Tag Archives: Geocaching

Our World – Geocaching Fall Fest

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!!

LJ the Cat, and Rascal enjoying the new floors

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.

Lizzie camped out in the master bedroom.

That’s about it this weekend.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Remodeling Etc

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?

So how has your week been?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday.

Our World – Blue Duck – Outlaw

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.

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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.”

I am linking with Our World Tuesday. Come check it out!

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!!

Our World – Tulsa Legends at Memorial Park Cemetery

As part of a solving a geocaching puzzle I had the opportunity to view some of the famous people buried at Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery. It was really kind of interesting so who was buried there.

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Firsts up is Roy Clark. Those of a certain age, remember him in the television weekly comedy music show Hee Haw back in the 70’s. He was a great performer and projected a warmth while performing. He had hits on both the country and pop charts and was known as a great musician. He didn’t grow up in Tulsa but he called Tulsa home.

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And then Bob Wills, the godfather of everything musical in Tulsa and a co-founder of country swing music.

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He played for years at Cain’s Ballroom here in Tulsa which is still a music hall with quite a full schedule. His ghost is said to reside there.

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Leon Russell had the most elaborate monument and had coins, rocks, and other mementos from his fans on the front. (Roy Clark had coins on the back ledge of his monument for some reason.) He was active for over 60 years. Elton John called him a mentor. He was enrolled in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He played with Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, and others he is a legend.

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Underneath one of the benches at his grave site sits a hat like the ones he used to wear.

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And Sam Kinison. He was one mixed up dude. Lots of talent and very outrageous. Watch the following video at your own risk!

Strangely enough he started out in life as a Pentecostal Preacher and had to quit because he wasn’t making enough money. He went into comedy and got several big breaks.

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Oral Roberts, the father of the “Name it, Claim it” Prosperity Gospel is buried in a common grave next to his wife.

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He might be the most recognized preacher in history. He was an innovator in several fronts, with his prosperity gospel, tele-evangelism, and was founder of Oral Roberts University which is still going on although they separated from the family years ago. He was a character.

His life and ministry is still a conundrum to me. On the one hand he appears to have been a bit of a huckster. On the other hand, his University has done a lot of good. He was colorful, I’ll give you that.

And so that concludes my tour of the Cemetery. I love cemeteries. I google names on the tombstones and you would be surprised how much information is available. For instance I saw a gravestone for a man and wife and it just had birth dates and no end dates. I googled the names and found out that yes, they died but are buried in another cemetery. I am not going to name them because it happened pretty recently and I think I am friends with one of their offspring. So what’s the deal, why would somebody order a double gravestone in advance of the need and have it installed?

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This last guy is my favorite. Waymon Tisdale was a basketball player who played at the University of Oklahoma and later in the NBA. He quit basketball after twelve years in the NBA to concentrate on his first love, music. He played bass guitar in a smooth jazz band that he led. My wife and I used to go to a Jazz Festival here in Tulsa where Tisdale frequently played and he radiated such a friendliness and warmth from the stage and was totally approachable and well grounded.

He and his family lived in a house not far from where we lived at the time. In fact I would go running by his house in the early morning and it was pretty cool. They had young kids and a huge play area for them. It was nice but not superstar gazillionaire nice. His diagnosis with cancer and subsequent early death was a huge tragedy. I still don’t get how somebody so alive can be so dead.

Sorry, I didn’t intend for this to be so long but here it is. It could have been longer, especially if I had elaborated on some of the more entertaining tales of Oral Roberts.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Yule Edition

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We had a full moon just before Christmas. Usually known as the Cold Moon. I found a new name that I like, “Moon Before Yule.” It was bright, silvery, and beautiful here in Oklahoma.

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Also just before Christmas we had dinner with some friends and then went to Tulsa’s superb Gathering Place to check out the Christmas lights. We missed the lights but just walking through the place is great. Aboveis the Williams Lodge. 

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I’m continuing my geocaching trying to get to 2000 before year end 2019. I am finding myself in very out of the way places like the remote cemetery above where my only company was a few deer. We had a standoff for literally a minute or two with them and standing motionless until, I was like, okay you win and waved my arms and off they ran.

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My brother drove over from Tennessee for Christmas and we are having a good visit and sharing Christmas with him. Its always nice to have family and consider ourselves blessed that we can be together. 

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

Linking with Skywatch Friday

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