Tag Archives: My Corner of the World

Tulsa’s Backyard Blaze Trail Race – 2024 Edition

As reported earlier I walked/trotted a 5K race on June 1 here in Tulsa: The Backyard Trail Race at the Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. That Y calls themselves, Tulsa’s Backyard, and if you have been there you can see why. It is a beautiful Y situated on the edge of an Urban Wilderness. Tulsa RiverParks, who administers the Turkey Mountain Wilderness Area, call themselves “Tulsa’s Front Yard.” So now you know that Tulsa has both a front and a back yard. And sorry, I haven’t even started the post yet. I am already way off topic.

The Y has a lot going on. A huge deluxe swimming pool, sports areas, splash pads, a gym, a ropes course, kayaking, fishing, hiking. They got it all going on.

And a really nice lodge with offices, reception, and checking in a large multipurpose room, verandas. It’s great.

And a really nice scenic pond.

There was a light cool fog in the area that morning.

And then we had the start for everybody. I’m not sure how many raced. Not that many but those that did had a good time. I stood right by the starting line and took this video. When I was done I stepped to the left and crossed the start line myself.

By that time, everybody was way ahead of me.

Didn’t bother me in the least. Do I look bothered?

So I got to hike by myself during the cool morning. I trotted the sections that were smooth, flat and slightly downhill.

Don’t you just love a twisty turny trail in the woods? I do.

We went through a small meadow.

And alongside some pipeline construction. The original route went on the right of way but had to be rerouted during construction. Trail race organizers have to be flexible that way. No whiny babies. It turns out that my most recent employer was letting my previous employer use their right of way for the their own pipeline after they lost their right of way due to some highway construction. Tell you what, when I was still working we talked cooperation but we didn’t do it. You would just string it out until they figured out something else in pure desperation. In the Oklahoma natural gas industry you had to have sharp elbows. It was rough!! Now I guess everybody is holding hands and singing Kumbaya. I don’t quite believe that and I don’t think you should either. And here I am digressing again.

Anyways, I digress, We started at the north end of the photo above and headed south. You can see the big mix master we went through in the middle before we headed back. I passed a few people so I didn’t finish last. The main thing is that I finished, vertically. I didn’t have to crawl past the finish line.

I got myself a bottle of water and a pancake. I could have had more but all I wanted was one.

And they had some decent swag: A nice shirt and a wooden branded in medal. I am not a fan of medals but I like this one. I’m using it for a bookmark. People are all wound up about race medals now days. Hey give me a nice tee shirt and I am happy.

I’ll be back next year if the run this race again. It is a great, well run, race with a wonderful vibe.

I’m linking with My Corner of the World.

Skywatching and Other Watching

I launched my drone the other day and went up 50 meters over the back yard. We had a little color for the sunset, not much, but some great clouds.

Sunday morning I went geocaching up in the Tulsa suburb of Catoosa. Came across this ammonia plant. I’m a chemical engineer so I like this kind of thing plus they use lots of natural gas both as a feedstock and for fuel for their processes.

Also in Catoosa, there are lots of pecan orchards up there. People hide geocaches near them and deer like to graze in the grass underneath. That is all coming to a screeching halt soon. They are subdividing this huge orchard. Makes me want to cry.

Went on a walk around Tulsa’s Lafortune Park. A big sprawling park that incorporates a high school and their various ball fields, a regular and par three golf course, several little league baseball fields, an American Legion baseball field, this high school baseball field as well as a softball diamond for the women, a public library, some gardens, an indoor and outdoor tennis complex, a public swimming pool, some great picnic areas and wonderful playparks for kids, and a three mile long walking/running path winding around all these facilities. I love it. Great photo ops.

Still at Lafortune, I love construction equipment.

A pond,

And lastly at Lafortune. My favorite moose.

My wife and I took a 2.7 mile hike at Turkey Mountain. Went by the hub, the highest point on Turkey Mountain. It’s about 300 feet above the lowest point on Turkey Mountain but hey it has a great view.

Looking Happy at the Start!

I ran a 5K trail race on Turkey Mountain last Saturday. When I say I ran it, I meant I walked it although I did trot some of the flat slightly downhill segments. I started out in last place but I passed a lot of people during the course of the race. Funny thing is that when I finished the race there were people already there who I had passed. I didn’t care but that happens in these races sometimes. Nobody cares especially since it wasn’t anybody who was in contention to place. I’ll have a separate post about the race later. Maybe.

So that is about it for this week. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World

Beavers Bend State Park Getaway 2024

Last week we went to southeast Oklahoma’s Beavers Bend State Park for a few nights. So we had only two full days and we packed a lot of fun during that time. Two hikes, a kayak ride, several dog walks and lots of sitting by the fire, making smores, grilling burgers, playing cornhole, and sitting in the hot tub.

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The first hike was along the Mountain Fork River below the Broken Bow dam on what I think was an old logging road.

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It was kind of fun paralleling the river.

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The farther we went the smaller the trail became. It ends at about 1.5 miles in so it makes a good out and back route of about three miles.

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The second hike was alongside the Broken Bow Lake formed by the dam. It was also fun.

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Toe Cam!!

And we went for a short kayak paddle on the Mountain Fork River just below the dam. I’m not much a kayaker but I was able to handle the little rapids they had right at first (most would call those rapids a ripple). It was calm water and there were not many people.

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It was a very calm time.

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It made for some great reflections.

You may notice however that I blew out the sky on these photos. Sorry excuse for Skywatch Friday, right! I have the technology to put whatever sky I want on but that seems like cheating. And you know here at Skywatch Friday, we are very inclusive our various skies, even the ones blown out by untalented amateurs.

Gray skies and all we had a great time.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World.

Tired on the Trails – Work Day on Turkey Mountain

Last Saturday a good sized group got together early on Turkey Mountain here in Tusla for a work day. On the agenda was lots of lopping of trees and shrubs along the trail and for the hale and hearty guys and gals some heavy duty dirt work. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and the RiverParks Authority were over the project.

(Note: TUWC photo from their facebook site.)

Me and two others grabbed loppers and headed out to our designated trails. It was hard work especially as the day warmed up and humidity rose.

We ended up lopping on over three miles of trail. Everybody else was tired and satisfied with the work they had done. It was a good day on the mountain.

Linking with My Corner of the World

My World – Mall Walking

We have had some rainy weather here in Tulsa lately. To get some exercise I like to use sustainable trails but I hate getting wet so I went mall walking. Nothing more sustainable than that.

I love carousels. I’ve been taking photos of this for years.

One thing I noticed is that the mall has gotten rid of a bunch of kiosks. Fine by me. They started appearing back in the 90’s and they transformed the spaces from being light and airy to a feeling of being all closed in. Plus some of the vendors were too aggressive. I hate that. I understand the rents were sky high and they had to get a pay out. Anyway, most of the kiosks are gone and I love it. They do have things on display though. Fine with me. Anybody want a golf cart.

I love how department stores arrange their merchandise. At least the good department stores. I loved this colorful display.

Tesla has a car on display. I love taking photos of Teslas and posting them on car groups on facebook. Most of those people hate Teslas and go on and on about how terrible they are, and I laugh and laugh at them. I don’t have an opinion on Teslas. I am not convinced that I need an electric vehicle yet. I’d sure look into a plug-in hybrid for my next car.

We finally have a lego store!! I love lego stores.

I love fiesta ware also. Great thing about stores is that I can enjoy looking at their products without having to take them home.

I love Psychobunny merchandise. The thing is that it is never on sale. Every once in while I see some of their stuff on steep discount at Nordstrom Rack.

I love Thomas the Tank Engine stuff also. We have a whole bunch up in the attic. When Logan was a little kid he played with it a lot. I played with it a lot more. I’m saving it for my dotage years.

I ended my mall walk in the parking lot. This was parked next to me. I love it.

About an hour, two plus miles, stayed dry. Didn’t buy anything. Nice mall walk. Make fun of me if you want. I don’t care.

I’m am linking with My Corner of the World.

My Corner – Is a Small Corner – Filling in the Gaps

On Earth Day, I manned a table at Tulsa’s Chandler Park giving out information about Earth Day, and Leave No Trace Principles and what our organization, the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition is about and what we are doing.

A couple of days later I was downtown at Tulsa’s Guthrie Green during a recycling event basically doing something similar.

They entertainment and games and all that.

Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw this.

A Tesla CyberTruck!!

Your regular car people hate this thing and hold in disdain. I thought it was beautiful. Zero to 60 mph is 2.6 seconds gets my attention. Also 11,000 pounds of towing capacity. Range of 340 miles.

I could never get a feel for the truck just looking at photos. In real life it is a very tough looking vehicle.

And a huge bed. Big enough for 4’x8′ building materials. The bed is a composite material so you don’t need a bed liner.

The interior is very simple, clean and spacious.

You have a very small simple steering wheel with no stalks for turn signals and all that. Those controls are on the wheel. You got this huge screen with everything else you need. I was impressed with the vehicle. The electric vehicle haters especially hate this thing. If somebody gave me one, I’d take it.

I have already converted my lawnmower to electric battery type. My very reliable, heavy duty gas powered mower finally seized up this year after 20 years so I bought electric. I’m happy with it!! Less than half the weight, no oil, no gas, no spark plug, no changing filters. My new mower is very lightweight and makes mowing a breeze and I can mow the whole yard using less than half the charging capacity. I didn’t try to get the best, I intentionally looked for the lowest cost, with the least problems that could mow my 1/5th of an acre lot.

It’s not going to last near as long as my old gas mower. Plastic mower deck is not going to last very long I am afraid. Oh well.

I found this beautiful blue Toyota Landcruiser at my brother’s apartment parking lot. Back in the I really coveted these things. Tough looking, cool. You grow up though and look for something else. When I was a kid we lived in the White Mountains of Arizona. My dad was transferred there as part of his job with the Forest Service. One of his coworkers joined the Forest Service kind of late in life (Probably he was fifteen to twenty years younger than I am now!) He and his wife were very nice, generous, cool people. Earlier in his life he was an actor in Hollywood. He specialized in being one of a group of bad guys. He worked some on the Lone Ranger television shows. How cool is that to a kid!! Anyway he and his wife on weekends would load up their Toyota Landcruiser and drive all over the National Forest, adjacent BLM land, and other places. No instagram back in the day so they did it all for their own enjoyment. Whenever I see a Landcruiser, I think of them.

I found a truck at the gym that the Cybertruck haters would love. A massive Ford F-150 with a two tone paint job and a cool Black Widow logo. Sorry, I should have got a photo of the logo. This thing is beautiful.

I’ll stick with my humble Subaru though. For as long as it will last. It does everything I want it to do. Want to know something funny, half the vehicles at the enviro events I attend are Subarus. Here it is parked in a place I am not supposed to be in to look for a geocache. Sunday morning I went to Sapulpa, OK to look around.

This was the first cache I found. It was kind of a clever installation. What nearly got me though was the cache container was full of ants. Little buggers, just waiting for me! You can see one crawling out of the container in the video. His friends followed.

In addition to the geocaches I found I checked out old and new Route 66 landmarks. The Tee-Pee Drive in was an old drive-in that was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Somebody bought it, fixed it up really nice and put this new sign up. It is not a neon sign, it is an LED sign, Bigger, better, and uses less electricity.

This is the old Rock Creek Bridge. It is a major route 66 stop but it can no longer carry traffic. At least they haven’t torn it down yet. You can still walk across it. It is not blocking Route 66. The new Route 66 is just a hundred feet or so to the right going across a modern bridge. What you have to understand about Route 66 is that it is not just one road. It is a living road and has been modernized and rerouted continuously since it started. The different routes are called alignments. Exploring some of the old alignments can be fn

Those are some of the original pavers from the when bridge was put up in the early part of the last century.

So I puttered around a few hours and went on home!!

So that is filling in some of the gaps in My Corner of the World.

My Corner – Photowalking Lafortune Park

The other day I was feeling a little owly at the end of the day so I grabbed a camera and headed to Tulsa’s Lafortune Park to walk around it. They have a nice walking track of about three miles which is just right. It winds around a library, a high school, gardens, two golf courses, baseball fields, ponds, and several playgrounds. It’s a popular spot for walking or running in Tulsa and there is always something to see.

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The high school has this geodesic dome. I don’t know what they use it for but it is a cool sight.

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They also have this sailboat parked next to their band trailer. The boat never moves. I don’t know what the story is.

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I captured this golfer out playing a few holes. Back in the day I used to pack up my clubs and go play some. Lots of fun but it takes too much time for me. I already have too many hobbies. Plus I never was any good. I love watching the game on television.

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I ran into this trio of friends. They asked if I would take their photo so I did and sent it to them. They said they were going to get enlarged copies for their rooms. It was one of those nice interactions on the trail.

And the back side of a public library. I love the big glass windows and swooping roofline.

So I would have to say that I had a good walk. I captured more images of animals and I’ll be sharing those on Saturday’s Critters later.

My Corner of the World.

To Space and then Back to Earth

Earlier this week I headed out to the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow to find a specialized geocache. It was a space based Adventure Lab Cache. No container to find, just information you need to look up. It was at the Voyage Solar System Walkway. A collection of displays set up along a street showing the relative sizes and distances of the planets to the sun.

Here is the sun, looks like an overgrown basketball.

Just a few feet away is Earth. Barely bigger than a pin prick and its even smaller moon.

And 2000 feet down the street, all by itself, is Pluto. Stripped of planet status recently but still proud.

And I got a virtual postcard proving that I found it. If only virtual anything proves anything. The installation starts at an elementary school which I think is great.

And I went hiking recently on Turkey Mountain. This flyover are still scary to me. They are not for hikers, they are for bicyclists. They really do fly over them. I think all that steel would hurt if you fell off your bike.

My sister and her husband came to town. We had a fun time. One day we went Woolaroc, wildlife preserve and art museum started by Oklahoma oilman Frank Phillips who started Phillips 66 Petroleum way back when. We saw some bison and other critters. My sister is a former Park Ranger at Yellowstone so it is kind of hard to impress her.

The liked the art a lot. Lots of western artists works are hanging at Woolaroc.

I love this stained glass window.

We went to the nearby town of Bartlesville to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower. Built for a pipeline construction company, H.C. Price who did a lot of work for Phillips 66.

BIL Irv got his photo with a big 66.

Sister Ellen did as well.

I did several years ago when I turned 66 years old.

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And a few years before that I got my brother Bob’s photo on his 66th birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, I had one early this month. You can tell I am getting kind of old. I just started my 70th year.

As a treat Heather and Logan took me to see the the Van Gogh Immersion exhibit here in Tulsa. It was very cool.

And I got a cornhole game. Stop by if you are in town we’ll have some beverages and play a few games.

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And I end with yet another Lego animal from the Tulsa Botanic Garden.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World. Thank you for stopping by!

Trails to Tulips!

Went on a hike on Turkey Mountain this week. (Like almost all weeks)

Checked out the new trail construction going on at the “String of Pearls.” Three ponds that used to be inaccessible because of thick shrubs and thorns.

Checked out the panoramic view at “The Hub” – the highest point on Turkey Mountain and has several trails going in and several going out including two wicked bicycle downhill runs.

We had a decent sunrise the house the other day.

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I went to Philbrook Museum’s gardens and checked out the tulips.

And a perfectly formed maple tree.

Made a photo of tulips, a redbud tree, the Tempietto, and the sky.

I told my wife Heather all about it.

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So I came back with her the very next day.

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The tulips and everything else and more was still there.

Son Logan came with us and we checked out the Cabin.

And had some ice cream at a nearby place. A good time was had by all.

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And yet another Lego critter, this time a zebra from our earlier trip to the Tulsa Botanic Garden.

Sharing on Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World

Working and Enjoying

I have been busy. I love being busy. Especially being retired and doing the things I want to do.

I went out to Turkey Mountain and checked out the new board walk they installed over the western rock faces of the mountain. This is an area called Rock City and I love how they put the walk right in and over the boulders using cedar that was cut on the mountain.

It is a small network of new trails interconnecting with two trails, one on top of the rock faces and one below. I bet it would be fun on a bicycle. It looks like they put a mesh on top of the cedar to add a little traction for the bikes. You slip off the wood on a bike it would ruin your whole day. Me and gravity are not friends these days so I will never take my bike across this.

I ventured back to the parking lot on the Tiger Muffin trail. It’s the trail name for a friend of mine.

Last Saturday I put my cold weather gear on and joined a bunch of people from the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and Bike Club to clean up a trail called Mooser Creek Greenway. It had a lot of tree falls from Tulsa’s Father’s Day windstorm last year. The trails were cleared back then but a lot of the downed were a little unsightly. Plus there is a never ending chore of repairing erosion and wet spots on trails.

So I helped clear the limbs and trunks that were being cut up by people with chain saws.

I love the trail work days. Tulsa really responds to stuff like that and all sorts of people show up to help. I got a promotion with the Wilderness Coalition. I am now the Vice President of Government Affairs. My trail job didn’t change much. Moving limbs and cut up trunks off the trail is what I do along with whatever else needs doing.

Later that day Heather and I went out to the Tulsa Botanic Garden to check out the flowers and new projects.

They have added an event space in the middle of the pond. They are also converting some wild land they had into an arboretum. They have done a good job adding onto the gardens and it is getting more and more settled as time goes on.

The tulips put on a quite a show. Last year when we went some deer had gone into the gardens ate a bunch of the tulips and other plants.

They also had Lego animals scattered around the garden. I love this woodpecker.

And I always love redbuds. The Eastern Redbud is the State Tree of Oklahoma.

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The Daffodils were putting on a show even though their time is short.

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This was my favorite tulip. It looked black in the sun but is actually a deep purple. This one is the only one I spotted.

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And to end up, we had an almost full moon the other day. I captured the image in the late afternoon so it was almost a daytime moon. I love the moon in all its presentations but I especially love a good daytime moon.

So what have you been up to?

I am linking with Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World.