Tag Archives: Geocaching

Skywatch Friday – Ida Skies

We had some nice skies for part of the week. I think they were offshoots of Hurricane Ida. The victims of the storm are in my thoughts. So many people had to leave their homes. It’s going to be a long time before they get the electricity turned on. The storm continued up to the east coast causing flooding and tornadoes. What a miserable storm Ida was.

I went looking for a geocache. The spoiler is that I didn’t find it but I found something else. I was looking at the these cottonwood trees and it looked kind of funny.

It’s hard to see it in this photo but there is a trail that starts out and goes down to the Arkansas River. I was checking it out and a guy with a fishing rod came by and we chatted a bit. Apparently you walk down the trail to the river, wade across part of the river and climb up on a sandbar and right there is a big hole that he says is full of catfish. You learn something new every day. I tried explaining geocaching to him and I could kind of tell the young man was worried about me. He was wondering if I was right in my head.

I wasn’t fishing, I was geocaching and the cache was hidden in the rip rap. I clambered around looking in all the nooks and crannies and couldn’t find it. Apparently nobody else could either. I got an email from the owners who said that they checked and it was missing and they are going to replace it soon.

On the way out I passed a tube bending company in an industrial area. They built this thing to show off their craft. Tube bending is useful in making chemical and refinery processing equipment, especially heaters and such. Tulsa has a lot of oilfield manufacturing companies and expertise.

The next day I went on a bike ride on the RiverParks trails along the Arkansas River here in Tulsa. I stopped to check out the construction of the new low water dam and pedestrian bridge. I think that it is going to be another two years or so before they are done. I’m looking forward to it. Click here for a look at the conceptual design.

And finished up at what I call the Bear Fountain near where I parked my care. The temp was in the low 90’s F but the heat index was about a 105 F. Time to go get cooled off. I was going to go geocaching again but didn’t want to get back out in the heat.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday – come join in!!

Our World – On the Trail and the Road

Sunday morning after dropping the kid off at work I headed to Turkey Mountain for a little hiking.

Virginia Creeper?

I’ve been reading the novel, The Overstory by Richard Powers and it is blowing me away with its talk of how trees in a forest are all interconnected and they exchange nutrients with one another and with other plants via a network of fungal hyphae, miles and miles of tubular fungus that exchange minerals with trees for sugar. I already read the book and then I started reading it again. It’s pretty amazing.

Hairy Ruellia?

The woods on Turkey Mountain are very new. It used to be small farms and ranches but oil was discovered and what trees that were there were cut down for fuel for the boilers that powered the pumps.

Headache!!! I’m afraid some poor mountain biker hit his noggin.

So the trees that are there now are pretty new and mostly skinny. There are a few older ones that are bigger and are more spread out. I find the whole life cycle of tree thing to be fascinating.

American Trumpet Vine maybe

I know that Sunday I pretty much had the place to myself. Most people on Turkey Mountain stick to the more established east side with its overlooks of the Arkansas River and well developed trails. The west side is a little wilder and the trails less established and mapped.

I went all the over the the YMCA and took a pic. Not much going on there.

Shining Sumac perhaps

Just 3 miles but hey I was refreshed.

In the afternoon I checked out Route 66 for some geocaching. I stopped one of my favorites. The Blue Whale of Catoosa.

Right next to it was this. Apparently it is supposed to be an Ark as part of a journey through the Bible attraction but it didn’t really take off.

I found this museum in Catoosa. It was closed but it has a great mural out back.

And this is an old bridge on Route 66 that has been relocated. So I am continuing my turning 66 on Route 66 thing that I have going on.

I hope your Sunday was as fun as mine!!

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Skywatch Friday – Running Through the Woods

I went on a recently on Turkey Mountain. It was morning but it was hot but the trails were shady.

I was also looking for a geocache. I thought it was below the above ledge so I climbed down below and nope, there is another ledge further down and I needed to get below that. It was too hot and sticky so, as we say in the energy biz, I temporarily abandoned that project for a day when I feel better. Getting down ledges is easy, getting back up is sometimes harder. Further south there is a trail I could descent to and walk out. So I’ll finish this on another day.

It was still morning as I made my way back and the morning sun was making the leaves glow green. It kind of reminded me of a stained glass window except it was bright green. It has been wet this summer and the leaves and grass still have that fresh green look to them.

