Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Skywatch Friday – A Visit to the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch

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Sorry about the decapitated horse to the left.

Continuing from my previous post where brother Bob and I visited the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, we drove about 20 miles or so north to the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch. The Rogers family name for the place was, the Dog Iron Ranch. We were told at the museum that the ranch was a beautiful place and I can confirm that indeed it is. It is at the end of a road and the property has waterfront on a lake. The place teems with birds and very green grass and nice big trees.

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We met the ranch foreman, Fred. Fred was very bossy and loved to have his photo taken and was just generally very fussy.

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We ventured briefly down a hiking trail and saw this longhorn cows. They checked us out when we first approached and then quickly became bored.

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We didn’t go very far, I hadn’t thought about needing bug spray and if we had gone any farther we would need some. I am not a big fan of chiggers and ticks.

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The house is beautiful. Apparently this kind of house was common in Territorial Oklahoma but is now rare. It was once known as the “The White House on the Verdigris.” The lower floor of the house is open.

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I loved the light from the tall windows.

A beautiful sitting room with a piano. I love those old walls and the fireplace. The house started out as a log cabin, actually two log cabins with a cover over the “dogtrot” between them. The house was expanded gradually and a second story added with two bedrooms. The old dog trot was enclosed and is now the foyer. Somewhere along the way, the white clapboard siding was added. I just love stuff like that.

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And the master bedroom. I love that big multicolored rug.

The ranch is a quiet place with just the horses, donkeys, Fred,  and the birds. Besides the house there is an authentic barn and wood fences. The hiking trail is a little rough but I’d of done it if I had my bug spray. The place has RV spots and and airstrip!! You have to make arrangement in advance to stay out there as there is no staff on site.

I recommend a visit highly. It is one of the nicest place I have been to in Oklahoma.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

A Visit to the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma

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My brother Bob and I drove to Tulsa suburb of Claremore to visit the Will Rogers Museum. Will Rogers may be the most popular Okie ever. Even more revered than Garth Brooks. Will Rogers was a humorist, author, actor (both film and broadway), radio personality, author, and columnist. He was known for his folksy ways and friendly demeanor. His most popular saying was that he “Never met a man he didn’t like.” He was born on November 4, 1879 on a ranch near Oolagah, Oklahoma and died in an airplane crash in Alaska on August 15, 1935.

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He grew up ranching of and worked his way into wild west shows and later vaudeville doing roping tricks. Later he was in Broadway plays and movies.

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The museum is chock full of Will Rogers information and art. Their are statues of him, art of him. They have film clips of him. And all sorts of information about him and many of his possessions are on display including a large collection of saddles.

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I loved all the movie posters. They have mock ups of the various rooms in his house in California where he lived when his film career blossomed. The museum is very nice and you can tell that it is a labor of love for the staff and volunteers that work there. You get a very good sense of the man. Talented yet humble and a very understated manner of speaking. I left there wondering, “Who is our Will Rogers today.”

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Will  Rogers is buried on the grounds there on a site overlooking the beautiful hills of Oklahoma. I love this statue that they have near the grave.

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Here is a carboard cutout of Will along with my brother. Sorry about the dark shot.

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Soon, I will have a post about Rogers’ birthplace in nearby Oolagah. Brother Bob and I ventured up there after our visit to the museum.

If you want to visit the Will Rogers Museum click on the link. They have lots and lots of information including the basics such as where they are and when they are open.

A Hike on Turkey Mountain – Meditation in Motion

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I found me a gnarled old tree. I love gnarly.

Saturday morning I didn’t have any obligations. Heather went off to teach her classes and the kid didn’t want to go walking or hiking or much of anything. So I went off to Turkey Mountain all on my lonesome.

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A perfect trail, I love the dappled sun.

I like exploring Turkey Mountain with my family or friends but I am okay with it on my own as well. I get totally lost in the moment feeling the sun or shade on my face, the heat, humidity, what the ground feels like under my feet, other people up there and everything else. It is all just part of the whole. You can’t keep your head in the clouds though. You have to keep an eye on the trail so you don’t trip plus the copperheads are out and they are hard to spot.

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An open air auditorium. The trees make a natural archway.

So I have a rough idea of what I want to do but I feel free to change it up as the mood strikes me.

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Slow and steady down the this steeper than it looks and rocky trail.

Turkey Mountain is just so lush and green this early in the summer. Give it time under some hot sun and the green will lose its freshness and the ponds, creeks, and springs will dry up. It’s all part of the cycle.

Relive ‘Morning Meditation in Motion on Turkey Mountain’

I can walk an hour or two and it seems like five minutes.

Our World Tuesday – Flower and Wildflowers

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This is one of Heather’s day lilies in front of our house on Sunday morning after a night’s rainfall. I just love rain drops on flowers.

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Saturday I went hiking on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain and found some color. Or some color besides green. The mountain is covered in bright green and I love it but I also love other colors also

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And here is some yellow flowers. I have no idea about flowers so I call these yellow flowers.

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And here is one of the trails I ran. You see what I mean about bright green?

