilled. That’s Nana’s dog Reba above. She is my model for chilling.

And that’s a wrap on the weekend. How was yours?

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

AeroGeocaching on Turkey Mountain

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Saturday morning I dropped the kid off at his Improv class and I drove to Turkey Mountain and hobbled around a bit. I say hobbled because for about a month now running has been very painful and I can’t hardly go up or down stairs. That is frustrating because I generally take stairs when I can and always walk up and down escalators. Now, walking up is painful but doable, walking down is out of the question. Things are getting better but not quick enough to suit me. I know patience is required so I am walking a lot and doing the elliptical machine thing. On Wednesday nights I run very short distances in between long walking interludes.  So anyway back to Turkey Mountain. I have found almost all the non-micro sized geocaches there so I went for a couple I hadn’t found yet. The first one was close to a homeless camp that now looks abandoned. (It sure is a mess!!!!) This cache was easy to find. See up in the tree?

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I read the description and guess what, climbing apparatus is required. While I am not doing it at all climbing gear or not. Unfortunately I can’t log it unless I sign the log inside. No partial credit allowed. Oh well. I was glad to find it. The next time we have a clean up on Turkey Mountain we’ll need to clean up the dude’s camp. Plus there is another one, that may be occupied, about a hundred yards north.  It needs to go as well.

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The next cache I found, or didn’t find, was also up in a tree. And this one, maybe, just maybe? But no, it is on a steep slope and remote and if I slipped or fell I would be in a world of hurt especially by myself. I could get this one with a ladder. I have a light portable ladder that I have packed into woods to retrieve caches safely and this might be one of them. Later.

Mind the Gap

I wandered around some more and found this. It is a bicycle jump across a ravine. I love the “Caution Gap” signs. They are probably needed because as you can see if you are on this side and tearing down the hill on your bicycle you are not going to see that it is not a bridge it is a jump. How does one do this for the first time? I guess you start out by not being as chicken as I am. You can also see that the structure has more problems than the gap. The first few boards are missing. See that bypass off to the right with the small bridge. That is more my speed.

I have yet to take my bicycle to Turkey Mountain. I have seen some bicyclists do incredible things. Like bend their wheels out of round or their frames and they have to carry their bikes two miles to the parking lot. I have also seen other guys go up and down hillsides that I thought were pretty much vertical. One day I saw a couple of mountain unicyclers tearing down the hill on the knobby tired unicycles. They are long poles they were using like skiers use ski poles but still, it was amazing.

Anyway, I had a great walk out in the woods on a beautiful chilly breezy, sunny January day. So, mission accomplished.

Urban Geocaching

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I dropped the kid off at his Improv Comedy Class on Saturday and went in search of a few geocaches. First up was Evergreen Palace by TJFirey at Tulsa’s Heller Park. One of those you know easy park and grabs that everybody finds. I didn’t find it but walked around and took a few pics.  There have been a bunch of caches at Heller Park over the years and I don’t know if I have found any of them!!

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The area around “Up Joe Creek” Cache.

Not very far away was Bridge of Sorrows, by Thurstonhowell1. Another one with a great hint and everybody else is having a great time finding it but not for me!! A homeless guy came by with an old carpet sweeper that he found somewhere close by. He was pretty proud of it mainly because of the handle. He said, “Look, it still works.” and he ran it on the sidewalk and then he says “Damn, I’m picking up the pebbles.” I said, “Yep, its working great. My mom used to have one.” And he said, “I’ll have to figure a way to get those rocks out, but later, I have places to be now.” I said take care and he said nice to visit, “Same here, see you later!” I answered. I kind of like non mentally ill, non drug using homeless people.

Oops, sorry, this is a geocaching post and I didn’t find it. Next was Up Joe Creek by BlueStar99. This one took a little figuring out to get close to the cache. I had to use a business parking lot. I park far away from the building and was mindful of No Trespassing Signs, there were none. It took me a little bit to find this clever little cache but I did. First find of the day. I am big into the concept of Geocaching is all about the hunt but I do like to find them every now and then.

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It was getting close to pick the kid up so I headed north and stopped at “Keep Speeding” by mindfulmomma right near Insterstate 44. I parked nearby and crossed the frontage road and found it. No homeless people, or anything. I found it. I’m on a roll!! Yeah Me!!

I head over and pick Logan up and we get something to eat and then I take him to his volunteer gig working for the Animal Rescue Foundation. Logan has a soft spot for dogs and cats and hates geocaching with a passion. Where did I go wrong that I have a kid that would rather clean out cat boxes than look for ammo boxes? Oh well, one of us needs counseling.