Went by Wagon Wheel Lake and it was full and overflowing. I have seen it dry as a bone by this time some years.

Sky to the south one afternoon.

I’m still flying my drone. I am kind of boring. I send it straight up and rotate it. I don’t want to fly it over anybody’s property but mine. Most of the time I go to 50 meters. Doesn’t seem very high but I can hardly see it at that height. You don’t get much better views higher than that and I can maintain control of the aircraft. I went up to 75 meters and suddenly the controller said it had lost contact and was going to try and land the drone automatically. That was kind of panicy but the drone came on down and reestablished contact so I kept it up in the air.

Sky to the northwest another day.

So I am not too adventurous it. It costs too much money. I know guys who fly their across rivers and subdivisions and all that. Not me I am not flying it anywhere I can’t walk to it, legally. Plus if it fell it could hurt somebody and I would feel terrible. It is tiny, only 249 grams in weight but something like that falling from 100 feet would give somebody a headache or worse.

I am amazed by the device. It is a technological marvel. It can fly for thirty minutes, it takes great photos, and stays rock solid when you stop it due to its built in GPS. If I can fly it, anybody can.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join the party!

Our World – Hanging out in Okmulgee

Monday morning, I drove 43 miles south of Tulsa to the little burg of Okmulgee, Oklahoma in order to pursue my geocaching hobby. First up on the list is an Adventure Lab geocache at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Adventure Lab caches don’t involve finding a physical object, instead you have to navigate to various places and then answer questions about what you find. You use an app on your phone to navigate and it has technology that makes sure you are physically there where you say you are. It discourages “armchair geocachers.”

So it had me go all over the campus finding information. I learned that the campus started out as an Army Hospital during World War II and then later a hospital for German POWs. After the war the USA sold the campus to what is now Oklahoma State University for a dollar.

OSU loves the color orange, they put it on everything. Even their flowers are orange.

It is an applied technology school. You don’t go here to think the big thoughts. You go here to learn nursing, engine repair, cooking and a bunch of other fields. It has a 100% placement rate for their graduates.

This is a solar pond that helps reduce the campus heating and cooling costs. The water is circulated through a heat pump is how it works.

This is OSU’s mascot, Pistol Pete. He’s based on a real person, Frank Eaton. At eight years old, he witnessed his father’s murder by six vigilantes. Young Frank practiced shooting until he was fifteen years old and then spent the next six years hunting down and killing his father’s murderers. He later served as a US Marshall for Oklahoma under the Hanging Judge, Isaac Parker. He became the mascot for OSU after he died in 1958. You can’t make this stuff up!! I love stories like this.

Nothing to do with the cache but this is the Natural Gas Compression Technology building. I spent about 40 years messing with natural gas compressors in various capacities. Compressors are what is used to move the natural gas all the way from the wellhead to industrial and home use. It is hard to get into this program. For years all of the graduates have had jobs before they graduate.

And then shifting gears to downtown Okmulgee. It was an oilfield boom town way back when and then went into a long slow decline as the production in the area waned. There is a new spirit in town. People are moving in buying and renovating the many beautiful old buildings that were decaying. They are also commissioning murals such as the one above by famed Native American Muralist, Yatika Starr Fields. The mural above may be the most beautiful mural I have ever seen, (and I have seen a lot of them.)

Even OSU Tech got in on the action converting the above building to an off campus dorm.

So with this cache I went to a lot different murals. It was fun.

With a Where I Go geocache, you eventually have to find a physical object and I did. I don’t want to spoil it for anybody but it is a nanocache which makes it tiny. Lots smaller than the tip of my pinkie fingers.

Anyway, a good morning. It took me a little more than an hour to log both caches and then headed home.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

To find out more about Geocaching

Our World – Rock Creek Bridge on Route 66

Rock Creek Bridge 3 HDR

Rock Creek Bridge is a single lane steel truss type structure located on an original section of Route 66 in the Tulsa suburb of Sapulpa. It was built in 1924 when the road was called the Osage Trail. It is not in bad shape for being almost a hundred years old even though it is now rated for no more than four tons. The modern Route 66 is off to the south a couple hundred feet or so more and has a more modern concrete bridge.

This bridge was part of ten Route 66 locations featured in a new type of Geocaching called Adventure Labs. They don’t require you to find actual containers or other physical objects. It’s a lot of fun if you don’t feel like disturbing snakes, getting spider bit, or explaining yourself to the local authorities. Read the link to find out more.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Geocaching at Lake Keystone

Saturday afternoon my wife went to visit her friends and I drove out to Lake Keystone, northwest of Tulsa to find five geocaches that I had noticed earlier

The place I was going to was an almost island on the lake called Appalachia Bay. Little did I know that it was a designated area for dirt bikes and All Terrain Vehicles.

The guy at the gate good naturedly said you better be careful these guys will run you over. So I said okay then. Cost me $5 to get access.

It was like a Mad Max movie. The vehicles going this way and that way and making a heck of a racket. I just stayed out of their way. You have to look real close at the photo above. There is some deer hidden in there. Just steps away from one of the trails. I don’t know how they stand it. I saw two other groups of deer during my outing. I guess they get used to the racket.

After I got used to the racket, I had a pretty good time. The woods were clear so I was able to bushwhack without too much difficulty. Many of the trails were deeply rutted and so I avoided those in case someone came over a hill or around a corner too fast. People were pretty good natured and courteous toward me.

There were five caches. The smileys are ones I found, the frownie is one I didn’t find, the green one I saw but it was up in a tree and I was not in a climbing mood.

Above is a video of one my finds.

And above in another one of my finds.

And my relive app video showing the route from the first cache to the others and then back to the parking lot.

I had a good time. I didn’t know that dirt bikes and ATVs had designated areas. My attitude was that I was in their territory so I watched out for myself. Not a place I would recommend for a peaceful hike. I’m told that it is actually quite nice during the week. If you like geocaches that you can hike to I strongly recommend this but don’t go on the weekend.

I am linking to Our World Tuesday.

Our World – From Here to There

We’ll start here, Lizzy up on top and LJ on the bottom. We converted our dining room to a sitting room. It’s got a huge south facing windows and two leather chairs. The cats have made it their room. They can snooze while keeping an eye on the goings on in the neighborhood.

Here’s Abigail on my heating pad, or in her reckoning, our heating pad. I’m kind of down in the back the past week. I went to the doctor today (Monday) and he says I might have a touch of arthritis. We talked about various exercises so he gave me some illustrations. And you know what?? They are yoga poses he proposes!! I’ve missed yoga and it shows. I haven’t been to a class in a year. I’m evaluating my options. Yoga is good for you folks, and no yoga is bad for you.

My wife’s cousin Cheri Lou is sending my photos of the goings on at the 3G Ranch. Calves are what is going on. Calving season is ultra important at any ranch. My advice is to not name them.

Heather and I are a couple of wild and crazy people. We took the plunge and got a Costco membership. Woo Hoo!! Kind of like Sam’s Club really. Don’t get mad at me!!

Sore back and all I found a few geocaches this past weekend. Fun, fun, fun. In my book. There are two types of people in the world. Those who love geocaching and losers, I mean people who don’t.

To learn more about what it is watch this video.

Sign up for a free membership, check it out. Let me know what you think.

I’m linking to Our World Tuesday today.

Hello Autumn!

Finally got cooler weather. Time for a pinion fire and adult beverages on the patio.

My Tiki enjoyed the company.

My brother had surgery early this week. Because he lives in a long term care facility under lockdown I had not seen him since March. So the upside of his surgery was that I got to spend many hours with him in his room. That was nice but it got cut short. Tulsa is running out of hospital rooms because of our Governor’s refusal to address the pandemic so brother got kicked out a couple days early. He’s in good hands though, the place he lives has skilled nursing facility so he’ll spend some time there recovering.

In the meantime the Tulsa area is having some great Fall colors on display. I love it.

I did another geocaching Adventure Labs outing, this one at Tulsa’s Gathering Place park. I thought I had been over square inch of it and knew all there was about the park. Turned out I was wrong, I found out several things I didn’t know before. I had the whole place to myself.

For example this is the Reading Tree. It was the first attraction at the park and Reading Partners sponsored readings there for thousands of kids before the park opened. One of the challenges for the Adventure Lab was to find out what corporation sponsored the physical facility. That was a problem because they were asking people to please stay off the grass. I didn’t want to be “that guy” who thought the request didn’t apply to him so I called the park office and asked them and they told me. Don’t tell anybody I cheated though, okay? I’m not going to say just in case you want to do the Adventure Labs outing.

