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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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?
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I am an active geocacher. (Check what geocaching is here and here.) It is a scavenger hunt using a GPS device (or the gps function of your smart phone) to find objects hidden in the world by other people. To me it is an interesting combination of the physical world with the online realm with a significant social component. I have hidden over twenty caches and have found close to 1800 in the years I have been doing it.
Often geocachers use the game to bring attention to significant spaces such as works of art, special outdoor areas, and historical items. I noticed that somebody had placed a cache close to Tulsa with a reference to Blue Duck’s grave site. That immediately got my attention. The Blue Duck I was thinking about was the character in Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove” series of books. So I went to find the cache and see the grave site.
I didn’t find the cache but I found the grave of Bluford Duck. Born in 1858 into the Cherokee tribe he was already an outlaw in the 1870’s in Oklahoma Territory, cattle rustling, bank robbing, and horse stealing was his trade. In 1884 he and two of his compadres killed a farmer named Samuel Wyrich for no reason. Duck was apprehended and sentenced to die by hanging by the Hanging Judge, Isaac Parker, of Forth Smith, Arkansas. His sentence was later commuted to Life in prison. He got tuberculosis in prison and was released and died soon thereafter in 1895 and buried in this humble cemetery in the Tulsa suburb of Catoosa.
Besides being a “notorious outlaw” (are not all old west outlaws, “notorious”), Duck’s claim to fame was being romantically involved with Belle Starr, another “notorious outlaw.”
And here are the love birds. (Note the manacles on Duck’s wrists.) You can tell he is an outlaw because he is wearing a black hat. He is an attractive looking guy though. Starr though looks a little rough in my opinion. (I’d of never told her that to her face you understand. Notorious outlaws are a little twitchy about stuff like that.)
Larry McMurty’s character, Blue Duck, has no relation to the Cherokee Blue Duck besides being “notorious outlaws.” McMurty’s Blue Duck is combined Mexican and Comanche descent and killed a lot more than one person. From what I read, there is no evidence that McMurtry even knew about the Oklahoma Blue Duck. But hey, he might have. Blue Duck is a great name for an outlaw especially the notorious kind.
I love finding stuff like this that helps make history more real. My favorite is from a German POW’s grave at Fort Reno, Oklahoma that I just randomly googled and found out he, Johannes Kunze, was murdered by his fellow POWs for being a snitch. The Germans were prosecuted for the crime during the war by Leon Jaworski, who later led the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Read the post here.
Have you ever found the grave of somebody who is “almost famous.”
This past weekend I helped build a Butterfly Garden on Turkey Mountain. It was part of an annual event called Monarchs on the Mountain. This year, for safety, it was scattered all over town. Families could reserve a time spot to help with the garden. It was great seeing all the little kids excited about digging and planting stuff.
I helped taking out the bermuda grass. I was sore all over at the end of my not very long shift. Anyway, we ended planting a lot of plants. They lady leading the effort was great. She told the children that this was their garden now so come check on it. One child asked if they could add to it and was told, yes, just make sure the plant is native to Oklahoma because we don’t water, fertilize or spray these plants so they have be hardy enough to survive on their own.
We are getting a little of the fire haze from California. My heart goes out to the residents there. What a nightmare.
I’ve been riding my bicycle up and down the trails on the RiverParks. No road crossings!!
Fire Station number 9 here in Tulsa is sponsoring this geocache. It’s a gadget cache which means that it is easy to find and hard to get into to sign the log. This one requires tools, but it provides the tools, so first you have to figure out how to get the tools, and then what to do with them then. I loved it.
As part of a solving a geocaching puzzle I had the opportunity to view some of the famous people buried at Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery. It was really kind of interesting so who was buried there.
Firsts up is Roy Clark. Those of a certain age, remember him in the television weekly comedy music show Hee Haw back in the 70’s. He was a great performer and projected a warmth while performing. He had hits on both the country and pop charts and was known as a great musician. He didn’t grow up in Tulsa but he called Tulsa home.
And then Bob Wills, the godfather of everything musical in Tulsa and a co-founder of country swing music.
He played for years at Cain’s Ballroom here in Tulsa which is still a music hall with quite a full schedule. His ghost is said to reside there.
Leon Russell had the most elaborate monument and had coins, rocks, and other mementos from his fans on the front. (Roy Clark had coins on the back ledge of his monument for some reason.) He was active for over 60 years. Elton John called him a mentor. He was enrolled in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
He played with Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, and others he is a legend.
Underneath one of the benches at his grave site sits a hat like the ones he used to wear.
And Sam Kinison. He was one mixed up dude. Lots of talent and very outrageous. Watch the following video at your own risk!
Strangely enough he started out in life as a Pentecostal Preacher and had to quit because he wasn’t making enough money. He went into comedy and got several big breaks.
Oral Roberts, the father of the “Name it, Claim it” Prosperity Gospel is buried in a common grave next to his wife.
He might be the most recognized preacher in history. He was an innovator in several fronts, with his prosperity gospel, tele-evangelism, and was founder of Oral Roberts University which is still going on although they separated from the family years ago. He was a character.
His life and ministry is still a conundrum to me. On the one hand he appears to have been a bit of a huckster. On the other hand, his University has done a lot of good. He was colorful, I’ll give you that.
And so that concludes my tour of the Cemetery. I love cemeteries. I google names on the tombstones and you would be surprised how much information is available. For instance I saw a gravestone for a man and wife and it just had birth dates and no end dates. I googled the names and found out that yes, they died but are buried in another cemetery. I am not going to name them because it happened pretty recently and I think I am friends with one of their offspring. So what’s the deal, why would somebody order a double gravestone in advance of the need and have it installed?
This last guy is my favorite. Waymon Tisdale was a basketball player who played at the University of Oklahoma and later in the NBA. He quit basketball after twelve years in the NBA to concentrate on his first love, music. He played bass guitar in a smooth jazz band that he led. My wife and I used to go to a Jazz Festival here in Tulsa where Tisdale frequently played and he radiated such a friendliness and warmth from the stage and was totally approachable and well grounded.
He and his family lived in a house not far from where we lived at the time. In fact I would go running by his house in the early morning and it was pretty cool. They had young kids and a huge play area for them. It was nice but not superstar gazillionaire nice. His diagnosis with cancer and subsequent early death was a huge tragedy. I still don’t get how somebody so alive can be so dead.
Sorry, I didn’t intend for this to be so long but here it is. It could have been longer, especially if I had elaborated on some of the more entertaining tales of Oral Roberts.
We had a full moon just before Christmas. Usually known as the Cold Moon. I found a new name that I like, “Moon Before Yule.” It was bright, silvery, and beautiful here in Oklahoma.
Also just before Christmas we had dinner with some friends and then went to Tulsa’s superb Gathering Place to check out the Christmas lights. We missed the lights but just walking through the place is great. Aboveis the Williams Lodge.
I’m continuing my geocaching trying to get to 2000 before year end 2019. I am finding myself in very out of the way places like the remote cemetery above where my only company was a few deer. We had a standoff for literally a minute or two with them and standing motionless until, I was like, okay you win and waved my arms and off they ran.
My brother drove over from Tennessee for Christmas and we are having a good visit and sharing Christmas with him. Its always nice to have family and consider ourselves blessed that we can be together.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!