Tag Archives: Parks

New Orleans – Audubon Park via the St. Charles Streetcar


True confessions, this isn’t the streetcar I rode out to Audubon park on.

I’m here in New Orleans at a convention but Monday morning is mainly convention business meetings so I got up and had me a parfait from Starbucks cuz I’m trying to be healthy at least for a few hours and then I walked up Poydras Street from the hotel to St. Charles and caught the streetcar from there to Audubon Park.


I have been to New Orleans several times now but have never set foot on a street car because I was unsure how one paid and where they went and so on and kind of worried about the safety of it all especially since former New Orleans Saint football player Will Smith was murdered in the Garden District just a day or so ago and Audubon Park is in the Garden District.


My first New Orleans geocache in several years. Boy did I take heat on facebook for this. Everybody is going “Aren’t you supposed to be working?” Hey, you take care of you, and I’ll take care of me! Deal.!?

I checked the world wide interwebs and it was kind of strange. People said that despite the New Orleans being the murder capital of the USA, they didn’t feel nervous about putting their garbage out late at night. Whoa, it had never occurred to me to worry about taking the garbage out anywhere I have lived. Should I startt?


Well, I was very brave. I headed out on the streetcar without a weapon, not even a knife or even pepper spray.


Well guess what, Audubon Park is pretty mellow, people walking their dogs, coeds from Loyola and Tulane jogging (how come lots more young women run than men???) old folks walking their dogs. It was a very chill scene (did I say that right? I’m an old guy and I know that I risk making a fool of myself when I pretend that I’m hip.) (Although at this point, I’m beyond caring what people think.) 


Anyways I didn’t go to the Zoo. I walked the two miles around the golf course and it was nice. Huge old oak trees.


Lots of them, and I took lots of pics of them. The trees are alive!!


This looks like a former street to me. Trees and lights on both sides. What’s up.


They have paved trails with politically correct divisions between bikers and runners and dirt trails also.


And some dinosaur looking birds which I think are cormorants but I’ve come to find out that there are a gazillion different types of cormorants as well.

So I walked a little over two miles, took a trip out and a trip back on the Streetcar and started the convention in a very chill mood which I have maintained through the whole day.

And so I was able to visit the L.A. Turbines Voodoo Chapel and get rid of some bad ju ju and reinfore good ju ju. I love a vendor owned by a Belgian, don’t you? Especially one who is generous with Belgian Beer.

Oxley Nature Center – A Great Alternative to Turkey Mountain


Heather and I wanted to go hiking on a warm sunny Winter afternoon and we decided to on the north side of Tulsa to Oxley Nature Center to avoid the crowds that show up at Turkey Mountain on nice days. The successful fight to save Turkey Mountain from developers really aroused the public’s interest in the park and I’m happy that so many people love it but there are other parks in Tulsa to go and hike, run, bike, and whatever you want outside with a lot less people. Where you can get a little elbow room and hunt for a parking space.


Oxley, adjacent to the also hikeable Mohawk Park is a little more structured and has a interpretive center with staff to help you with planning your hike. And it has hours of operation and such but if you just want to show up and hike or run, just park and do what you want. Check the link for hours of operation, maps, and such.


So on a day where Turkey Mountain was a little crowded (only at the parking lot, you get a quarter mile from the parking lot and the crowd are diminished considerably) Heather and I found a hiking spot and took off on a circuitous route. Sure we saw other people but just every now and then.

So don’t let crowded parking lots deter you from spending time outside.


We say several deer right close to the parking lot. I haven’t seen a deer on Turkey Mountain in years.


So we were just moseying along at a leisurely pace. Our son is on a school trip to Breckenridge and of course we stopped every time he texted us.


And we had a great time. Over four miles all in all.

As far as what was going on in Breckenridge, here is a selection of some of the pics Logan sent Heather.


This was from the bus ride as they were getting close to town.


The condo they are staying in and reportedly doing lots of “hanging out” and “relaxing” when we ask him what he is doing.


And it sounds like there is an ice sculpting contest or exhibition going on so this is one of the sculptures.


And this has something to do with dragons. Anyways we miss the boy and are glad to be able to hear from him.


