Category Archives: Trail Running

A Weekend of Racing

GLA 5K Race
Oilwell tank battery across the street from the school

My running and racing life has been off and on the past four years after getting injured on a spill on a race in Turkey Mountain and the long rehab from that and then several others injuries and then getting told that as far as my knee cartilage is concerned, “Your tread is very thin.” So I just quit running and I would still enter races but just walk them.

GLA 5K Race
The race started at the bottom of a hill and went uphill for a half mile. Brutal!! (just like i like it)

So I have been experimenting with running old fat guy style. Running the downhills and walking uphill or just running for a short ways and walking and then running when I felt like it. And last week at the Tulsa Run 5K I did it and it worked. I thought I had a decent run so it’s like wow. This is great.

GLA 5K Race
Down into the frigid colder hollow.

This week I signed up for two runs. On Saturday I did the GLA 5K. A first time run put on by a charter school in north Tulsa, the Greenwood Leadership Academy. It was a very nice, well organized run with lots of volunteers. I’m trying to diversify my running to get routes I haven’t run before and their location in the Gilcrease Hills was perfect. We started running right up a long hill. So I stuck to my walking up and trotting down and it worked fine.

GLA 5K Race
The turnaround

It was an out and back course with a beer stop turnaround at a church.

GLA 5K Race
An oil well.

We also passed a couple oil wells. Welcome to running in Oklahoma.

The GLA 5K was a great run, great course, volunteers, organization, and runner support. What more can you ask for?

My second race was Sunday morning. The Turkey n Taters 10K, a trail race on Turkey Mountain that also includes 25K and 50K distances. I have run the 10K a bunch of times, the 25K two years ago, and have volunteered a couple times cooking hamburgers and hot dogs (nobody but vegetarians mess with the cook at these events, and I tell them to just chew on some grass, (actually some of the elite athletes are vegetarians and yes we do have things I cooked for them beside grass).

The starting line, and the ending line.

I walked the whole length of this race. Yes, I have had success running the the previous day but going twice the distance over some very rough and technical terrain meant that I wanted to be conservative.

I just love wooden walkways.

I just hung out at the start until everybody else left and then I started walking. I passed these two ladies who said they like doing the race but never enter because they entrance fees are a rip off. I said okay, but I wanted to ask ” You do know this is a fund raiser for the West Side YMCA, right?” And by the way , the fees are very reasonable.

I tell you what is slicker than snot. Wet shale rock with muddy shoes. Brutal.

It was cold, about 37F and I had three layers on which is probably one layer too many but I like being warm so after a half mile I shed my down coat and wrapped it around my waist and was comfortable the rest of the way.

Walk, walk, walk, walk for over two hours.

After that it was a matter of just walking the course. At some point I got off the course, I didn’t see any pink ribbons and started having that feeling. And then I ran into some going straight ahead and to the east, so I was like oh no. Officially I should have back tracked until I figured where I went off but I was not sure that I went off and I picked a direction and kept going and met people coming the other way but I wasn’t too worried because the 50K runners run the 25K course backwards when they finish the first 25K but then I had a guy ask me if he was going the right direction to the race start and I was like, uh you hadn’t started the loop back and he said no. And then I met a woman who I had been following and I was like oops, so I back tracked to where I made the wrong decision. So I didn’t run the official route, but I didn’t win any awards so I didn’t have any ethical considerations about since I ran the same distance. And you know, its a trail run.

One of my former employers pipelines feeding a power plant. I wish they would come and bury a new line. Give’em a call Enable Midstream Partners.

So I finished the race, got my medal, a burger, a beer, a second burger and headed home.

A very nice weekend of racing. I had never thought I would be there again. After I quit running, it over a year and a half before my knees quit hurting and I am liking that. I have done lots of yoga, lots of water exercises, lots of bicycling, and elliptical machines and only longer distance walking once a week or so. So I won’t be able to run longer distances but I can walk a very long ways and I can do the occasional 5K or so and walk the 10K’s

Win, win, win in my book. Especially at 64 years of age. Staying in the game is my strategy.

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.

