2020 is about over. It has been a miserable year in many respects with the pandemic and here in the USA, and so much discord over the election, and race strife. The economy tanked and lots of people are suffering.
At work, we started working from home in March. I went ahead and retired at the end of May. It was strange. I went to the office and retrieved my personal things and there was nobody there besides the security guards on the first floor. So I said my goodbyes by phone and email and left my computer in my cubicle.
So our little family of three hunkered down together and you know what. I like staying home. I mean I get out every day but I can come and go as I please. I can take time to do stuff since I got my 40 hours a week back. I highly recommend retiring if you have the means.
We can go on weekday hikes if we wish!! Anyways, the pandemic will be tamed. I think our political situation will be volatile for the foreseeable future. Nothing I can do about that except to make sure that I am accepting of others. I am very thankful that I was able to retire. I am mindful that that is not available to many people.
Anyway, from our little crew of three, we wish you a Happy New Year!!
We finally got a decent snow in Tulsa the other day. I think they said it was the first appreciable amounts in seven years. We were supposed to get one to three inches but it came out five inches of very heavy wet snow.
I was glad to see it although it made for very tough shoveling. I shoveled our driveway and then I shoveled MIL’s. I could feel it so I took it easy but I still slept soundly after all that.
Here’s our house. I don’t do ladders any longer so the lights are low, very low in the case of the ones under the snow. They didn’t short out or anything, they just kept on burning.
And speaking of burning. I’ve mentioned that we are freshening up our house some. We had painters in and they removed the smoke detectors and they looked kind of dingy so I was checking to see what the replacements were and found out that our smoke detectors only have a ten year life and we have lived in the house for twenty years. Made me feel foolish and we now have new smoke detectors. Don’t be like me folks, if you have an ionization type detector check and see if they are still in date.
The whole situation with the snow and painters drove Lizzie to drink. She doesn’t like strangers in the house so these months of work have been hard on her.
Here’s a “go out to get the paper and snap a photo” skywatch shot. I’m lazy like that. You don’t have to travel far to get a nice shot sometimes. I post a lot of the shots on instagram. I am just glad that my neighbor finally got his car door damage repaired. I got as many comments about the car damage as I do the sky.
Tuesday, several days after the snow, I ventured out to Turkey Mountain to check out the snow. I love hiking in the snow. The RiverParks Authority would just as soon people stay off the trails because of the muddy conditions but I went anyway. Don’t tell them okay? I got all sorts of rationalizations.
I was plodding along and saw some movement and saw a herd of about eight deer off in the woods. Sorry about the quality of the photos. All I had was my point and shoot and my iphone.
I stood there for about twenty minutes. The first ten, they all stared at me except for the little ones. After that all but one or two relaxed a little grazed and then they got tired of me and left.
A little further along I came to a pond. I just love the reflections on it and the sky.
I started taking trails I don’t usually take just to avoid the muddy more heavily used trails. There is nothing prettier than a single track trail through the snowy woods.
I saw this way off the trail and checked it out. It is some sort of oilfield apparatus. I had never seen it before. I thought I knew all the old abandoned wells, pumpjack foundations, abandoned pipelines, and cables on the mountain, but I guess I didn’t. One of the people with the River Parks Authority commented on my instagram that he didn’t know about this. So I made a find!!
By this time I was getting a little cold and tired so I took another single track path back to the Snake Trail to get back to the car. I really enjoyed my outing.
I was a little annoyed the day before Thanksgiving. Our gym closed temporarily because of community spread of Covid-19. They are planning on evaluating again on the New Year. So I was going to get another gym but on further thought, I decided that I am going to ride this thing through without a gym. Covid-19 in Oklahoma is exploding and the governor doesn’t want to be outflanked on the right for re-election so he is doing a whole lot of nothing to control it. So I don’t have a gym so I’ll be spending more time outdoors.
The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the weather was pretty decent and Post Oak Lodge, a resort northwest of Tulsa opened up their grounds including their trail system to the general public. I’ve been up there a bunch for Trail Races and so off we went.
The skies were clear, the air was crisp and cold, and so off we went. They didn’t have trail maps so we winged. Heather kept asking me, “you have been out here a lot and you don’t know the trails?” So I said it was only once a year and they change the routes some every year. We wanted to go to Holmes Peak, the highest point in Tulsa County. At least we could see where we wanted to go. We had a to double or loop back a few times though. Just adds to the fun, right?!
We passed some of the zip line towers. I used to want to do a zip line and now I don’t.
Here we are on Holmes Peak. You can see downtown Tulsa way off down there.
On the way back, I had to go check this oil well. Yep, it was pumping.
Here is a video of our adventure. I posted it on facebook and a friend of mine said it looked like one of PJ’s routes on Family Circus. I had to agree with him but we had a good time anyway.
A few days later we had a full moon. The Beaver Moon I think they call it.
I am thankful to be able to get outside. I am also thankful that we have a vaccine coming. I hope everybody is being careful.
Finally got cooler weather. Time for a pinion fire and adult beverages on the patio.
My Tiki enjoyed the company.
My brother had surgery early this week. Because he lives in a long term care facility under lockdown I had not seen him since March. So the upside of his surgery was that I got to spend many hours with him in his room. That was nice but it got cut short. Tulsa is running out of hospital rooms because of our Governor’s refusal to address the pandemic so brother got kicked out a couple days early. He’s in good hands though, the place he lives has skilled nursing facility so he’ll spend some time there recovering.
In the meantime the Tulsa area is having some great Fall colors on display. I love it.
I did another geocaching Adventure Labs outing, this one at Tulsa’s Gathering Place park. I thought I had been over square inch of it and knew all there was about the park. Turned out I was wrong, I found out several things I didn’t know before. I had the whole place to myself.
For example this is the Reading Tree. It was the first attraction at the park and Reading Partners sponsored readings there for thousands of kids before the park opened. One of the challenges for the Adventure Lab was to find out what corporation sponsored the physical facility. That was a problem because they were asking people to please stay off the grass. I didn’t want to be “that guy” who thought the request didn’t apply to him so I called the park office and asked them and they told me. Don’t tell anybody I cheated though, okay? I’m not going to say just in case you want to do the Adventure Labs outing.
So we finished the floors at our house and are waiting on the painters to start next week. We have been shopping for new light fixtures. In my new office I am going to get rid of the ceiling fan and put in just a light fixture. What do you think of these?
So after my brother got booted out of the hospital I was a little blue since I don’t know when I am going to see him again so I went on a walk on Turkey Mountain. That always cheers me up. I am working on a geocaching type thing for Black Friday on the mountain. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition is sponsoring it in an effort to get people into nature. Anyway I got about 12 to 14 temporary caches that we will be planting along a trail. More on that later.
This was the Halloween Full Moon. A blue moon because it was the second full moon of the the month. I love full moons. Did you have any trick or treaters. We didn’t on purpose because of the pandemic. We shut out lights off. Felt strange but we did it. There were still lots of kids out and about Halloweek Night.
I’ve been going back and forth a little bit when taking the kid to and from his university. I always try and and jump off the interstate for short segments on Route 66. It’s been years since I have done that. I found this bank in Chandler, Oklahoma that had all these old signs in their parking lot. I love stuff like this.
All sorts of signs scattered here, there, and everywhere. Sign me up!!
Near the town of Davenport I came across these pumpjacks. These are not used to pump oil. They are on gas wells and the wells produce so much water that if it wasn’t pumped off it wouldn’t allow the gas to produce. It’s called a Hunton dewatering project. Hunton is the name of the formation.
Across the road from the pumpjacks was a cemetery where I went geocaching. It was getting late in the day and I loved this view of the fence and the trees. I love cemeteries.
I found this gravestone. I loved this, God bless Jimmie Clark. He sounds like a great guy. Just what I needed during this election vote counting and pandemic angst going on.
What are doing to keep your sanity during these trying times?
We’ve been pretty busy getting ready for a house refresh, new floors, paint, and a few other things. Wednesday afternoon I had some time so I headed over to Tulsa’s RiverParks trails for some walking and geoaching. It is staying warm but the trees are starting to change color.
I went looking for a gadget geocache. A geocache that may be easy to find but difficult or tricky to open up and sign the paper log. If you don’t sign the log, then just spotting it doesn’t count for anything. This is one where I figured out the secret.
I figured it out and went walking to another one. It was really pretty.
Here is a view across the Arkansas River to Turkey Mountain. I spend a lot of time there.
We had a big bright full Harvest Moon last week during a clear night. We are going to have another full moon on October 31st. It will be a Blue Moon since it is the second full moon of the month.
My Skywatch photos this week are through trees. We have had some beautiful weather lately. Warm days, cool nights and the skies have been very clear. I went on a couple hikes in the woods this week and I loved the sun shining through through the trees. Nothing better than dappled shade and blue skies peaking through the limbs.
Couple that with a lot of the brush dying back already and it made for some great forest views.
I came out of my dentist’s office on Wednesday and saw this scene. I enhanced with the my new favorite app, Art Card.
I went geocaching in the afternoon and found this huge cottonwood tree just beginning to turn its colors against a very blue sky.
