Tag Archives: Tulsa

Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain -Tulsa’s Urban Wilderness

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A view of Turkey Mountain from across the River.

I spend a lot of time at the Turkey Mountain. It is called an Urban Wilderness with a big emphasis on “Urban.” It sits on the Arkansas River only a few miles from downtown. It has freeways on its north and west side and a major street on the south. On the east side tucked in at the river is a seldom used railroad spur line.

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That is downtown Tulsa in the distance. Along with a pipeline and a powerline to boot.

It has at least three pipelines running through it, two major liquids lines and a large diameter natural gas pipeline. There are two major power lines running.In addition there are remnants of oil wells and some abandoned flow lines and remnants of houses.

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The poop plant in the foreground and Instate I44 crossing the river.

On its northeast side it has a large sewage treatment plant. Sometimes the aroma wafts up on top of the mountain. Sometimes the parking lot is crowded and you have people with their fleece pajamas walking along the trails smoking, talking loudly on the cell phones on speaker mode.

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I love sunsets on the mountain. At this time of day the mountain is deserted.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have run and hiked hundreds of miles on its trails. The rude people never get more than a quarter mile down the trails and get bored and leave. For as much use as it gets there is not much litter. Thousands of people love the place and a while ago when an out of state developer proposed putting an outlet mall of all things on a privately owned portion of the park the community got together and said NO!! And then passed a measure to buy the tract from its owners. A couple of Tulsa companies provided the interim financing so the deal could close.

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That is son on the left during a Fall hike years ago.

Even on its busiest days Turkey Mountain is big enough where you may see only a few people once you get a half mile down the trails. It gives people space and room to breathe.  And the people take care of it.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Resources

Urban Wilderness Coalition – A great group of people who led the successful struggle against the Outlet Mall. It looked hopeless at first but they stuck with it and persevered.

Turkey Mountain Web Site – Turkey Mountain is administered by the Tulsa RiverParks Authority. Lots of good info on what is going on.

Miles to go before I sleep…  Blog by Trail Zombie – A great guy who also lives on the mountain. Lots of posts about Turkey Mountain in particular and trail running in general.

 

Birthday Weekend 2017

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Me and Rascal. Rascal adopted us. He just showed up at the house one day years ago. We tried hard for about a half day trying to find his owner. He is the smartest, most affectionate dog we have ever had.

I had my birthday last week. Or I should say birthdays. A birthday is much too important to be just one day. One day only is very harsh, don’t you think? Fortunately, my family plays along with the concept. I’m a blessed man for many reasons.

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Look at that big ole cake, look at the old man huffing and puffing, look at the young son looking doubtfully. Just so you know, I didn’t get them all blown out with one puff. Overconfidence I guess.

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And Heather sang.

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Look at the big pile of cards and gifts. Like I said I am a blessed man. I don’t deserve all that do I. My favorite line from Clint Eastwood’s character is “None of us get what we deserve.” That has an entirely different meaning to it.

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And I played some happy music on my way to work.

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Saturday morning we worked with the rescue kittys at the the Petsmart in Broken Arrow. We do that twice a month or so and it is really fun. The cats are fun. We are all about rescue critters in our house. You can see this one really likes Heather. Everybody really likes Heather, including me. She is awesome.

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Friday night she took me out to dinner in the Brady District during the area’s First Friday celebration. I found this beauty in the Philbrook Museum downtown.

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Yes indeed, life is good, and I am a blessed man.

2017 Tulsa Auto Show

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I took some time off work early today and checked out the 2017 Tulsa Auto Show at Expo Square in Tulsa. It is the 100th Anniversary of the Show!

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I’ve been going to the show off and on for over two decades and it has steadily shrunk. Maybe this year will be a turning point.

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They had new cars of course and many vintage cars. The vintage cars in my eyes are just plain a lot more interesting than the new cars. Most of the new cars look like Toyotas in my opinion. Nothing wrong with Toyotas. I love them that are very good dependable cars but a bit boring.

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Not that many new cars have a sense of style. There are exceptions. I love the Ford Flex above and of course the car above it, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. I got on the web site and configured one for only $75,000 bucks and change. That is about five times what I paid for my Kia Soul.

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For about the same price as the Hellcat you can have this Toyota  uh er,  I mean Maserati Levant boring if you ask me.

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Now this Range Rover has a little style.

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Or this storm chasing vehicle. I don’t get storm chasers. Do storm chasers do anything useful. Here in Oklahoma we watch storms on TV a lot. The typical storm chaser report is like “Yea Dan, we are in downtown Bartlesville and there is definitely some wind and some rain!” Seriously dudes. Stay home, get off the road. Where you can do something useful like take out the trash.

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I love the older cars like this mid 1950’s Chevy.

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Or this vintage NASCAR stock car.

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I love the older Thunderbirds, lots of funky colors. No Toyotas back then.

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I even like the Corvairs.

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And I love the restored mid century pick up trucks. The curves and colors on this.

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And this

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Who doesn’t love an old British Sports Car?

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Adn I love the really old cars. Don’t want to own one mind you, I just like looking at them.

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These cars are beautiful but give me a boring modern car any time to actually own and operate.

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Cars have come a long way over the decades. Our family always had sketchy cars. I never knew if they would start or not. I don’t know how we did it back in the days before cell phones. I had lots of experience with getting a jump from somebody and other skills necessary to get things going. I don’t even own jumper cables any longer.

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OSU Tech had a demo car that showed the engine and drive train moving. I loved it.

Check out the Tulsa Auto Show if you are interested. It has two more days to run. 10 to 9 on Saturday and 10 to 6 on Sunday. Get two for one tickets at Quik Trip and save some money. Check out the Hellcat!

Outdoor Wednesday – The Flowers are Blooming at Woodward Park

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I took my “good camera” to work Tuesday just do I could check out Tulsa’s Woodward Park at lunch. The tulips and azaleas and other plants are blooming right now and the old park was putting on a show.

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There were hardly any people there and I had the place pretty much to myself. I ended up taking 72 photos. Makes me glad for digital photography. I love film and have several film cameras but it is an expensive habit to get into.

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It is such a beautiful time of year.

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Even the hula hoopers were out.

I’m linking with Outdoor Wednesday

NCAA March Madness in Tulsa 2017

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Sunday evening I went downtown and watch the the second round of games of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament, aka March Madness, at the BOK Center. There were lots of people with me.

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Lots of people there, most of them wearing the blue of the University of Kansas Jayhawks. I am not sure if there is an actual bird named a jayhawk but it doesn’t matter.

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The Jayhawks of Kansas were playing the Spartans of Michigan State University. Their mascots had a little mock battle that was amusing.

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Sorry for the fuzzy photos. I was sitting in the cheap seats way up high so I was doing the best I could. The game was very competitive for the first 30 minutes or so. Kansas couldn’t quite put Michigan State away until then but then they broke loose and ended up beating the the Spartans 90-70. It was a good game. Both teams were were well coached and played well.

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I like how the college game has evolved from the dreadful boringness of the 70’s with the four corner offense and the excrutiating final minutes of a game where the teams fouled each other. The shot clock and other rule changes have really breathed live into the college game again. Also, I was impressed with how well coached the teams were and the discipline displayed by the players. They seem less upset with questionable fouls now. They just deal with it.

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The second game was another good one between two fine teams. The University of Southern California Trojans and the Baylor Bears of Texas.

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The two teams were evenly matched. I’ve always loved the color scheme of USC. The Bears on the other hand. It looks like they went for road safety yellow for their color scheme. Baylor fans assure me that it is green. Judge for yourself. I say it is yellow. I think they wanted to make sure that nobody would steal the uniforms.  (I am just having fun. I know several Baylor fans and they need to be made fun of, if you know what I mean.)

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The game went down to the wire and Baylor won 82-78.

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USC brought 12 fans to Tulsa to cheer the team on. Go ahead count’em, let me know what you come up with.

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They also brought some cheer leaders. They had the smallest pom-poms I’ve ever seen.

 

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All the cheerleaders were very nice looking and energetic. I would say the Baylor women were the best dancers, followed by the Michigan State ladies, and the USC cheerleaders.

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The Kansas cheerleaders did a great job but didn’t appear to be into dancing that much. (I know some overbearing Kansas fans also, and I need to give them some grief also.) Actually all the cheerleaders from all the teams did a great job. I had a great time and I’ll be back again when March Madness rolls back into Tulsa.

Jailhouse Sky

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In downtown Tulsa the Jail is about a half mile or so north of the County Courthouse. So the Sheriff operates bus shuttles that seem to go on all day long between the two to transport the inmates to and from each place..  So I was walking around near the courthouse one day when one of the buses came by.

And then I’m thinking about stuff like how is all this coordinated? Do the inmates have to make reservations? Do the jailers have to go hunt these guys down? Does everybody ride together or do they segregate to keep you know the murderers away from the those desperate criminals facing stiff sentences for jaywalking? What happens if a bus breaks down.  Anyway, I can just think on these things for a long while.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Our World Tuesday – The Daffodils and More at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

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I went out to the Tulsa Botanic Garden and checked out their daffodils. I know that I’ve already posted about daffodils but is it okay if I do two this year? There is a slippery slope factor here for sure because what would stop me from posting three times about these flowers? Anway, they have planted 101,475 bulbs of “Brushstrokes” with art-deco inspired styling. (i am not sure what that means.)

