Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art is putting on an exhibition of over 150 photographs by Jason Lee. I’d never heard of him before and he got famous as a skateboarder way back when, and then got into movies, and for the last decade and a half has developed quite a reputation as photographer using various film formats.
Philbrook commissioned him to do a series of photographs on Tulsa and Oklahoma. They are his vision of Tulsa and Oklahoma. So when I went to check them out recently I was like, well, okay. His vision is kind of bleak and a lot of shows the disparity between the haves and the havenots here. There a shots of dilapidated buildings with the high rises of corporate Tulsa in the background for example.
There isn’t like one single work that is a showstopper. Its not that kind of exhibition. I think you have to look at the whole work in its entirety. From that vantage the show is outstanding. The thing that really inspired me is that I sensed a confident photographer going about his business shooting photographs of various scenes based on his instincts.
So, inspired by him, I am trying to figure out what my vision of Oklahoma is and make it more right brained than my analytical side. I found these images of various bison in a rural area of Tulsa. I kind of like them even though I had to park in the driveway of the property and just as I finished up since big loud dog showed up acting like he wanted to bite a piece of my leg off.
They are colorful, what they mean about Oklahoma, I haven’t figured that out yet. I am just going with it.
What do you think?
I drove on out of Tulsa into the countryside and came across this Turkey Vulture. I didn’t bother him one bit.
Across the road was a mainline block valve for some sort of liquids pipeline. It needs a little work I think.
So anyway, if you are in the Tulsa area go check out the Jason Lee exhibit at the downtown branch of Philbrook.
Tulsa has a bicycling event called Tulsa Tough sponsored by a local hospital. It started out kind of small and has grown considerably. It consists of three days of criterium racing and a couple days of Grand Fondo’s and a Townie Ride. Criterium is racing around and around in a closed loop of a mile or two or three and the most famous of those is Cry Baby Hill on the Riverparks. The Fondos are longer distance rides from Tulsa to the boonies and back of at least 32 and miles on Saturday and Sunday. The Townie Ride is a free community event just a few miles long.
The view from the parking at lot at 6:30 am.
I’ve always been a spectator at Cry Baby Hill but this year I went for something different. I signed up for the shortest of the Grand Fondo rides on Sunday. Thirty two miles. I had never rode a bike that far and thought about waiting until next year but I am kind of that age where it is wise not to be putting off stuff like that. You know what I mean?
So I signed up and did some training on some hilly routes near out house and I was as ready as I ever was going to be.
I got there early in the morning and got the bike ready and went to the starting line and waited. I am a slow rider and so I always get to the back, just like my running races!!
And I got left in the dust. It didn’t bother me. I just kept going at my pace and pretty soon I passed a few people.
So us back of the packers made for a congenial group of nodding acquaintance as we passed each other, and got passed.
The race organizers had lots of SAG vehicles to help riders with flats, or first aid, or haul them back to the starting line if they can’t finish the race.
At about mile 10 or so we had a rest stop. Lots to eat and drink. Our son, the banana nazi, forbids bananas in our house so I had my fill of bananas here, and water. Bananas are the perfect food for running or riding, lots of carbos and electrolytes. They also had gatorade, picklejuice, pickles, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches and all sorts of other stuff including fireball shots. I didn’t imbibe. I’d of had to stop every mile or so if you know what I mean. I’m not going to spell it out for you.
Right across the road is a view of Holmes Peak which I have run up to a bunch of times during various Post Oak Lodge Trail Runs over the years. I am glad I didn’t have to ride my bike up to the top. I know that you folks from places that actually have mountains are in hysterics about our “Mount” but hey it is harder than it looks so get over yourselves.
So then we went north. We wound through some beautiful back country with birds singing and water flowing in the streams and it was very nice. It reminded me of some early morning summer hikes in Oxley Nature Center. You totally miss it in a car.
And then it started raining which wasn’t quite as much fun but I was wearing tech gear and the temperature was not too low so it was tolerable. My gopro clone camera ran out of juice so that is the last photo I got. I didn’t really feel like stopping and take pics with the phone because it was raining.
So everything was pretty cool until about three miles from the finish. I misread a sign and took off through the core of downtown instead of continuing straight to the west side of the Arkansas River. So I wandered through the core part of downtown Tulsa thinking, wow this is kind of a busy route for a big race. There were the purple race markers but now I know it was for the Townie Ride scheduled in the afternoon. Then I got to the Midland Valley Trail and it’s oh wow, this isn’t right.
So I could have backtracked but I was tired. So I just headed back to my car. I thought briefly about a 0.6 mile jaunt to the beginning of the finish line but that would have been cheating even though I would have ended up with more mileage than the official distance. And I was still tired and it was still raining, and I would have just had double back where I was and I would have an official finish and it would have been fraudulent. Nobody would know, except I always tell the truth on my blog and so you guys/gals/X’s would know!! Do you believe me? Seriously?
So I had an official timed start and a DNF. I hope that you are not too ashamed of me. Tell you the truth, I am not ashamed. If I had gone to the finish and got an official time then I would have to explain. And as a veteran of over 40 years in industry I always tell the youngins that if you are having to explain, then you are in trouble. Just tell it like it was is my motto.