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And here is a purple wildflower.

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After years using a Toshiba I finally got a new computer. The Toshiba was still working but the pentium chip just wasn’t up to the demands of Lightroom and Photoshop and other photo software I use. so I got a brand spanking new Dell with a fast processor. I also have a solid state hard drive that is about half the size of the one I had but I don’t keep much data on machine. I got it at Staples and had them move the data and programs from the old machine to the new and you know something they did a great job and the cost was very reasonable.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday.

Shadow Shot Sunday – Evening Ride to Sand Springs

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I am really enjoying riding my bike. I couldn’t do it Monday or Tuesday because I had to pick the kid up from work and Wednesday Heather and I went to the Alison Krauss – Willie Nelson concert. (Heck of a show those two put on I tell you.) So Thursday was it. I have a go pro type cheap clone that I mount on the handlebars of my bike. I had it set to take a photo every 20 seconds so above is an action shot of my filling my water bottle. You can tell from the long shadow of the tree that it was already getting late in the day.

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The winds were supposed to pick up from the north so I opted for an east west route to Sand Springs and back on the MK&T trail. A converted railroad line. Straight as an arrow and easy grades. It doesn’t get much use and has several road crossings but they are easily crossed.

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Here is a sign shadow, with a lens flare.

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And here is an action shadow selfie of me pressing the crosswalk button like a nerd. A bicyclist who knows what he is doing just goes out there in traffic. I plan on living a few more years and I am hoping that being a nerd furthers that cause.

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And an extra long shadow selfie on the trail. Below is a brief video of my ride.

Relive ‘After work ride to Sand Springs’

So what have you been up to lately?

I am linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Bristow Wildflower Run 5K – 2018

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The beautiful train station at Bristow, now a museum.

This past weekend I decided to go run a race that I have wanted to be in ever since I started running eons ago but have never done. It is the Bristow Wildflower Run. I had heard that it was a nice race and so I decided to check it out even though I was not running it, I was going to walk it.

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I love what I call “Working Man’s Trucks.”

I had never been to Bristow before and I was surprised. It is a really nice little town.

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I loved the store fronts. Bristow’s downtown seems to be thriving.

The race is part of the Bristow Tabuleh Fest. I didn’t know it until I moved to Tulsa years ago and I still don’t quite understand it but there is a big thread  of Lebanese culture all through northeast Oklahoma. There are several good Lebanese restaurants in Tulsa. Anyway the race started and ended downtown in among all the booths and activities for the Tabuleh Fest.

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Bristow’s city park is spectacular.

The fun sounded and off we went. Or rather off they went as I was back walking with the grandmothers until they left me in their dust. The race route goes through some nice neighborhoods and on to a huge park with a lake with the banks covered with wildflowers. Thus the name of the race.

We looped back to downtown and finished the race, well behind the grandmothers I should add. I didn’t win anything, but I had a good time and will be back.

The race hit all the check marks.

Nice T shirt, check, and lots of tshirts for everybody, double check.
Reasonable price – only $23 check
Community participation – there were lots of people cheering us on. Even me, eating the grandmother’s dust, – triple check
Refreshments – yep, lots of water, bananas, orange quarters, check, check, check. Plus there was a huge number of food vendors at the festival.
Venue – check – Bristow is a beautiful town, and downtown Bristow has a lot of preserved historical features including a spectacular train station.
Timing – Tatur.org, nobody better, check

So the race is a keeper for me.

Do you know of any other small town races I should enter?

Relive ‘Bristow Wildflower Run 5K’

 

Skywatch Friday – A U2 Sky

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Heather and I went to the U2 Concert last night here in Tulsa. In fact Tulsa is where U2 is starting their latest tour. They of course put on a great show. It had a sad tinge to it that I think is reflective of our country right now.

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And then earlier this week we had a full moon. Fish Moon, Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, I love all the different names we have for full moons. The problem is, that I took this photo the night after the full moon. Still it was 98% full. I can’t tell the difference. Aren’t you happy with me that I came out and was honest with you about this? Don’t always count on it!! I’m a scoundrel with the facts.

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The sculpture is “Monument to Forgiveness” in honor of Tahlequah, Oklahoma being the end point of many Native American on the Trail of Tears when they got evicted from the southeastern USA. Check out “www.monumenttoforgiveness.org

On our trip to the JT Nickel Wildlife Preserve on Sunday, Logan and I stopped at Northeastern State University for a look see. They are starting a program for people with Special Needs to get a university experience. We are applying and have high hopes. They are taking only five this, their first year of the program.

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He’s doing well at school and is still working maintenance at Walmart. He’s a hard working kid.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday, better late than never.

J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve

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Sunday, son Logan and I ventured off into deep eastern Oklahoma to the JT Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve northeast of  the town of Tahlequah.

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It is a 17,000 acre former cattle ranch that the Nature Conservancy took over in 2000 and it is now the largest privately protected block of land in the Ozarks. It is almost a complete ecosystem of its own.

