Tag Archives: Our World Tuesday

Playing MacGyver out in the Woods

MacGyver was a television show back in the 1980’s and1990’s that featured a private eye who improvised all sorts of tools to get him and his friends out of bad situations.

Friday I started down this trail in south Tulsa. I was looking for a geocache with multiple steps that promised that one would have to use some MacGyver skills to find. I was sorely prepared. All I had with me was a pen. I even left my swiss army knife home. In other words you have to find intermediate steps before you get the cache. These are called multi-caches. I started on this one in August of 2020 but couldn’t find the first step. The cache owner (“CO”) gave me a clue. I held off until Friday. With the clue I found the first step. It had a device that if properly worked would give me the second stage.

Taking the results I walked another half mile and the coordinates I had would put the second stage in the middle of a gated apartment community. Oops!! So I walked the half mile back to the first step and checked my manipulations and yep, I messed up.

So off I went bushwhacking through the woods. November is a great time for bushwhacking. August, no so much. I ended up finding the second stage. I could see the container but I could not get to it so I had to improvise using what was available at hand. I’m not showing the details out of courtesy to the cache owner and other people who go look for it. Anyway, my improvisation worked and I had to go bushwhacking a long ways to go not very far.

This isn’t the cache but I thought it was. It is a very heavy battery abandoned out in the woods. It’s too heavy to carry out so I am trying to figure out how to get it out to a recycling center. It still has lead in it which is awful for the environment. So I am pondering what to do about this.

I did find the container but I needed a code to open it. The CO sent me the code because I was too much of a simpleton to figure it out on my own. Then even with the code I had too look up on youtube how to open the thing. I am not showing the container, again out of courtesy to the owners of the cache. The video shows everything in the area of the cache, except for the cache.

I opened it up and looked at the log and I was surprised to see that I was the first person since 2017 to find the thing. In fact there have been only three finders since 2014. I love caches like this.

Number 2008 for me, but who is counting?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday. Come join in!!

Curious about geocaching? Check out this short video.

2021 Tulsa Run 5K Race

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.

Alan Paula and Melissa at 2021 Tulsa Run
Photo stolen from Paula’s facebook account

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.

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And an aerial from Garmin on my run.

Tulsa Run 5K 2021 Finisher Certificate
And my official by gum Finisher Certificate

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.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Come join in.

2021 Tulsa Oktoberfest

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.

Horse collage

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.

I’m linking with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday. Come join in the fun!!

Mosaic Monday – Butterflies & More at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

Butterfly Collage
Butterflies from the Tulsa Botanic Garden. My very first mosaic made in photoshop. I promise I will get better.

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.

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Nucklehead pumpkins at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

The previous day, we were overwhelmed by what happened on the way home. In fact, about a block from where we live.

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They had a scarecrow contest. Heather and I both voted for this one.

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.

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More knucklehead pumpkins.

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.

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A persimmon grove. Over 100 years old, all these trees are connected via their roots. In other words, all these trees are the same tree.

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.

A giant Oak tree. there is Heather off to the left.

Most people were just sliding by in their cars. Not stopping but getting a good look.

Heather on the trail. We both love the trails out in the woods.

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.

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Lots of butterflies!

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.

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They had a scarecrow contest.

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.

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This was Heather and I’s favorites.

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.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday and with Mosaic Monday. Come join the parties!

Our World – Philbrook Flowers and Reflections

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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.

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The pond makes for some nice reflections.

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I love all the flowers at Philbrook.

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On another water body, Crow Creek, which winds through the property, there are lots of turtles.

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And another flowers.

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An invitation to look for a stone flower.

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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?

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Give it a try!

Our World – My Toes in the Water…

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Here’s my toes during our recent vacation. I didn’t actually get a photo of them actually in the water.

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Here’s a beer in my hand, cans only, no glass allowed on the beach.

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How do you like my waterproof Kindle? 11 years old, hundreds of books and still going strong.

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.

Our World – Union Pacific’s Big Boy Goes on Tour

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?

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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.

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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.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday. Check it out!!

Here are some other good links

Big Boy’s Wikipedia Page

Facts and Figures on 4014

UP’s Press Release on the Tour

Schedule and Map of the Tour

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

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 – Deer on Turkey Mountain

The other day I went for a hike on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area. Last time I was out I followed trails on the east side overlooking the Arkansas River. This time I took the west side trails.

I checked out the new trail segment that I helped build in early April along with a bunch of other people.

I got down close to the YMCA and turned back. I got along a segment paralleling 61st street thinking that that was the place to see deer. I looked up and there were two of them. I hardly ever see them in broad daylight.

We stayed there looking at each other for a couple minutes and they had enough and went on. Seeing deer on Turkey Mountain is a rare thing since the area became popular after a dipweed shopping center developer proposed an outlet mall on the mountain. (They dropped the project after overwhelming community opposition.)

A short video of my trek.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Come check it out.