Running and Thinking on Turkey Mountain


Last Wednesday I used my weekly kitchen pass to go run on Turkey Mountain. It was a good day to run on the mountain because it was pretty windy and the trees on the mountain cut the wind by a lot. It also looked like rain was coming. If it is warm I don’t mind getting wet but I’m not fond of electrocution so I won’t run in the rain if there is thunder and lightning. Lightning has the potential to ruin your entire day. I figure my odds are better on the mountain than down on the River Trails.


I’ve gotten lazy with the running. I like to do it in the morning. I also like to drink coffee check on other people’s blogs, poke fun at the liberals and tea partiers on facebook, and read the paper. Somehow I’m spending more time sitting on my butt than running. I can tell by my waistline and by my running.


Running is a total feedback thing. The more you do, the better you get, the less you do, the worse you do. Plus as your weight goes up, that just makes it harder.


Trail running is fun. Once I get a quarter mile down the trail from the parking lot I hardly see anybody. I see bicyclists but very few other runners. When the weather is iffy I don’t see hardly anybody. I like being by myself but I wonder sometime if I fell and broke or twisted something what I would do.  When I’m up there I don’t worry about it though.


I’ve never seen a threatening person on the mountain. I’ve come across a few homeless camps but the people living there are nowhere to be seen. To me it would be a lousy place for a homeless camp. There is no potable water up there, there are no food stores or convenience stores anywhere close. Plus runners are notoriously cheap, except for their running gear, so they would poor marks for panhandling.


I’m on Instagram (@yogiab) and every once in a while I check #turkeymountain to see who is posting what up there and last week I saw somebody posted a photo with some sort of caption about getting high on turkey mountain. The picture looked like some sort of pipe that looked kind of druggy to me. That actually simultaneously annoyed and chilled me. To my knowledge none of my family and friends uses illegal drugs. I guess that I lead a protected life. The other thing was “What the heck are you doing getting high on drugs on my Mountain!!!


Plus I was frustrated. Why would somebody do illegal drugs? I don’t get it.


Well anyway, it was getting dark when I got back to the parking lot. Time to go home!

I’m linking up with Our World Tuesday

Turkey Mountain Geocache Madness

You know how Harry Potter has a messenger owl? You thought that was make believe? Shows what you know. I have a Messenger Mutt. Messenger Mutts are for people like me who are too cheap to buy an owl. My Messenger Mutt was given to us. Her name is Abby. Isn’t she a cutie? She is not as cool as an owl and she barks a lot but like I say I got her cheap.


Well the Messenger Mutt had news for me, bad news, about a combination Geocache and Letterbox that son and I have on Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa. A cache called “Boys Night Out – Firefly Swamp.” This is a geocache that has been on Turkey Mountain since Logan and I put it there in 2007. Apparently somebody took the cache container and left the cache contents in the hiding place. This is very strange since usually thieves (aka “Muggles”) take the whole thing. Well dang it I said to myself, “Why would somebody do something like that.” I had a few other choice thoughts but some of my readers are on the genteel side and might take offense at my choice of words. So i told the Messenger Mutt to disable the cache and I’d fix it.


So Wednesday night after work I headed out to Turkey Mountain to replace the cache. First I went to Target to get a new container. Turkey Mountain is an urban wilderness and part of that is that there is a Target handy. The only thing handier than Target for geocachers is Walmart. Neither one of them is a discount store though. They sell cheap stuff cheap. Why is that a discount store? Hey just saying.


And speaking of cheap I found me a plastic box for $3.97!!! WTG Target!


So, I paid for my new cache container and headed out to Turkey Mountain. I changed into my running duds in the parking lot. Nuff said about that.


And then opened up the back hatch and built me a cache. Everybody has camo duct tape in their car for building geocache containers right?


The finished product. I’m thinking of getting into fine handcrafted Amish furniture. Whaddya think? You want to buy a sideboard from me? You see my Swiss Army Knife, no geocacher is ever without one. See the corkscrew? No Gas Supply person with a gas company is ever out one of those either. But that is another story.


So with my running duds on and a geocache container tucked under my arm like a true trail runner nerd  down the Yellow Trail I went.


