Category Archives: Trail Running

Turkey Mountain Geocaching – Oklahoma Rock and What are these doing here…

Wednesday Night I cashed in my weekly kitchen pass for a trail running and geocaching expedition on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain.


I headed down the Blue Trail and then another fainter trail to the Oklahoma Rock.


The cache is also named Oklahoma Rock but it is not at the rock. It is 207 feet from the rock in the direction that the rock is pointed. The Oklahoma Rock cache was placed by M5, otorious for ingenious fun hides. This cache has a twist because he placed a smaller version of the Oklahoma Rock near the cache, pointing back to the big Oklahoma Rock. Sounds easy right?


So off I went. I’m not going to spoil the fun for you by showing you what the cache looks like, what the smaller rock looks like, or  talk about the problems I had in finding the cache. You need to figure that out for yourself.


I found it though. Finally, this was my third attempt. It hadn’t been found since June.

I was so pumped I went to look for another cache further into the mountain named “What are these doing here…:: A cache hidden in or near a bunch of old Pepsi Delivery Truck’s parked at what is called Pepsi Lake near the Westside Y. Don’t ask me what they are doing there. Don’t ask me where the cache is either because I couldn’t find it.

First I got stopped by a baby possum.


Standing in the middle of the trail. He must be an NRA member because he was standing his ground.


Mean looking, brave little cuss about three inches tall.


Not very cute and cuddly though. I don’t think he was packing but I went around him. Don’t mess with critters hogging the trail is my motto. Usually refers to snakes but I’m adding possums to the list also.


I got to the Lake and actually climbed into the trucks, and looked high and low. “What are these doing here…” was hidden by adairmd. Another cacher who knows how to frustrate people. We cachers like the tough hides. The fun is in the looking. This cache was found by blogging and trailrunning friend Trail Zombie. I can’t let him get one up on me.


It was getting dark and I didn’t bring gloves or anything protective to search through the vehicles. I’ve already been to the doctor several times to get treated for various insect bites and I get tired of the staff laughing at me and giving me that look that they give to addled old fat guys. I’ll be back though.

Thank you again my fellow Americans. You have spent billions of dollars putting satellites into orbit so that I can climb through rusty truck bodies looking for a box. That is quite a sacrifice on your part. Especially seeing how I didn’t find it.

Finding Something that is xSTINKt

Last Wednesday evening after work I headed over to Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa to go running and find a geocache.

It is hot here in Tulsa and when it is hot I like to go running in the woods rather than the concrete and asphalt. It also just so happens that there are lots of geocaches on Turkey Mountain, good ones, hard to find ones.

The map to the left shows the caches on Turkey Mountin. The happy faces are the caches that I’ve found. The stars out caches that I have hidden. The little green boxes and the question mark are the ones left to find.

Wednesday night I went looking for the xSTINKt Cache. I had looked for it before without any luck. It is hidden by a very clever geocacher who goes by the tag adairmd.

I took along my geocaching GPS receiver and my running GPSr and my Ipod touch. It has a camera and I am using it a lot these days. Lots smaller and easier to carry than a regular camera.

A good omen about six minutes into the run. A deer! I’ve seen lots of deer on Turkey Mountain but they don’t generally stick around long enough for me to fumble around with my camera. It is right in the middle of the photograph above just to the right of the slender tree in the middle. Makes me think I need to carry a better camera! One with a zoom.

Turkey Mountain has lots of ponds from one end to the other.


I popped out onto the powerline right of way for a little bit just as another runner went running by.


That evil adairmd, owner of the cache, has promised to delete all logs of the cache that show spoilers. Sorry adairmd, it is my journalistic duty as a blogger to leave nothing out. Above is a look of the sky from the cache location. Below is a pic of my GPSr.

The dead giveaway is the leaf below. Study it carefully, when you see a leaf exactly like that then you are within three feet of the cache. In all serious, I’m not giving any hints, except for the leaf. This is a unique cache and he wants you to find out what is unique about it for yourself. The cache was placed in April and I was only the fourth one to find it. It’s almost a two mile walk from the parking lot to the cache site. Most people are not going to go that far especially if they are not familiar with the trails on the mountain.


It started to get dark on the way back. I’ve never run in the dark on Turkey Mountain but I have run in the twilight. I love it.


It’s still hot on the mountain but you are out of the direct sun and off the reradiating hard surfaces of the city. Also, there are not very many people up on the mountain. It’s pretty quiet except for the mountain bikers getting a little rambunctious.


The sun gets really low and really colorful.

It’s a great place to gett your head on straight.

I uploaded my run to Garmin’s website. You can see my route and a whole bunch of metrics on the run by hitting the green button below. You’ll go to the website. And then hit the little triangular “play” button like you playing a cd player. You’ll be amazed by how slow I run and how long it took me to find the cache.

Hey, you can do better? Get after it!

And by the way, adairmd is a nice guy

Geocaching 101

2012 Snake Run

Today I ran in my second Snake Run. I love it.


The walk from the parking lot to the starting line is about half a mile and good steep climb. It is its own warm up and the woods are beautiful this time of year. (I’ll say that regardless of the time of year.)


Race Director, “Trail Zombie” (aka Ken) gave us some pre race instructions on how the race is marked and just what the deal is. Most races have a set distance and you try and minimize your time. This race, the time is set at either three hours or six hours and you try and maximize your distance. Fun, fun, fun.


It was kind of chilly so some people brought their snuggies. I wish I had thought of it.



TZ should have spent some time explaining what everybody was wearing. Remember the late 70’s when women wore leggings? Well men have them now. What’s the deal. I felt really under dressed without my snuggie and my leggings. I guess that I’ll have to go to the running store and get me some leggings.


So the women don’t wear leggings, I guess these are “armings.” Is putting them on called “arming” and taking them off called “disarming.” Going without is “unarming.” Oklahoma is about to be an open carry state my tea partier representative tells me. My tea partier state senator doesn’t talk to me. I don’t blame him.


Nice view of downtown. Turkey Mountain is an urban wilderness, so the city surrounds it.


I think Maytag is a sponsor of the race. This appliance actually still works. Honest!


Trail races are fun and the food is great. They have it on the course, not just the end.


This is the crew that counts how much you ran. They have a four mile loop and a half mile loop. So you just run yourself silly until time is up.


These are the awards. This is also what Okies look like to our President. He came to Cushing (oil pipeline capital of the USA) to announce his approval of a project that didn’t need his approval. The state GOP went nuts trying to outdo each other expressing how sorry it is.  Some of us Okies thought our elected officials could have been a little gracious to O.


This is the award I won, in fact awarded myself two.

This is also what I got, muddy feet. At least I didn’t fall. I do have a little booboo on my right knee. I kept asking people if they noticed it.  They didn’t, so I’m looking for a little blogging sympathy.

And I got a nice medal and a brand spanking new tee shirt!

What did you do today??

TATUR Snake Run


The Tulsa Area Trail and Ultra Runners (“TATUR”) had their annual Snake Run on Saturday. This run is a little different. Most runs one runs a fixed distance and how you place depends on how fast your ran the fixed distance. Everybody runs the same distance but different times. In the Snake Run everybody runs a fixed time and tries to maximize the distance. There were two times one could pick, three hours or six hours.


It is also a trail race not a road race, run on a relatively flat area of Turkey Mountain. They had two loops, The big loop was about four miles long and a smaller half mile loop. The idea is to run the big loop as many times as you can, when there is not enough time for you to run another big loop you run the small loop until the gun goes off. You get no credit for partial loops. So there is a little bit of a mental edge to the run.


Of course being a Trail Run they make even the parking fun. See the cars way down the hill on the left. That is the parking area. Everybody is walking up the hill to get to the start.


Race Director, Ultra Runner, fellow blogger, and geocacher and all around good guy, Ken, aka Trail Zombie.

He and Brian of RunnersWorld Tulsa started the race and off we went. Brian is a good guy also. He told me that he peeked at my blog every now and then. That is how I know he is a good guy.


I just love trail runs. You get to run through the woods! What’s wrong with that?


I had planned to run just two loops or eight miles but I settled into a pretty good run walk rhythm that I carried on through the whole race. I would run 0.20 miles or about a 1000 feet and walk 0.05 miles or about 250 feet. I had my GPS running watch so that’s how I knew how I was doing.


So I just put my brain on autopilot and let the watch tell me when to run and when to walk. So I was able to get into my trancelike meditative state and just be in present. I had only two hiccups to my trance. I tripped on root and fell. Nothing messes up a trance like a face plant into some dirt. Also, somebody was handing out little liquid energy drinks. I tried it and lucky for me I was close to a comfort station so I could get a little comfort. That stuff ran right through me. I was able to get back in the groove pretty quickly into my trance.


So I didn’t take too many photos. I finished two big loops and then started running the small loops. I think I must have run about 8 or 9 of them. I hadn’t seen the results yet so I’m not sure how many I ran.


I finished my final small loop 2.76 seconds before the gun went off, so I didn’t waste any effort. When you are as old and fat as I am, you darn sure don’t want to waste any effort. I was very pleased with my effort. I haven’t run 12.45 miles since the 1990’s when I was running marathons (ok, only two marathons) and a bunch of half marathons. So I’m thinking about training some more and maybe runnning the half marathon part of the Oklahoma City Marathon coming up later this spring. Maybe a 25K trail run. Maybe I have a few miles left in me.


I got a nice participant medal for my effort. As you all know, I am the king of participant medals. One of these days I am going to just buy my a trophy just so I have one. The young man who won the three race ran 25 miles. Incredible, he ran almost marathon distance on a trail with rocks, roots, and stumps.


TATUR and RunnersWorld Tulsa certainly know how to put on a race. They had all sorts of goodies during the race and after there was barbecue beef sandwiches, soda pop, malted barley flavored gatorade, brownies, chips, all sorts of stuff. A bunch of volunteers showed up and worked hard making sure that everything ran smoothly. Trail Zombie and Brian were here, there, and everywhere making sure that everything went well.

Of course, I had to make my way back to the parking lot. I had a lot of chores at home to do. Sweetie took this pic of me working hard.