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I didn’t count them all but I believe that are telling the truth. The math nerd in me is trying to figure out how long it took to plant these bulbs. There are 86,400 seconds in a day so maybe one guy worked like crazy and got it done a little more than a day. But then, the engineer side of me is wondering who would be bringing the bulbs to him? How many people would that take, and how many bulbs in a truck load. What I come up with was that it took a bunch of people a lot of time to plant all those bulbs. Pretty impressive calculations huh? Told you that I was a math nerd. Check my work if you must. See what you come up with.

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I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – Post Oak Challenge Quarter Marathon

The Post Oak Challenge is a series of races of various lengths over three days. Lots of people “Double” or “Triple” meaning that they run two or three of the races. That is awesome, and I am not at the level of awesomeness. This year I ran the Quarter Marathon on Sunday morning.  The races are held at Post Oak Lodge north of Tulsa. It is a really nice, well run place, and they are great hosts for the race.

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Don’t know why but the first thing I did after getting out my car is to check out the resorts one golf hole.

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And then go over to the pond and take a few pics. The Lodge is located in the Osage Hills and I think the area is beautiful.

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And then I waddled over to the starting line and go to see the Half Marathon start. The thing I like about trail races is its lower stress level. Everybody is pretty relaxed and there is no pushing and shoving at the start.

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And then I walked into the nearby lodge and planted myself in a chair in front of the fireplace. It was cold outside. I wasn’t going to warm up. I figured I will have six and half miles to get warmed up.

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And here we are at the start, and off we went.

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Every year the route is different. There are lots of trails to pick from. This year we looped in close to the lodge for a few miles before heading out.

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My fellow runners come in all shapes, sizes, species.

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The route alternated twisty turny, rocky intervals with long straight stretches.

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We went up “Holmes Peak” the highest point in Tulsa County. My friends in Colorado and other mountainous areas are probably much amused by our “peak.” They can laugh all they want. That peak kicked my butt.

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After my butt kicking, I got a pretty good view. That is downtown Tulsa way over yonder, home of high rises that don’t look so high from here.

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I get passed a lot in races. Men, women, children,  they all blaze right past me.

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I always enjoy running by the zip line towers.

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I like “tree tunnels” like this.

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There were lots of rocks on this course. I am wary of rocks cuz I don’t like falling. I stumbled a few times on this race but didn’t fall.

My camera’s battery gave out so that is it.

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After the race I made it back to the lodge. Got my two designated beers all at once along with some fritos and a brat. I chatted a little with my friend Rick who was Logan’s Cub Scout Den Leader way back when and is still one of the nicest guys you would ever care to meet.

And then home.

Our World Tuesday

And here is my run, complete with all sorts of metrics.

Daffodil Mania at Philbrook

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I dropped the kid off at his Improv workshot Saturday morning and headed out to the Philbrook Museum of Art to see if they had any flowers up. And yes they do. I don’t think it is peak yet but there were lots of daffodils up and it was cold and windy so there were hardly anybody out there looking at them.

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I’ve come to love these early spring flowers. They are so beautiful and so fragile. They are the spring color I need after the long grey colors of winter.

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Hey I found some daffodils with a garden cat. Groan, I know, couldn’t help myself. Philbrook does have two or three garden cats. Last time I was there I was inside the museum and one of the cats was outside wanting in because it was so cold. I didn’t let him in. Do you think I did the right thing or am I heartless and cruel?

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And how about a daffodil reflection shot. Strange how they pop out in the reflection against the blue sky but are lost in the lighter colors on the bank.

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And another, subtler daffodil reflection photo.

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That’s all I got for today folks is several shots of one kind of flower.

Scenic Weekends – Balanced Rock Art

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Wednesday evening was springlike. In the 70’s and a very light feel on the skin. I headed to the Arkansas River for my weekly evening run and it was crowded so I had to park in the satellite lot. Walking south I noticed a lot of people hanging out on the trail and I heard music and a rather good natured, nice party vibe going on. I got closer and I noticed some rocks in the water which were new. I’ve been running this stretch of river for 25 years so I know when I see something new. You can just barely see them in the photo above to the right. So I went to check them out.

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Somebody had put in some balanced rock art in the river and the shore. I had never seen anything like this and I was enthralled.They were both in the river and the shore.

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I thought it was cool. There were also people nearby sitting around campfires and just having a good time. I had never seen that either. I’ve seen homeless people with campfires but never just regular people. I’m sure they were violating some rule or another but they were not bothering anybody.

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So reading up on balanced rocks, I guess they are kind of controversial because some places they do way too many of them.  Plus they are not welcome in National Parks where you are not supposed to gather anything natural like rocks, sticks, wood or anything else.

But on the banks of the Arkansas River last week they were a welcome addition to the scene.

I’m linking (for the first time I think) with Scenic Weekends.