Remember, if you get lost just go the direction that the yellow arrow points.


To ground zero, the cache site. Sure enough the ammo box is gone and all the contents are in a plastic bag.


And looking at the log book the turkey who took it was nice enough to write a note. Thanks yourself dude or dudette. Don’t let the screen door hit ya where good Lord split ya is my response. It is kind of hard for me to get mad at this. And they did leave the contents undisturbed which is important for the letterboxers among us.


So I packed up everything nice and tidy. Everything that I couldn’t fit in the new box or was just miscellaneous trash I put in the plastic bag and hid it underneath the cache so I could pick it up later and dispose on my way out. People put weird stuff in caches. One guy put a used brillo pad in a cache I owned in town. When I asked how stupid that was he took offense. He said he thought it would be funny.


Still a nice hide, so off I went on the rest of my run.


Along the rocks and through the rocks.


Through the woods.


Underneath the beautiful Oklahoma Sky. I looped back to the cache and picked up the trash I stowed their earlier and headed back to the parking lot.

I hope that it lasts another seven years.

Running the Post Oak Lodge Challenge 10K

(Doesn’t road dust from the parking lot traffic make for a romantic photograph?)

Early Saturday morning I got up and drove north of Tulsa to the Post Oak Lodge to run in the 10K portion of the Post Oak Lodge Challenge by the Tulsa Running Club. Two days of racing, six races. On Saturday they have a 10K, 25K, and a 50K race and on Sunday they have a quarter marathon, half marathon, and a full marathon. It is a very ambitious project but the organizers do a good job of sorting it all out and making it work.


The 10K is for pansies. The real runners Saturday were there for the 25K and 50K races.


This is about as close as I’ll ever get to getting an award for my running. That’s okay. Keeps the clutter down.


It was in the mid to high 40’s at start time. I love the people watching at the starting line. People have the strangest stretching and warmup routines. I’m asked if I warm up beforehand. Are you kidding me? I have 6 miles to get warmed up.


And we are off. The runners got stacked up at a tricky downhill turn.


Trail runs have the best rest stop food. All sorts of stuff including jello shots, chocolate covered bacon and much much more.


Part of the race went through the Centennial Botanical Gardens. They just planted some trees and put up some burlap to shield them from the north wind. From a distance I couldn’t figure it out, brown portapotty’s maybe?


One young man was running the race carrying the cross. I’m not sure what that was all about except that he passed me and I was not carrying a cross. I had a camera though.


Zipline towers. I’d like to do that sometime. Anybody want to do it with me?


And this is either a zipliner or somebody cheating on the race. 


And this is the trail up Holmes Peak, the highest point in Tulsa County. I pretty much walked up to the top. In fact I walked a lot on this race. I hope that you don’t think less of me.


And this is the view from up there. That is downtown Tulsa way off yonder. Looks pretty small from up here.


Proof, that I didn’t finish dead last. I don’t worry too much about finishing last. I just like finishing. Vertically is best but if I have to crawl I’ll do that also.


I didn’t get an award but I did get this nifty iron finisher medal. 


The race lunch was a chopped brisket sandwich and a bag of fritos and two beers. It was good! I know, I know a salad would be much more nutritious. Sure it would be. Most stuff I don’t eat is good for me.

And so that is the race report!!

Previous Year’s Post Oak Challenge Reports




Our World – Turkey Mountain


It’s October and the temperatures are cooling here in Oklahoma. Not like they are elsewhere as we are still running our air conditioners but the weather is cool and dry. October is the Oklahoma’s best month. I happened to have Saturday morning free so I headed to my favorite running spot, Turkey Mountain. I had the place to myself. I’ve signed up for the Tulsa Run 15K race late this month and the Route 66 Half Marathon in late November so I’ve been running longer miles during the week. My goal Saturday was six miles of easy running.


I started down the trails but I noticed a short side trail that went to a road and I could barely see an opening on the other side. Hmm, I didn’t know there was a trail over there so I headed across.