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So I headed up through north Tulsa on my to Oxley Nature Center. I stopped short of Oxley to look for a cache named Heat Wave by The Sooners. It took me a little bit and then, Oh yeah, I’ve seen this before.  I drove a little further to another one of those, easy to find, fun caches that everybody else can find but me, named TICO #2 by glenjonz. And yep, I didn’t find it. I have a complex about easy caches.

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Next up was a full size cache in Oxley Nature Center that was had some good reviews called Nature of Mohawk by Skitzo666. I live for full size caches in the woods. So I parked nearby and looked around and walked here and there and looked high and then looked low and then got down on my hands and knees and went looking in the tough spots and easy spots and started looking farther and farther away and then repeated the whole process

I decided to log and DNF and go do something else. Just then a car drove up and parked and a guy popped out and asked if I was looking for the cache. He said he was the cache owner and somebody reported the cache was missing. He went to one of the spots where I looked and reported yep it was missing. He said he was going to replace it at a different spot so I wandered off far enough to where I could hear him but not see him and then he left. He told me the general area where it was so I found it easily enough. What a great cache owner Skitzo666 is. Salud to you guy. You are doing it right.

So I turned off the GPSr, retrieved my “good”camera from the car and headed up a water pipeline into Oxley’s Northwoods Loop Trail that I posted about on Sunday.

 

In Search of the Rid(dle)diculous Geocache

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I have been after a geocache named “That’s Just Rid(dle)iculous!!!” by a geocacher named M5. (Geocachers have names, I’m known as YogiABB.) Its  puzzle cache which means one has to solve a puzzle to find the cache.

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This puzzle involves arithmetic and some baffling wordage about the three kids and the sum of their ages, and the product of the their ages, and one’s a muggle and oh my. I don’t know what is going on.

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Ithought I had it so I went out the area and bushwhacked to what i thought was ground zero and looked here and there and up there and down here and around and around. so I didn’t find it.

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aa

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I didn’t find the cache but I had a pleasant hour in the woods, Plus One for ME! And found a new secret trail!! Score One More for Me.!! It is not very long but it is sweet.

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So I’ll take that.

Almost Wordless Wednesday – Night Geocaching

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I was at a Geocaching Campout put on by the Tulsa Area Geocachers recently. A bunch of temporary caches are hidden by the participants for other people to go find.

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One of the most popular caches are the night caches. They are fun. You go out in the woods to the coordinates and then you start looking for something that glows or reflects a flashlight and off you go following the trail. You get spider webs in your face and tend to trip a lot and scare mysterious critters as you stumble and bumble through the woods.

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So what’s the point you ask? The point is following the paths to the end and enjoying the journey. I mean without twisting your ankle too bad or getting lost out in some woods where there is no cell phone reception. Best to have spare batteries for everything, flashlight, GPS receiver.

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Have you ever had as much fun as this?

Twenty Four Hours in Osage County

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Those of you who know me, know that I’m a Geocacher. The Tulsa Area Geocachers have an annual event in the Fall that they have at various State Parks in Oklahoma and this year they went to one of my favorite spots in Oklahoma, Osage Hills State Park up in Osage County. It is a beautiful wooded, hilly location with lots of camping spots and a friendly accommodating staff.

Heather and Logan stayed home. They hate geocaching. Hate might be too mild a word for their feelings about it. So I went by myself.

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So it was fun finding the various temporary caches placed by the participants. Some of the people are diabolically clever.

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Osage Hills is known for having the remnants of a Civilian Conservation Commission camp built back in the 1930’s to house young men who helped build the facilities still used at the park.

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Here is a link to an interesting short blog post about the history of the CCC at Osage Hills. I learned that the camp was active from 1935 to 1941. Its amazing that so much remains 75 years after the camp ceased operation.

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Mainly I wandered the trails. I didn’t encounter many other geocachers as I started with the furthest removed caches and worked back and was more interested in taking pictures anyway.

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I found the camp dynamite hut. It looks solid enough still, except for the roof.

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I loved Lookout Lake. No geocachers here, just fishermen.

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Found me a little critter. He told me he wasn’t a geocache.

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The next day I got up early and went out to Sand Creek to take some photos. One of the prettist places in the state as far as I am concerned.

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And then I drove out to the nearby Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. I always love the wide open spaces with rolling hills and the bison.

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I’ve never been able to photograph the feeling of exapanse of this place. It is almost 40,000 acres.

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It is huge and goes on forever.

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And then I drove down to Woolaroc, Frank Phillips’ (of Phillips Petroleum) country place. Woolaroc is an acronym for “Woods, Lakes,and Rocks”. He has a first class western art museum, a buffalo herd, and all sorts of other stuff that an oil gazillionaire needs.

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And a barn for the the critters.  I love the barn.

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And the landscaping (rockscaping).

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And the Native American design motif. I know its cultural misappropriation but I still like it.

And then I went home.  But I had a great time.