I am thankful for the great weather that we are having lately here in Oklahoma. Typically our Autumn lasts a good long time. I think I have mentioned before we have had several Thanksgiving meals outside.
We have a pretty good vantage of the sky at our home. Here it is looking west. No need sometimes to drive places for Skywatch photos.
And here is a netted sky at one of those fancy multi level golf driving ranges. Never been although it sounds like fun.
This is a sculpture of a bison that I photographed at a low angle through the glass. It is called Guardians of the Plains and is on the turnpike in Sapulpa, just west of Tulsa.
This is a short video of a geocache hunt at a car museum in Tulsa. That is supposed to be a huge gasoline pump.
One day recently we had the swirly winds and funny clouds indicative of atmospheric disturbances which in Oklahoma means tornadoes. We didn’t have tornadoes. I used the Hyperspektiv app to kind of give an idea of the atmosphere.
I went out for a bike ride the other day. One of the best days of the year, sunny and cool, about 68F and hardly any wind. It was perfect. About ten minutes after this photo was taken I had a head on collision with another bicyclist who veered right into me. Luckily I had seen that he was a little jittery and had put on the brakes and tried to go to the right to avoid him but he panicked at the last second steered right into me.
We both ended up on the ground, I hit my head pretty hard on the pavement but I was wearing my helmet. The other guy landed on a guard rail with his ribs and was in bad shape and his bike was all mangled. Several people stopped to help and we went to a nearby parking lot. A buddy of his came and got him and his bike and Heather came and got me. My bike is okay. People rib me about how heavy, old fashioned and slow it is but it suffered no damage at all that I can see. I am going to have my bicycle shop check it and my helmet out to ensure there is no damage.
I went to our Bone and Joint Urgent care and got some xrays and checked out by a doctor and prescribed some meds. I can’t drive or drink alcohol while on them. So I just have a sore back is all, and a gouge in my hip where my handlebars got torqued into me when the guy hit my wheel. I hope the other guy is okay. He was hurting when he left the scene.
So if you ride a bike, wear your helmet. I hit the ground pretty hard with my head and I didn’t have a concussion. The other guy was wearing his helmet as well. I am thankful also for all the people that stopped to stop and help us.
Last Sunday we motored from Tulsa down to Chickasha to visit Logan at college. He’s doing very well down there but we need to go see him anyway.
We ate at this very decent Mexican Food restaurant. We all had burritos! It was a lot, in fact it was my last meal of the day.
And then we took advantage of the weather and went to Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park. It is a great place with walking tracks and playgrounds and that big western Oklahoma sky.
Way back in the day the springs were a water stop on the Chisholm Trail. It was probably was not near as nice with hundreds of cattle standing around and in the water but very important.
The sun was shining and the air was warm but not hot.
Some of the trees look like they are getting read to turn colors.
Heather and Logan found a cool swing that you could make go by pushing your feet. We all three tried it for a little while.
And we found what I call a hippie bridge. Kind of racy for small town Oklahoma. It’s not too small a town as we went to the big Walmart to get the kid stocked up on supplies. You know, snacks and pizza. I’m surprised he doesn’t have pizza squeezing out his ears.
And then back to the dorm and saying goodbye!! It was a great visit.
Heather and I on our recent short getaway to southeast Oklahoma had a great combination of activity and rest. We spent a lot of time at the cabin reading but we also spent a lot of time hiking and one afternoon we rented a kayak and a paddleboard at Broken Bow Lake.
The lake is also part of Beavers Bend State Park and we found a concession who is open on the weekend. I got the kayak and Heather got the paddle board. I can do paddle boards, I really can, kind of, but they are a lot of work. Kayaking is a lot easier. Heather loves paddle boards. She teaches a class in our gym’s pool where one stands on the boards and does things. I take the class but I am pretty shaky.
The lake was beautiful and the day was gorgeous. A slight haze in the air. I was wondering if was from the horrendous fires in California, Oregon, and other places in the west.
Being the weekend after Labor Day there were not that many people out on the lake. Seems like most of them were from Texas.
Heather showing her chops with the paddle.
And busting out some yoga moves for good measure.
We were out for two hours. We went here, there, and everywhere.
And then it was time to bring them in.
And of course I wore my Garmin watch to document the adventure. I mean it didn’t really happen if it wasn’t documented, right?
And then back to the cabin to chill. It was a great place to chill. We didn’t spend much times indoors. We spent most of the time on the deck with its sectional couch and the hot tub which I didn’t take a photo of for some reason. So if I didn’t take a picture of it, did it really exist?
I’m so thankful that we could take this little trip.
Anyway, we had a great time. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Go check it out.