So Sunday afternoon was great, temp in the low 50’s, sunny, a little breezy, no football. So I decided to go running on the Tulsa’s Riverparks trails on the Arkansas River. I prefer trail running but with all the snow they are going to be a bloody mess for a week or so.
Almost all the snow is gone. Better hurry if you want to see some.
Turkey Mountain across the river. I’ll be there Sunday morning for a hike with some people I know.
My run went pretty well. It has been a while since I ran-ran, if you know what I mean. So this was a walk run. I’d trot a little bit and then walk a little. Did that for about three miles. I had forgotten how nice it was and I was thankful that the other aerobic stuff I had been doing on the stationary bikes and elliptical machines left me with some aerobic fitness.
I had a bike wreck back in the early Fall which made it hard to do anything but hike and the machines. Things seem all better now. I did about three miles the slow way but that is okay.
Son Logan is doing better also from his ankle sprain. We have been doing the “RICE” thing (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) with him. So he is king for a day or few. Heather is taking him to orthopedic doctor today. He has classes but they are online. So until about Wednesday or so we are waiting on him. Bringing him food, doing his laundry, all that stuff.
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.
Back when I worked, I used to go running on the Arkansas River Trails in Tulsa after work on Wednesday nights. Wednesday seemed to be when the free spirits showed to also enjoy the evening. Hula hoops, slack lines, juggling, hammocks, music, and marijuana prevailed. The atmosphere was chill. One time when the water was low some of the free spirits showed up and displayed their rock balancing skills. They were amazing. I took a bunch of pics, this is the one I like the best, some geese came by at sunset to check out the rock art. So this is right out of the phone, no filters, and not even any cropping or levelling.
Sunday afternoon Heather and I took off on a bike ride on the Tulsa RiverParks Trails. Not only was it a bike ride but we said goodbye to one community landmark and hello to a new one.
First up was the Pedestrian Bridge across the Arkansas River. It’s 103 years old, starting off life as a railroad bridge for the Midland Valley Railroad and then repurposed to a pedestrian bridge in 1976. I have walk, run and rode my bike over that bridge a bunch. In the summer you were shaded and there was always a nice breeze blowing up or down the river. Running on the wooden deck was a great respite from the asphalt. It’s been deemed unsafe to continue so we got a brand spanking new bridge coming in about three years. Here is the conceptual design. It’s all swoopy and swanky. The curmudgeons who never watch the news or read the newspaper are all coming out against it now, as the demolition crews start staging in. Hey Curmudgeons!! wake up, your asleep.
And then we rode a little further north where old Route 66 crosses the Arkansas River. Tulsa is putting in a Neon Sign Park using replica signs from actual Motels that are no longer around.
I think it is supercool. They have placards giving the history of each motel. The electricity isn’t connected but I’m told it is coming soon. It will be super cool at night when they get them lit.
So some lady came by and said she hasn’t been able to figure out how to get all three signs in the same picture. I couldn’t figure out what her problem is. I got all of them, and my beautiful wife in the image as a bonus.
Anyhow, fourteen miles and change on a hot humid afternoon. Sign me up.
After a dry June things have been rainy in July. Makes for green country side and interesting skies. Northeast Oklahoma is called Green Country for a reason.
Here’s a shot from directly over our house to son Logan’s first elementary school less than a block away. Remember when schools were open and had classes. Good times right! The state of Oklahoma is letting every district decide for themselves how to handle the coming school year and it is amazing the variety of programs the administrators of the various districts have come up with.
Went on a walk yesterday at Lafortune Park and got rained on a little bit. I don’t mind, as long as I can keep the phone dry.
Here is a beer truck Skywatch shot. Too bad it is crap beer.
Lafortune Park has the prettiest crepe myrtle I have ever seen. It has all sorts of room to itself and gets full sun all day long. I think the staff has been taking very good care of it as well.
Son and I took the drone to north Tulsa’s Reservoir Hill subdivision and took some shots of the Tulsa Arrow. The Tulsa Arrow was originally put up for Charles Lindbergh’s transcontinental flight to show the way to the airport. Apparently all sorts of cities put arrows for that purpose way back when. A few years ago the subdivision’s residents recreated the arrow. You can see the story here. I think it is pretty cool. I have a geocache nearby.
We have had some strange weather in Oklahoma lately. Except that all the weather in Oklahoma is strange. It makes for some nice sky scenes. The above is from south Tulsa looking north. You can just barely see downtown Tulsa in the left center.
From the same vantage point to the southwest. The high rises just to the right of center is the former Oral Roberts City of Faith Medical Center, now just office buildings.
And a helicopter came buzzing in to the hospital building where I shot these images. The heliport is on the top floor. My brother still has serious medical issues and your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. I am thankful for the dedicated doctors, nurses, nursing techs, therapists, case managers, and others who are in the medical field that work hard to take care of sick people.
Another view of the Arkansas River out of the office building where I work in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It might be the last of the season given the combination of longer days and my wanting to go home at quitting time. I love it when the color of the sky is reflected in the river.
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.
The best part of the news is that they want input from everybody including the general public. They have hired Micahael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc to develop the master plan. They are the landscape architecture firm that designed Tulsa’s Gathering Place.
A series of public meetings have been scheduled. (Check the Tulsa World story for details.) And if you can’t make it the meetings or if you just cannot wait to participate, you can make comments on the web here.
You may remember the events of three years ago when Simon Malls announced plans to build an outlet mall of all things on Turkey Mountain. A small cadre of people who founded the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition stood up to them and said No. They were able to mobilize the general public and community leaders to save Turkey Mountain and Norton decided to build somewhere else (and they haven’t built an outlet mall in Tulsa yet) and funding was found to buy the private tract and eventually it will be transferred to the River Parks and preserve it from commercial development.
And all that is great but this latest effort is needed to come up with a plan for Turkey Mountain. What does the community want Turkey Mountain to be. The threatened mall awakened the community and now the Mountain has more visitors than ever but there is no one person in charge of it and there is hardly any budget to maintain it.
This master plan is a first step to defining what we want for public mountain and how to go about funding it. I’m pretty pumped about it actually.
This past weekend son Logan and I decided to take a walk around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park. Lafortune Park has a big playground, picnic areas, tennis courts, a high school, baseball parks, and two golf courses with a walking path about 3 miles long winding around it all.
I didn’t bring my camera, just my cell phone. Luckily there were some pretty decent skies.
Part of the trail was a little muddy. In the 26 years we have lived in Tulsa I bet that I have either walked or run around Lafortune hundreds of times.
I love pedestrian bridges. Logan is now 20, when he was about 3 he liked to go hide under this bridge and pretend he was a troll. The kid used to drive me crazy!! Perfectly good playground 100 feet away. Oh well.
There he is. He lags a little behind but it works out because I take pictures and study on things and eventually he catches up to me.