Tag Archives: Murder

Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain Hike of Mysteries

About a week and a half ago, on a sunday on the final day of Oklahoma’s spring break I went to Turkey Mountain for a hike. Spring break means busy!! So I started at the very northwest end of Turkey Mountain at the YMCA. No crowds there!!! Just badge in, if you are a member, or pay a small day fee and go.

I saw more people than usual but many less than if I had gone to the main Turkey Mountain parking lots. The Y’s trails and Turkey Mountain’s interconnect.

I was looking for some structures built by the mountain bikers maybe about 20 years ago plus or minus. They made some pretty incredible biking structures. They are in ruins now.

Back in the day, Turkey Mountain was a no mans land. Did these guys and gals get permission and permits and submit plans and such. Nope they just brought a bunch of lumber out and built it, and experimented and modified as time went by. Them mountain bikers are a hardy bunch. When a call goes out for help on a trail work day they show up in droves ready to work. Hikers and trailrunners not so much.

I found a pipeline owned by one of my previous employers. Companies wouldn’t build in such a manner these days. Boring technology has got so good they would just bore under it. They now bore way under archeological sites now. Solves all sorts of problems with mitigation and such.

And then Pepsi Lake. Pepsi Bottling company had a bunch of truck chassis’s on the dam and Turkey Mountain people called and asked if they could move them and away they went in a couple of days. Nobody knows why they were there to begin with.


The Mexican Plum blooms were out.

From there I went just north to Mooser Creek. It forms the northern boundary of Turkey Mountain. The Turkey Mountain people say that Mooser Creek is how beavers get to and from Turkey Mountain.

So here is looking north from Mooser Creek. This used to be the main entrance to Turkey Mountain back in the day. I used to park there every now and the but Pepsi has kind of taken it over. This another mystery of Turkey Mountain. Nine years ago a couple hikers found a human skull right where I was standing to take this photo. The police said that it had probably been there two years or so. Whenever I am in this area I always expect that I’ll find a rib or something. Not today though.

What I did though was notice that the pipeline company had cleared their right of way on the south side of Mooser Creek headed east. So I walked down it. I had never been down that way before. First thing was I saw this bicycle basket hanging from a tree.

And evidence of busy beavers. The area was more expansive than I had thought. Lots of evidence of old homeless camps.

Got as far as I could go without swimming. The hairs on the back of my head were standing straight up and although it was a pretty scene I retraced my steps back.

Later on in the hike I went on the top of the cliffs. This is a photo of all the trucks at the Pepsi Bottling Plant. It is a huge facility.

And then later on passed again the deep hole in the ground with the camo ductwork coming out. Who knows what you would find down there. There have been other deep holes found on the mountain. Speculation is that people were digging for Spainish gold. Apparently there was a guy back in 70’s selling treasure maps.

And I found this downed electric pole out in the middle of nowhere. Way back when the mountain had small ranches and farms on it and a lot of oil wells. People lived up there and it had a quite an outlaw reputation with moonshine stills and such.

I also found this hole lined with rock. I have no explanation. It would take a lot of work to build this. Tulsa gets so much rain that any hole you dig is going to be quite muddy much of the year.

And right next to it was this foundation. I don’t have a clue what it is for.

And not far away found this thing that looked almost like a burial marker. I didn’t turn it over. I was afraid I would see an inscriptions kind of like, “Here lies the body of a nosey photoblogger..”

And then I went back to the Y. I only covered 2.9 miles but I saw a lot of stuff.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Our World – Oklahoma’s Historic Fort Reno


Officer’s Quarters

Fort Reno is located about a half hour west of Oklahoma City just off Interstate 40.  I have been driving past it off and on for about 30 years and always wanted to go see it but you know I was always busy and in a hurry. Superbowl Sunday I said what the heck I’m stopping. Son Logan was with me and he didn’t really care as long as it was not geocaching. He hates doing that.


Cavalry Barracks

So I checked it out. Fort Reno was established by the US Army in 1875 to help control the Native American’s in the area during  the Indian Wars. The post was abandoned in 1907 but stayed in service for the Army as a Remount Facility for horse breeding until 1949.  The Fort has a bunch of old buildings and I’ll be making several more posts of my visit there in the coming weeks.


Close by is the Fort Cemetery. I found this grave of Corporal Pat Lynch who died in the Battle of Turkey Springs in 1878. That battle was the last fight in then “Indian Territory” now Oklahoma between the US Cavalry and the Native Americans. Guess what, the Native Americans won. Check out the details here. Better than any movie is what I think. The Northern Cheyenne were trying to get back to their lands in Montana and fought the US Cavalry all through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska during their flight. It didn’t end well. 


Fort Reno was a prisoner of war camp during World War II and the Fort Cemetery has many graves of German soldiers. Most of them died in other prison camps and were interred there and then reinterred at Fort Reno after the war. The man above is the most famous German POW buried at Fort Reno. He was held at another POW camp in Oklahoma, the Tonkawa Camp. While there he was accused by some hard core Nazi prisoners of being an informer and was beaten to death. The five who killed him were tried and convicted by the US Army for murder and then were executed by hanging at a makeshift gallows in an elevator shaft of a grain elevator at Fort Leavenworth Kansas. Their execution was delayed until the surrender of Germany to the Allies in order to avoid Germany from executing American prisoners in retribution. There are two books about this, “Extreme Justice” by Vince Green is a novel by Vince Green written in 1995 and “The Killing of Corporal Kunze” is a non-fiction book published in 1981 by Wilma Parnell. Both book are on Amazon for under a dollar plus three times that shipping.


And there were a few graves of Italian POW’s. 


And I love serendipity. As Logan and I were leaving the cemetery I saw this old barn on the outskirts of the Fort and I so I drove up and took a picture of it. Later that night I posted it on a Facebook Group “Forgotten Oklahoma” as kind of an open ended post. Turns out that several people knew all about it. It was Mule Barn Number Three and was heavily damaged in the last tornado that came through the area in 2013. Further, the US Cavalry Association is raising money to restore the barn.

President John F. Kennedy

Courtesy of the US Embassy of New Delhi of all places on Flickr (click on photo for full license info). Trying to find third party photos to post without running afoul of copyright matters is a devil.

Fort Reno bred at least one famous horse. Black Jack, the riderless horse in John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession was foaled at Fort Reno. Black Jack did that funeral gig and those of Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson and thousands of other funerals during his 24 year career. He was laid to rest with full military honors in 1976 and is buried on the parade ground of Fort Myers.

The next little tidbit of information that I am trying to verify is that the sire of the famous Depression era  racehorse Seabiscuit spent time at Fort Reno.  The horse’s name is Hard Tack. The US Cavalry Association headquartered at the Fort has a photograph of him at the base. I am still trying to find out more about that.

Anyways, what I thought was just an old barn turned out to be quite historic.  I love that kind of stuff.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday