Tag Archives: Geocaching

Skywatch Friday – First Snow of the Winter

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We had our first snow of the season on Monday, the 12th. According to Oklahoma lore that means we will have twelve snows this year. That kind of depresses me a little bit. I find nothing romantic about snow at all. 

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Things got cold and that is a good thing. I have revved my geocaching lately and I love cold weather. All the snakes and bugs are no longer a problem and the brush dies back. I have about 1574 caches found over the last 14 years. I want to get to 2000 in a year. What is geocaching you ask? It is basically a game where people hid containers out in the world with paper log books (caches) using GPS receivers to determine the coordinates and then they post those coordinates on geocaching.com and other people go find them and sign the paper cache and log on to the cache’s page and log again there. Check out geocaching.com or a post geocaching 101 I made several years ago.

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I find it a lot of fun and very challenging. Geocaches are everywhere.

Here is a map of geocaches within a few miles of our home. The yellow smilies are ones I found. The green boxes are the caches I haven’t found the few blue frowns are ones I looked for and did not find. The question marks are mystery caches where a puzzle hast to be solved to find the cache. I have hidden 32 caches myself.  I think there are about three million in the world now.

Anyway, that is what I am up to. What are you up to these days?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Springtime Skywatching

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After a long winter of short days and featureless skies we are having lots of skywatchable skies these days. The longer warmer days means that I am outside more and we are having a little weather and unfortunately the many grass fires in western Oklahoma adds a tinge to the air here in northeast Oklahoma.

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On the advice of my doctor I have quit running and am riding my bike a lot. So far over 200 miles this year. (I am not bragging, I know several bikers who more than that on a weekend.) Most of the time when I am riding I have my Go Pro clone camera working. I alternate rides between video and stills.

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It is very low fidelity with medioce specs but I don’t mind.

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Another bicycle selfie. I always try and save one from each ride.

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Anyway I am sure enjoying being outside in the fresh air. And some of the trails allow me see some rural Oklahoma scenes. I posted this photo in Instagram. Speaking of which, if you are an instagrammer consider following me. I’ll follow back. My handle is @yogiab. You can see a little of my feed in the right sidebar.

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I took this with my cell phone. I spent some time trying to make it look better but you sometimes you just have to go with the plain version. Not that it is a great or even good photograph, I just like the contrast during the golden hour between the building and darker sky.

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I even had a geocaching opportunity on one of my rides. I didn’t find it but I found this cool “Posted, Keep Out Signs. I don’t know why the sign is so high in the air. I have a feeling that if I could figure out how to get up to the sign, that is where the cache might be. I know the guy that hid it and he is evil. I didn’t spend too much time looking for it I needed to get back to my car before dark.

How about you, is the weather changing good or bad for your Skywatching?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – 1500th Geocaching Found

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Tuesday at noon I was signed up to go to a “Lunch and Learn” at work. That is where a vendor agrees to buy us engineers lunch if we agree to listen to their sales spiel. However, it was such a nice day, I ditched the lunch and learn and decided to go look for a new geocache named “RiverCache” right on the banks of the Arkansas River. So I drove down there and went walking along the river using the geocaching app on my cell phone to guide me.

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It took me to this little “social trail” on the river.

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Which led to this little wild and wooly hobo trail.

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After about fifteen minutes of looking here, there, and everywhere I found it!! Actually the photo is not the actual cache. To be fair to other finders and the owners of the cache I am using a photo from another cache I found years ago. The one I found on Tuesday was a lot smaller than this.

I found my first cache on Valentines Day 2004 so I have been at it for over 14 years. I only find a few dozen a year now but I still love it. Check out geocaching.com to get more information about the sport.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday 

Skywatch Friday – Winter Sunset

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So Wednesday evening after work I decided to go chase a geocache that was recently planted in Owen Park which is about a mile or so northwest of my office. It has been bitterly cold lately but the temps were up to the low 40’s and there was still lots of light so off I went.

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Owen Park may be the oldest park in Tulsa, in the oldest part of town. I love it because it has lots of old school rock walls and steps and other things that are way to dangerous to be built today. So it took me a little bit to find it climbing up and down and all around. Rocks like this really drive the GPSr devices we use crazy because of all the multipath noise.  But hey, I was having fun. I even got a call from my wife while I was looking at we chatted a little bit. While chatting I spotted a good place for the hide and after the call was over sure enough there it was. Number 1493.

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On the way back to the care I took this snap with my cell phone. No clouds or color in the sky but I loved the little skim of ice on part of the pond, and the reflections of the trees. So no filters or cropping or anything like that on this post.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

It’s Getting to be Christmas

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Well we are running behind schedule on Christmas this year. This is the tree. Heather put on the Topper just to keep me from putting on the Dallas Cowboy Star. I strung the lights. Oh well, we have a lot going on in our family right now. Believe me. Buy me a beer and I’ll tell you about it. Buy me three or four and you will hear all of it but you will have to drive me home.

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Oh well, what keeps it fun is that Lizzie the kitten is enjoying the dickens out of Christmas.

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And at work, the Large Projects Group that I work in has a tree. It was a woman engineer that raised the cash from us deadbeat men engineers and bought ornaments and the tree. I think she did a great job. I love all the construction equipment ornaments.

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On a cold windy day last week I went for some noon time geocaching out on this remote lake. I froze my butt off and didn’t find the cache but I loved the hunt. In case you need to dispose of a body, I found a couple really good spots!!

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Son Logan is working at a Neighborhood Walmart these days. He is proud of his job and seems to be doing well. We went by there the other day (he wasn’t working) to get a few things and then all the customers were ordered to evacuate immediately, so we did. And I fulfilled my blogger journalistic duty by taking a photo of the fire engine and fulfilled my artistic duty by using prisma to pretty it up a little bit. I don’t think there was any property damage nor was anybody hurt.

So that is what is new with me, what is new with you?

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