So tell me, do you always tell the truth on your blog?
I am linking with Our World Tuesday, where everybody always tells the truth, at least most of the time.
Saturday the family headed out to the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow to check out their “Chalk it Up Art Festival” held in conjunction with the Broken Arrow Rose Festival.
The event is held on Main Street in downtown Broken Arrow (aka the Rose District). Contestants use chalk and create their works right on the street. It is pretty amazing and it looks to me like a lot of work.
They had a lot of entries, maybe over thirty or so. The only other time we came was years ago and they had maybe a dozen.
They were very colorful and showed a wide variety of themes.
Unfortunately it started sprinkling when we got there so I turned into a man on a mission, photographing almost all of them before it started raining so I was not able to go back and study them in more detail. Plus there were a ton of vendors set up in tents selling all sorts of interesting arts, crafts, and other things. We usually try and check those out also but not this time.
So just as I finished it started sprinkling pretty heavy and we had parked a ways away so we headed back to the car. Turns out that maybe we should have not left so quickly but oh well. I didn’t care if I got wet I was more worried about my camera.
I liked this one showing some of the flora and fauna of Oklahoma.
We went to Colorado last week and while we were gone, it flooded in our home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our home is high and dry but not everybody is so lucky.
I take pains not to be a problem and so I didn’t visit where people’s houses were flooded. I took a couple trips to the RiverParks area of Tulsa, a strip of public park along both sides of the Arkansas River as it flows through town.
In 27 years of living here I have only seen the trail covered for a 50ft section or so once or twice. Now, whole section of the trail are under water and the water is a foot or two higher than what is shown in these photos.
These are newer photos from Sunday when son and I visited the northern section of the RiverParks. The water is even deeper now and is expected to get worse over the next week or so as it continues to rain in the Arkansas River watershed.
The Arkansas River is flowing swiftly. It now reminds of me the Snake River in Idaho which also moves swiftly.
So what is happening? The Arkansas River gathers water from a huge area. The basin in drains ranges from Leadville and Colorado Springs, Colorado and almost to Santa Fe, New Mexico to Tulsa. It all funnels through Keystone dame above Tulsa a few miles and it is way over flood stage behind the dam.
And to add insult to injury, we have had tornadoes. We spent Saturday night in our desigated safe room, our downstairs guest bathroom, with our cats and dogs in crates and we three humans holding flashlights and our cell phones waiting for the all clear. Our son said at one point that it was all a roll of the dice! Yep that is right son.
We are lucky though. The tornado passed about a mile south of us and our house is high and dry. So we are blessed but are remembering those who are not so fortunate as us.
Saturday, my wife Heather and I went to Tulsa’s Woodward Park. I wanted to check out the Azaleas. That’s Heather above with her hands on her hips like she is ready to do something. She is always ready to pitch in!
The Azaleas were nice but not like last year but we loved it anyway. Above is a photo using my lensball. It is a spherical piece of glass that I keep in my car. It sure makes for nice photos, once I learned how to use it. One trick is that most of my photos with are inverted since it inverts the scene in front of it.
Here is a two tone photo of Azaleas in the shade. I have learned how to do manual exposure and blah, blah, blah with my camera but I forgot to set the white balance to shade and it is hard (for me) to correct for that after the fact. Oh well, I’ll take it anyway.
The Linnaeus Demonstration Gardens at Woodward Park had a butterfly garden. Heather had her notebook out and was making notes. I think we might have one in the near future.
Woodward Park had some iris’s also. I love them!!
We saw lots of flowers, and stopped and chatted with a couple from out of town who asked about what to see in Tulsa. A great time was had by all!!
I took the day off Friday and wife Heather, and son Logan ventured out north of Tulsa to check out the flowers at the Tulsa Botanic Garden.
The Tulips are in bloom and are beautiful. I think they planted something like 130,000 bulbs or something like that and they are dazzling especially in full sunlight.
All sorts of colors and varieties.
And here is wife Heather! She loves the flowers.
And son Logan, he is okay with flowers and came along in anticipation of the ice cream to come later.
And I captured Heather again.
A few daffodils.
Thousands of fragrant violas.
I snuck in my conjuring ball and took a few photos with it.
You have to really be careful holding it, especially in the full sun because it flat burn a hole in your skin in seconds flat. So I have learned to hold it on the top. I flip most of the pics over anyway. It took me a while to learn how to get decent pics with it. I use a point and shoot in the macro mode and focus on the ball. You can use an SLR or a smart phone and I have but it is kind of clumsy, to me it is anyway.
I never get tired of the tulips. The Garden has come a long ways over the years. I remember running trail races through the property years ago wondering when were they ever going to get some color out here. Will they have it in a big way now.
We were out there because it was my birthday. This is my wife of many years, Heather. She spoils me shamelessly.
Yep 64 years old as of Saturday. I like numbers and 64 is two to the 6th power. I don’t think I’ll make it to two to the seventh years, or 128. For some reason that doesn’t bother me. Ask me if I make it to 127 and I’ll probably be singing a different tune!!
Saturday, I ran in the four mile event of the Greenleaf Trail Run at Oklahoma’s beautiful Greenleaf State Park. I say I ran, its more like I participated with my running friends Paula, left, and Melissa. We trotted a few hundred yards out of the four miles and the rest of the way speed walked it.
There were three races, a twelve mile, eight mile, and ours and each started separately. Since these are trail races, there is almost always a traffic jam right away. Nobody worries about it much though.
We ran through a bunch of great views including a segment out and back on a dam.
The State Parks do a great job of keeping the brush down in the parks. The lack of thorns is especially appreciated.
Melissa and Paula on the trail. I was wearing some brand new Hoka One’s that I bought over a year ago just before I had to quit running. A lot of the trails were on side slopes, which is fine, but the Hokas were too high and put a lot of torque on my ankles. Plus they were not broken in yet.
Warning ahead! Bigfoot area. Eastern Oklahoma is a hot bed of Sasquatch sightings.
And here is the critter himself. It was groundhog day. I didn’t see any groundhogs but Sasquatch couldn’t see his shadow, so does that mean we are having an early Spring?
All three of us finished the race vertically so that was good. I thought the race was great. The course was beautiful, the package pickup was well organized. I love the cotton poly blend long sleeve tee shirt.
They had cool coffee mugs at the end for everybody.
They had great medals as well. You can see Melissa’s above. I went bushwhacking for a nearby geocache at the end of the run. I didn’t find the geocache but the medal fell off when I was out there. Anyway it was cool.
I give this race five stars out of five. Thanks to the organizers and the army of volunteers who did everything from handing out packages, cooking and dishing out the food, marking the course, directing the runners during the race, and a myriad of other jobs.
New Years Day I skipped the various organized runs and polar bear plunges and go on a facebook organized hike on Turkey Mountain but I had to change by plans when I was ten minutes late for the hike so I just went by myself. Which is fine, I like to go at my own pace and take photos and there were a couple of geocaches I wanted to try and find.
It was frigid as you can see from this surface skim ice on the wet part of the trail. It gets cold in Oklahoma but almost always a few days later it warms up pretty good.
I stayed on the eastern side of the park. It has the best views, it also had a little bit of wind compared to the more secluded areas. I was bundled up pretty good though. I’ve got a lot of excellent cold weather gear that I have accumulated over the years.
There were not very many people. I saw one or two trail runners, several couples hiking, and only a few mountain bikers.
I ended up with about five and a half miles and looked for two caches and found one. I have found almost all the geocaches on Turkey Mountain that don’t require climbing equipment or a ladder to reach. I used to try and get those on my own but as I have got older I realize that gravity is not necessarily my friend.
Right after Christmas me, son Logan and brother Bob visited the Woody Guthrie Center in downtown Tulsa. The center is the archive for almost everything Woody Guthrie and they have a small museum showing off some of his papers, musical instruments, artwork, and of course his music.
They have on display lots of his papers with lyrics and notes, letters and such.
He put his stamp on his musical instruments including woodburning and ink. You may notice that on this violin he says it helped kill ten fascists. He was in the merchant marine during World War II and served on three ships that were sunk. (If I remember right.)
He wrote on all sorts of materials. You can tell he hated fascism. One interesting segment is that he lived in an apartment owned by Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump in New York. Woody didn’t really care for what he considered racist housing policy.
The museum also has a Virtual Reality experience of the dust bowl that is very eerie. Here are brother Bob and son Logan with the VR goggles.
The center also has a small space for special exhibits. This time they had a lot of memorabilia from John Cougar Mellencamp including recordings of his songs and quite a bit of material of Mellencamp talking about his music. I found it quite interesting.
As part of the Mellencamp exhibit was this reel to reel recorder/player. I tried to explain to my son how cool these things were and how expensive they were and then to why a ipod touch like mine totally outclasses these things. Reel to reel tape machines are still very cool in my book!!
Check the centers web site for information on hours, location, and exhibits coming up. They have an exhibit on Leonard Bernstein coming up in January. I’ll be checking it out. I got to see Bernstein at the premiere of one of his operas in Houston back in the 80’s. Everybody in the crowd was yelling “Bernie” like they knew him or something.
We are having some great weather right now. Sunny, almost warm, so Logan and I went exploring on Saturday in some urban woods. They are not a park, it is undeveloped private land. We were geocaching.
Their used to be houses here I think. Note the phone box out in the middle of nowhere.
I found the first stage of a multistage cache. The clue to the next location was a underlined letters in a Hardy Boys detective novel. Logan had to wait while I went through the novel and copied down the underlined words into my note book. The letters told a riddle that I think I have solved except you know the answer is a word and I need a bunch of numbers because I am looking for GPS coordinates!
We set that issue aside and went looking for another cache and found it. It Is a lot fancier than most of the caches we find. Some geocachers really put a lot of work into their hides.
So we only found one, but the fun is in the looking, at least for me. For Logan, the fun is getting back home.