So we finished the floors at our house and are waiting on the painters to start next week. We have been shopping for new light fixtures. In my new office I am going to get rid of the ceiling fan and put in just a light fixture. What do you think of these?

So after my brother got booted out of the hospital I was a little blue since I don’t know when I am going to see him again so I went on a walk on Turkey Mountain. That always cheers me up. I am working on a geocaching type thing for Black Friday on the mountain. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition is sponsoring it in an effort to get people into nature. Anyway I got about 12 to 14 temporary caches that we will be planting along a trail. More on that later.

So I’ve had a busy week, how about you? I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

Our World – Geocaching Fall Fest

This past weekend was the annual Fall Fest for the Tulsa Area Geocachers (“TAG”) at Lake Bixhoma. Usually it is a multi day affair with camping and catered meals but this year it was an abbreviated one day affair. No camping, bring your own food, etc. I was busy with flooring and wall repair contractors so I was very late getting out there.

So here is proof that I can be social. I’m on the far left with two other geocachers. Yep, there was a cache on that dock.

In addition to meeting people, the big thing at Fall Fest is all the temporary geocacaches that people put out. There are typically dozens of them. I only saw a few. You will never see caches like this “in the wild” because they would be muggled in no time. (Muggles are people who are not geocachers, muggling is vandalism by muggles.)

Many of them involve puzzles or riddles to solve. Me and another guy had worked on this one for a while and the young man showed up and solved it in no time.

This was a pinball type cache where you had to notice numbers that were revealed as the ball fell down to solve a code.

And there were some water caches you could use a kayak to go find it. It was cold so I declined.

And then you had some more straightforward ones that even I could find.

I didn’t join the big group, I said hello to a few people and then found a trail around the lake. Social Distancing!

It was cold and overcast but still pretty in my book.

Bits of Fall Color were present. And then I went home!!

LJ the Cat, and Rascal enjoying the new floors

Come to find out that while I was off at the lake, the flooring guys knocked off early and my wife reclaimed our living room and master bedroom. We had been living upstairs during the time they were working downstairs and it was nice to have a couple rooms back. Our dogs and cats were highly stressed and they were glad to have Saturday afternoon and Sunday without being locked up with all the banging and other noises going on.

Abby loves the contractors. They give her belly rubs in the morning and evening but she slept almost all day Sunday.

Lizzie camped out in the master bedroom.

That’s about it this weekend.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Remodeling Etc

Lots going on at our house these days. We are doing a “refresh” new floors and pant mainly. Last week the tile demo guy showed up and wow, what a mess and what hard work!! One guy showed up and worked from morning until night with no breaks.

First he had to take all the tile up and then the “grinding” where he ground the mortar off the floor. Noisy and dusty. And guess what he had to stop halfway through the second day because his wife was having a baby. So he was gone that day, missed the next day and showed back up the day after that. We wouldn’t have minded if he took a few more days off. I am sure that he has no benefits and no time off. We really do live in separate worlds in the USA. Those of us that have benefits and time off live one way and millions don’t have that. That being said, I am in awe of the guys work ethic.

The noise was huge! Our two dogs and cats are traumatized. I am as well.

So Saturday while that was going on we had a garage sale. We are really trying to declutter drastically and change the way we do things. We even sold our Christmas Trees. We got rid of almost everything in the garage. We met a lot of people. I met one of our neighbors. She was from Vietnam. She came first then over the years she brought seven of her brothers and sisters over (all legal! she said). They all live within a couple blocks of each other. They all showed up and chatted and bought some of our stuff. Really nice people. Our world is changing before our eyes.

Except nobody wanted Heather’s Windsor Bears. Anyway, it was great but stressful. Meanwhile the tile guy completed his work so Heather and I dusted, swept, dusted, and vacuumed for hours. The grinding made everything gritty despite the fans in the doors and the open windows, and the plastic sheeting covering everything. (Our air conditioning guy said to not run the A/C or heating to avoid damage so we didn’t but the weather was cool) I think that we’ll be working on the cleanup for a while. So this week, new tile, new laminate!!

So Sunday was a regroup day. I went geocaching and had a lot of fun going down the lonely trails and abandoned roads.

I even found a geocache in a dog park featuring this statue. What kind of dog is this to you? It looks to me kind of like a gorilla, but what do I know?

So how has your week been?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday.