My wife and I made a weekend trip to Bentonville, Arkansas for a short getaway. On our last day we ventured up to nearby Bella Vista and checked out the “Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel.” A non-denominational wedding chapel. Hit the link above for more information. Check here for historical information on who Mildred B. Cooper was.
The Cooper Chapel is like the others. It is light, airy, and appears to float in the air. There are fifteen main arches, each 50 feet tall. In all 31 tons of steel were used and support 4640 square feet of glass.
It is open to the public every day unless it is booked for an event.
It sits on a wooded knoll high above a lake. It is an incredible structure.
Saturday morning I got up at dark thirty oclock in the morning and to downtown Tulsa for the 44th Tulsa Run race. Last year they only had a virtual event, this year they are back live and so was I. This is my 27th Tulsa Run, all but three or so, the 15K distance. Saturday I ran the 5K segment. It was glad to be back but the 7 am start was kind of early.
The gun went off in the dark so I didn’t take any photos until almost the end. We just ran from downtown to the Arkansas River and then back. I walked most of it, trotting a little on the downhill slopes.
So I finished in a tad short of 50 minutes gun time. When the gun sounded it took me two minutes to get up to the starting line. I’m old school, gun time is the only time that counts. My goal was to finish vertically and I achieved it. I helped myself to a bottle of water and a slice of pizza. Passed on the cookies and bananas. They didn’t have beer. On our run bibs that had a tab for beer that one could exchange a several of the local breweries.
My running partners, Melissa (left) and Paula. The start was so big we didn’t get together until after the run. I’ve done several races with them. We have a good time.
I went home, cleaned up and Heather and I went back downtown to Eerie Abbey Ales and I got my race beer. and another one! Can’t drink just one beer.
Here’s a Relive video of my run.
And an aerial from Garmin on my run.
So this is Tulsa Run number 27 for me. I would like to get back into running shape and do another 15K. I’m not sure my knees share my aspiration. I’ll be doing what I can though. There was an 81 year old that did the 5k on his walker. He’s my hero. You know, I am 66 years old so 81 is not that far away for me. There was another 80 year old that ran the 15K. In fact he has run every one of the races. People like that are my heroes.
Speaking of heroes, here is one. That’s my brother Bob. Veteran of over a hundred half marathons and several dozen full marathons who was stricken with an illness almost two years ago. Last year at this time he could hardly move a wheel chair. He has been doing virtual 5K runs on his walker. It takes him about three weeks to accumulate enough distance to get 5K on a walker. Lately he is starting to walk independently a few steps at a time. Never bet against a guy who has the want to’s. Without the want to’s one can’t do anything. With them, the sky is the limit.
Heather and I went to Tulsa’s Oktoberfest on Thursday night. We drank a little beer and ran (walked actually) a 5K race and then drank a little more beer and had some German food for dinner. At some point we bought Heather a new hat.
At the opening ceremonies we saw some horses. I love horses. I don’t want to ride them or own them or much of anything else to do with them but I do love taking photos of them.
The big white horse was my favorite. What a presence it had and checking everything out.
Saturday Heather and I decided to go up to the Tulsa Botanic Garden. It has been at least a couple years since we have been which nowadays is like a lifetime.
The previous day, we were overwhelmed by what happened on the way home. In fact, about a block from where we live. To prevent pest breed, hire pest control near me, from here.
Almost home and we came upon a scene that was hard to compute. Cars stopped in the road. People out and about and a man down on the ground.
We stopped, got out of the car to see what is going on. The man down on the ground threw himself out of the car his wife said. She had a grandson on the spectrum in her car. Heather went to check him out and calm him down.
So I stayed with the woman who was trying to calm her husband down. He was moving here and there, wanting to know what happened and begging for help. Two different cars of people were stopped, calling 911, reporting the incident.
Most people were just sliding by in their cars. Not stopping but getting a good look.
The lady told me that he fell out of the car. I didn’t know why, I didn’t really care. He had a sharp crease on his scalp and was bleeding profusely. Also it looked to me like he broke a couple fingers. I kept trying to calm him, telling him help was on its way.
I knew help was coming, but it seemed like it took forever. Meanwhile the guy was inconsolable and moving here and there. His wife was talking to him and I kept telling him that help is on its way. I felt like yelling at him, but you know, people in this situation don’t suffer from hearing loss.
Finally, the ambulance showed up and and a fire truck. I was really impressed with the teamwork between the two groups of guys. You could tell they knew they had a serious situation and they moved quickly and urgently but in control.
The police showed up and and also moved quickly, efficiently, and calmly, finding out what happened. The firemen had a stuffed bear for the child in the car.
So Heather was with the child, who was on the spectrum, in the car. I went up there and hung out and let the wife talk to the police in private about what happened. There was a lady who was asked to stay because she saw the whole thing from the beginning.
So hug your kids close and pray for those who are not so lucky.
The tempietto at Philbrook has to be the most photographed thing in town. I’ve taken a bunch myself. Back when the Waite Phillips family lived here way back when, the pond was a swimming pool and supposedly there was a changing room underneath the tempietto.
The pond makes for some nice reflections.
I love all the flowers at Philbrook.
On another water body, Crow Creek, which winds through the property, there are lots of turtles.
And another flowers.
An invitation to look for a stone flower.
There it is!!
Stumbled upon the secret garden. The restaurant at Philbrook uses it for growing herbs and such.
It was too early to catch the change of color in the trees. Almost as good is this installation. “Oklahoma Autumn” by Eric Baker. It’s my favorite sculpture in the garden. There are two other pieces of this off to the right.
They got a lot of stuff in the 25 acres of gardens. Over 1200 trees and fifteen sculptures. I wonder if somebody is in charge of the tree count?
Here’s my toes during our recent vacation. I didn’t actually get a photo of them actually in the water.
Here’s a beer in my hand, cans only, no glass allowed on the beach.
We just got back from ten days at the beach. Orange Beach, Alabama. We spent almost every day on the beach. A couple rainy days we read in our condo and went shopping and stuff. We had a really good time and got recharged. I got hundreds of photos. Most of them skywatch type, sky and water photos so I’ll be posting lots of those as time goes by.
This song is like twelve years old or so but I noticed just this year. Best lyrics ever.
Come join the fun over at Our World Tuesday. Lots of great bloggers linking up over there.
Heather and I are on vacation this week. We are down in Orange Beach on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It’s our happy place.
Here’s my bride during our bicycling adventure at Gulf State Park. We rode 16 miles and it was great. Hardly any other people and some great trails.
It has three really nice lakes with marshes and it is incredibly gorgeous.
It’s also a great alligator habitat. We saw this momma and two babies chilling out by the trail. There are also “several” types of venomous snakes according to Park. Two years ago I went geocaching at the park while wife and son went parasailing. I had a great time but my head was on a swivel looking around.
We are right next to a beach bar. No bull, they had a rodeo last weekend. The condo was full of cowboys. They are the most polite people you will ever meet. They also like to party hard.
Saturday the beach was hopping between the cowboys with their hats on in the water and a bunch of happy, good natured people celebrating their football teams, LSU and Alabama seemed to be the most popular and playing incredibly loud tunes on their speakers that they actually rolled out across the beach on wheels. They also were celebrating their favorite presidential candidate.
Sunday, we basically had the place to ourselves. The cowboys went on to their next rodeo and the partiers went back to work and school.
One day earlier this month my friend Tom asked if I wanted to go see Union Pacific’s Big Boy locomotive. It was on a ten state tour and was going through Oklahoma on August 12. So the next day Tom and I went up to the little town of Vinita where the Big Boy was scheduled to appear.
Turns out about half the population of Oklahoma was there as well. Train fans of all ages were there. It’s nice to see that people still get all excited about trains.
The locomotive pulling this train is special. It is the biggest and most powerful operating steam locomotive in the world. With its tender, it weighs 1,951,000 pounds, it is 133 feet long and over sixteen feet tall. Twenty five of these monsters were built during World War II to pull freight trains over the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.
They were in service up until 1959 when they were replaced by cheaper to run diesel locomotives. There are only eight left. Seven are static displays in museums. The one we saw, number 4014 is the only one operational. Union Pacific reacquired it in 2019 and brought it back to working condition. The originals burned coal, 4014 is converted to burning used motor oil. It is used for promotional purposes by UP now.
It is very impressive and very loud and everybody was excited to see it including me.
It is still on tour, so you can still see it if you wish. They are touring ten states and it ends September 7 at UP’s station in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Check here for details on the schedule and stops.
Hey everybody else was getting a selfie why not me?
It stayed in Vinita for an hour or so while the crews fussed over the locomotive adjusting this and that and asking hundreds of questions.
The crew and the other UP employees were obviously proud of the engine. I was proud also. I worked for an oil and gas subsidiary of UP back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. They didn’t let me near a train but I still get their yearly train calendar.
And then it came time for it to go to the next stop.
There goes almost two million pounds of steel.
Tom and I got a few miles ahead of it so we could capture some motion. Locomotives are all about motion.
And so that was a good day back earlier this month.
On the last day of our recent mini-vacation to Missouri we stopped for a visit at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. 10,000 acres of wilderness set in a beautiful canyon in southwest Missouri. It was founded by Johnny Williams of Bass Pro fame and is a non-profit outfit.
One can walk the three miles of trails, or ride a bike, or take a guided tour in a pickup pulled trail. We like walking so we walked or rather Heather walked, and I sauntered behind taking lots of photos and Logan was in front of me and behind her. We kind of do our own thing.
I love the trail markers. Johnny Morris really works on branding on his Bass Pro properties and you can see his influence on a number of things at Dogwood Canyon.
There is a creek that runs the length of the property. It has a bunch of pools separated by waterfalls. The pools were full of big fat trout. Did I say that you could go fishing there?
The canyon is full of features for photographers. Lots of beautiful scenery and the stream provides lots of opportunities for reflections. I would love to be here during the fall color.
I love all the little touches on the trail.
These markers on the various bridges are all works of art.
There are just so many things to look at.
A huge building is the entry to the park and has displays on early American and Native American relics from the area.
Big News out today in Tulsa for those of us who love the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area. The RiverParks Authority has announced that it is beginning the first phase of the Turkey Mountain Master Plan. Construction on thirteen miles of trail will begin this Fall. The trails are being designed by Progressive Trail Design who designs and build trails all over the country.
This is huge news for Tulsa. Six years ago a company announced plans to build an outlet mall on the mountain. It seemed like an unstoppable force but a small group of citizens (the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition) organized opposition to the outlet mall and guess what, the mall decided to go somewhere else in town. And further, that somewhere else, the company scraped off a bunch of dirt and started construction and then quit (they say only temporarily) leaving kind of a big muddy mess. (Thank goodness they didn’t do that on Turkey Mountain is what I say.)
Two years ago the RiverParks Authority got funding to develop a master plan. As part of the process input was provided by thousands of Tulsans on what they wanted Turkey Mountain to look like. What they came up with was wonderful. Check it out here. A great plan but an unfunded plan.
So now they have enough funding for the design and construction of thirteen miles of trail. Professionally designed trail rather than overgrown deer trails.
The existing trails on Turkey, although we love them were not designed. They just kind of happened. We have trails that go straight up hillsides and those trails are eroded rocky boulder fields now. The trails are not sustainable and get very muddy after rains where the water puddles up.
The new trails will be more accessible to a wider population segment. I’m pretty comfortable on Turkey Mountain now but it took me years to get that way. I know which trails are almost impossible to traverse. As new trails are built, many of the older trails are going to blocked off and retired to let the land rest. All this is exciting news.
Want to learn more? Listen to the Official Turkey Mountain podcast. Ryan Howell of the RiverParks Authority talks about the problems with the existing trails and the promise of the new. He also talked about restoring the bulk of Turkey Mountain to an Oak Savanna via the use of prescribed burns and removal of non-native species. He also discusses the history of Turkey Mountain including tales of buried gold and Viking explorers.
Consider joining the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition. It’s a nominal cost and you will find out about work days, which are a lot of fun. TUWC’s scope is all the urban wilderness spaces in Tulsa, not just Turkey Mountain. They have become a resource for other organizations in the Tulsa area. (Full disclosure, I am am member, and all opinions on this blog are my own.) Check out and like their facebook page.
If you are on instagram follow the Turkey Mountain account. (more full disclosure, I post photos to that account once or twice a week.)