Our World Tuesday – Pond

Turkey Mountain Pond

Late afternoon last Wednesday on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain at a small pond. I just love running the trails there. Once I get more than a quarter mile from the parking lot I have the whole park to myself. One thing about the area is that there is not a whole lot of money budgeted for maintenance. We depend on volunteers to show up and do everything from clear downed limbs from trails and pick up trash. But if a tree falls over into a pond. So be it! It is part of the wildness that we love about it.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

Return to Turkey Mountain with the Tatur Tots and an Update on the Outlet Mall


The parking lot was cram full. Word is getting out on Turkey Mountain and its popularity is increasing.


The weather warmed up this week so Tuesday night I went to run after work with the Tatur Tots on Turkey Mountain. An informal group meets Tuesday evenings at 6:30 and Sunday mornings at 7:30 and breaks into groups based on speed. The motto is no one gets left behind.  Typically there is a fast group and a slow group.


So off we went on the slow group, up the blue trail to the upper parking lot and then down the Snake Trail.


See that ridge over there? That is where the Outlet Mall would go. They would extend the ridge this way and put in a 75 foot tall retaining wall right on the creek. They want to start construction this Fall and plan to be done in a year. So in two years just imagine this ginormous parking lot looming over Turkey Mountain like a mesa and all their loose trash blowing out in the wind. Simon has said that we are just going to have to trust them on the water runoff issues and they do not plan on doing anything special in regards to making sure trash doesn’t blow off the property. They are a reputable company, but I’m not in a trusting mood right now. What about you?



And further on we went, or rather they they went, as I was taking pictures.


I caught up with them and took their picture. I think they were discussing doing away with the nobody gets left behind rule as it pertains to slow fat guys who hold everybody up to take pictures.


Aha, nope, it is not Simon Group starting on the mall. It is the River Parks authority reopening the upper parking lot at Turkey Mountain. The lower lot is full most weekends now and on nice days after work.


It’ll be nice to have. Don’t worry, they are reworking an existing parking lot so very little of the mountain is affected.


Time to go home and have an adult malted beverage. It may be a little early for a wheat beer but I had to try this nice Oklahoma brewed Coop Ale Works Elevator Wheat.

Here is our route.

More News about Simon Group’s proposed Outlet Mall (Check Urban Wilderness Coalition for Updates)

A public forum was held this week to discuss all sides of the issue. Simon was invited but didn’t show up. I wanted to go but couldn’t.

Simon has asked for a continuance for their hearing before the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (“TMPAC”).  You just know they are out  behind the scenes, working the city councilors, the mayor, the chamber of commerce, doing the big juicy carrots and ugly stick thing. Whispering “Jobs”, “Development”, “Business” blah, blah, blah into the ears of the movers and shakers. It is very rare for Tulsan’s to try and fight any sort of development. I still don’t know if this movement to get Simon to back off is going to succeed or not is going to work. I don’t know anybody, including me, who is against an outlet mall somewhere in principle. The site for this mall just doesn’t work. Check the Urban Wilderness Coalition site to see how you can help.

Hiking in Oxley Nature Center

I’m a little late in writing this post. Back during the Thanksgiving weekend my brother Bob drove up from Corpus Christi to spend the holiday with us. One day I took he and my son Logan to Oxley Nature Center here in Tulsa for a little hike.


They have a great nature center at Oxley with helpful people who will give you as much information as you need, everything from a map to helpful directions, and of course flush toilets. Right outside the door headed for the trails is this, an insect hotel. I think it is more like a homeowners nightmare. It is kind of cool though.


Oxley has a great variety of trails.


Even with a lot of people by the time you get a quarter mile away from the parking lot you hardly see anyone.


Oxley is kind of low and has lots of water even during the drought that we are emerging from.


It has a great variety of terrain from deep woods and brush to more open areas. We walked about four miles or so during a nice warm day.


it looks like a duck lost a battle after a furious fight.


I’m a geocacher and found one out in the brush while Bob and Logan waited on me (they don’t like geocaching.) We also passed this cache that I found several years ago. Nice to see that it is still there.


We liked all the benches and places to rest. Oxley is a great place to spend a nice afternoon.

Linking with Nature Notes

Weekend Reflections – Woodward Park

Woodward Park Pond

A freezing Friday morning in Tulsa’s beautiful Woodward Park. I am continuing to experiment with the Topaz Impressions filters. This particular filter is called “Oil Painting III.”

Linking with Weekend Reflections and NF Digital Art Meme