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The Conservancy has reintroduced fire and is replacing the former bermuda meadows with tallgrass prairie to try and reestablish what the landscape looked like long ago. From the six mile drive across the property it looks like they are succeeding. The open meadows are very lush. The burned landscape really opens up the woods.

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They reintroduced elk in the area in 2005. We got a glimpse of one through the trees but I did not get a decent photo of it. We also saw white tailed deer on our hike.

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The only thing I wish is that they had more trails. We hiked two out of the three available and it was 2.3 miles. They packed a lot into that short distance with a variety of sights from ridge tops to creek bottoms, woods to savannas.

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It was a good outing. We were the only ones there. The headquarters was closed but they had a great display on the area, the trails, where the trails were and how to get to them. The trails were spotless. No litter or vandalism or anything. Of course you really have to want to go there to get there. We drove across six miles of very bumpy and rocky road to get there.

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Logan really liked the peacefulness of the site.

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Check the link if you want to visit. They provide directions and all sorts of other information.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Last Skywatch Post of April 2018 – Osage Prairie Trail

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Last week I took my bicycle up north of Tulsa to the “Osage Prairie Trail” a rails to trail project  that starts in north Tulsa and goes to Skiatook, way out in the country. I started in Sperry and went about five miles north to Sperry. The trail is deluxe, asphalt paved and well maintained.

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I got some geocaching in on the way. How do you like my stylish outfit? I found that garish yellow top at Walmart for about seven bucks. Don’t feel bad if you don’t like it cuz I like it just great! Along with my mismatched socks. Where’s the law that says your socks have to match? There isn’t one, I already checked!

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I love this bridge across Bird Creek.

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I got to Skiatook and everybody in town was taking an exercise class.  I felt like jumping in myself but they were just finishing up. I love community stuff like that. Except community sounds like communism. We don’t like communism here in Oklahoma, so I am glad I didn’t join this communistic exercise program. People need to be in there own homes watching Fox News and checking you know who’s twitter feed. Not out in the sun getting skin cancer and getting to know your possibly leftist, immigrant, non gun owning  neighbors.

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Enough about politcs. How about some cows? These are my wife’s cousin’s herd out in western Oklahoma. I love the calves especially. I always name one of them “Little Brisket.”

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I went riding along the Arkansas River after work earlier this week during a pretty day. I am loving riding my bike this Spring!!

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And it is Azalea season here in Tulsa. Here is a house in midtown that I just love. Look at the blooms, and the windows.

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And I have a volunteer gig with the city of Tulsa picking up “litter on a stick” signs. I’ve picked up 17 so far. Within days of getting trained, me and my fellow 61 volunteers picked up over 500 trash signs off city rights of way. I’m all official now. I have a city ID Badge with my photo on it and some “cop gloves” to help protect from sabotaged signs. (Not yet in Tulsa but apparently in other cities the people who have put out litter on a stick signs have superglued razor blades to the wire frames.” The gloves will come in handy for geocaching also. On my bike ride on the Osage Prairie Trail I went looking for a cache called something like “In the hole” and I found the hole in the tree and as I went to inspect it, a snake slithered out! So as we say in the energy biz, I plugged and abandoned that cache, figuratively. I am just glad that I didn’t stick my hand in there, even though the slithery critter did not appear to be poisonous.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday this week.

Sunday Morning at the Tulsa Zoo

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We had a rainy cold weekend here in Tulsa. Heather was out of town and Logan was at his job and I wanted to get outside but the trails at Turkey Mountain are always a muddy mess after rain. I had recently been to a lot of my favorite haunts, Woodward Park, the Botannic Gardens, Oxley Nature Center, so I went to the Tulsa Zoo hoping that it wouldn’t be too rainy. And I lucked out, after a night of rain, it pretty much quit for the day by the time I got there.

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This grizzly bear was kind of sad. It is beautiful. Look at that fur. It looks like it has been groomed. (I don’t know whether it is a he or a she.)

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Breakfast though appears to be a sack of salad. I’d be nosing around in it myself thinking, “Are you kidding me!!”

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Now, I’ve been to the classes and did the reading. Zoo staff take the diets of the critters very seriously  and make sure to give them what they need. Grizzly sure looks depressed about it.

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I found this critter. I had never seen it before. It is not a cute little kitty, it is a wild animal. Too bad my pic of its plaque is indecipherable!!

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They have several bald eagles there. They always look so noble.

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And the children’s zoo. Goats, goats at a children’s zoo are pains in the butt.  They are cute but will steal the zoo map out of your back pocket in a heartbeat, and eat it.

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A good zoo, and Tulsa has an excellent zoo, has great grounds to match, or complement the critters they harbor.

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I found me a lizard, an iguana maybe, with a sardonic smile.

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And some sort of ape with a sour outlook, but beautiful fur.

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And I believe that this is a “Golden headed lion tamarin” and I think it is beautiful.

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A lion looking very regal.

I loved my couple hours at the zoo. It was overcast and cold and that kept everybody away, which suited me. Just me, the staff, and the critters.

If you want to visit the Tulsa Zoo check out their website for all the info. They even have Zoo Yoga Thursdays at 6 pm. I’m interested, what about you?