And sure enough there was a faint trail over there. It wasn’t very big and it wasn’t very long, less than a mail loop. Guess what though. No litter. Yep, no red bull cans, no water bottles, nor candy bar wrappers. I scared up three white tail deer though. They don’t stick around for me to get my camera up and going though. It was pretty nice. I didn’t see any side trails though.


It was nice although the trail almost petered out a few times.


The only man made object I saw was this old barbed wire fence. Soon enough though I looped back across the road back to the park. Going from illegal to legal.


I made a turn through a privately owned area of the mountain. The owner bulldozed down a lot of brush and trees earlier this year and got everybody all excited that he was going to put something up but he was just clearing things out so it would be easier to sell. Still not good news but maybe somebody will step in and buy and and give it to the River Parks. Its happened before. Keep your fingers crossed.


Several bikes passed me. I passed one who called my name out as I went by and I yelled who’s that. He yelled “Tom.” I know a Tom who rides bikes and would ride by without stopping. It’s probably him.


There is one spot on the western side of Turkey Mountain looking east where you have a good panorama.


You can see from the pics that the leaves haven’t turned here yet. I did find some color.


I also found this little green snake. When I first started looking at him he reared up and was doing his cobra thing. Dang little dude has spirit. I have to give him that. This is actually the first snake I’ve ever seen on Turkey Mountain. He and I went on our separate ways.


I looped through the West Side YMCA. Earlier this year this pond was nearly dry. I’m glad we have been getting some rain.


More color on the mountain. 

Anyway, I had six really slow, lazy, nice miles. I had a great day.

How are your days?

Our World Tuesday

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Weekend Reflections – Turkey Mountain

Wednesday evening after work I headed to Turkey Mountain. Much has been happening lately and I can always get my head on straight up on the Mountain.


It has been raining lately so the trails are not as dusty as they were last summer. 


There are even some sizeable puddles alongside some of the trails.

Puddle Reflection

I’ve been experimenting with puddle reflections lately. You can really do that during a drouth. The above is one of my favorites so far.


The Westside YMCA runs a day camp on the north side of the mountain. They had spruced up their trail signs. I could hear some loud drumming and yelling going on. I was curious about what was going on but I stayed away. 


I did stop and take a pic of their fishing pond though. Nice to see them starting to fill up again.


A previous employer of mine has a pipeline that runs across the mountain. I’m big into connectivity and I’m very familiar with this pipeline and the network it connects to. If I bang it with a hammer (I’d never do that of course it would damage the coating) I can just imagine the sound traveling from here to almost every state in the lower 48 and Canada and also Mexico. I have maps so that I can show you just how that would work. Of course, you would have to put your ears to the pipe and listen very attentively to hear me hammering.


My new trailrunning friend. We ran together for a little bit but I was too slow for him so he waved and was off.


At the parking lot, two final reflections, Cityplex Tower and the full moon both reflecting the sun back at me.

Post Oak Lodge 10K featuring the Hill from Hell!


Saturday bright and early I got up and headed to the Osage Hills northwest of Tulsa to participate in the Post Oak Lodge Challenge 10K.  When I got there I fell in love.


With this fireplace and a very comfortable leather chair. It’s a real fire. We have a gas fire at home and it is all nice and everything but nothing puts out a nice glowing warm heat like a real wood fire.


So I sat there napping off and on as they prepped the 25Kers on following the green ribbon.


And then I sat there during the prep for the 10Kers. We were supposed to follow the pink ribbons. You see.


And then the moment of decision. To I get up out of MY chair and go run the race or just kind nap some more. You like my hat, you think its funny. Hey it was 30 deg at race time and I was warm. So laugh all you want you cold eared people.


So off we go!! Following the pink ribbons. The Shadow knows.


The aid stations were fantabulous, water, gatorade, pb&j sandwiches, chips, homemade cookies, salted potatoes. Wonderful. The Shadow also knows this.


We’ve had a little bit of rain so it was nice to see the creeks flowing again. We had a little bit of mud but not to bad.


We took a turn through the Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Gardens.


And we went by the Post Lodge’s Zip lines. At least that is the cover story. The real deal is that Oklahoma has erected these watch towers to keep Democrats out of the state. They are also a last line of defense to keep those pesky Canadians who are enslaved by the national healthcare system out of our state. Rumor has it that they are massed at the border trying to get in.We are ready for them.

Post Oak Lodge 10K.jpg

The thing about trail runs is that the good ones are have lots of ups and downs. This was a good one.


I finally got to the top of the Hill from Hell. Holmes Peak is the tallest point in Tulsa County. You can see a long ways.


Way over yonder (as we say in Oklahoma) where the cars are is the start and end of the race.


Heading down the Hill from Hell. . That is downtown Tulsa off in the distance.


This race had a beer stop. They said, “Want a beer?” and I said “Do you have any other stupid questions?”


The finish line!! Yeah we are done!!


Lots of food and adult malted beverages available. This is some white chicken chili.


And then back to my spot. If you happen to be up at the lodge anytime soon. Make sure nobody is sitting there, cuz its mine. You can sit there if you want, just don’t get too comfortable.

It was a great race, well organized and everybody had lots of fun.

I had my GPS watch on. If you want to see the route click on the green balloon above and it will take you to another screen. Click on the thing that looks like your DVD “Play” button to the left and it will show you just how slow I am.

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I Gotta Go Find Something on Turkey Mountain

Saturday, I had several free hours. Anytime I have a few free hours I’m going to running and geocaching  and photographing.  Most likely I”m going to do that on Turkey Mountain. Tulsa’s urban wilderness area. Its close in and convenient.


So I hit the trail with a bunch of equipment. My running GPS enabled watch, my Geocaching GPSr, a camera, and my smartphone. And a pen. Can’t go geocaching without a pen, and a knife. Right?


An old cistern. I don’t know but I get the impression that Turkey Mountain was a rough and ready oilfield and farming area. There is some oilfield debris still left but very little left of farmsteads and such.


Parts of Turkey Mountain seem very remote. I’ve been all over the mountain and some areas, you just never see anybody.


Lots of mysteries, like what is this? An old outhouse? Who knows.


There are a few old pipelines left. I don’t know if they are live or not. I can tell you, and maybe you should listen. You can’t proceed just on assumptions. Unless you want to bet your life on it.


At the far end of Turkey Mountain from the parking lot you run into the Westside YMCA. Nice place for urban kids to get some nature in them. The Y has a “Ropes Course.” I helped build part of it as part of a United Way Day of Caring event about 20 years ago. Ropes Courses were all the rage back then but you don’t hear that much about them anymore. The theory is that you take a group of coworkers out in the woods and have them work on things together and that leads to better teamwork.

Sorry to water on the parade but let me tell you how guys work. (Women, you have to speak for yourselves.) The way guys work is that you can take a group of guys who hate each other and put them on a team to do something and it’ll be great. They will  work together to complete the task. When they are done, they still hate each other. I did ropes years ago, climbed the rope ladder, did the zip line, walked the cable, jumped off the poles, did the trust fall,  the whole shebang, helped my team mates over the wall. I’m done. No more. How about some golf instead? Does just as much good!


I finally reached my objective, Pepsi Lake. Don’t snicker at it, we have had a drought and the water levels are way low. I came out here to look for a geocache. named “What are these doing here...” A cache that I’ve looked before and couldn’t find.


The “these” are Pepsi delivery truck bodies arrayed on the dam. Why they are there. I don’t know. There is a Pepsi warehouse closeby. Maybe this is where they send their trucks to die.


Oh, by the way, I did find a cardinal playing hard to get in the shrubs near the trucks.


I also found the cache. Not very many people have found the cache. I’d love to show it to you but the owner of the cache has threatened to delete the logs of anybody who gives a clue. DELETE the LOG, to a geocacher that is worse than any fiscal cliff, or the Affordable Health Care Act, or even the Designated Hitter Rule. So sorry no clues from me.


I will tell you that I climbed in, under, and on top of these before I found it.

I wore my GPS enabled running watch. It ran out of juice while I was searching for the cache. You can see me route to the cache from the parking lot, just hit the white triangle on the green circle. It’ll take you to the web site. Hit the button that looks like your DVD play button and you will see just how slow a runner I am.

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