I went hiking earlier this week on Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa. I came across this tiny frog traversing the trail.
I also went for a bike ride and took my camera with me again. As I was going down the trail I spotted a bald eagle flying high over me but headed down to the river. So I pulled out and spotted this guy fishing. That’s two weeks in a row I’ve seen a bald eagle in approximately the same location. Sorry for the fuzzy photo. I was at the far end of the range of my Canon Superzoom.
I also found this egret, or white heron or something several miles north of the Eagle out in the river looking for lunch.
And white pelicans on a sandbar.
And a log with two pairs of turtles. I didn’t know that momma turtles gave baby turtles piggy back (turtle back?) rides.
And a great blue heron. Again at pretty good range. They are skittish!!
We had a break the other day with unrelenting heat and cloudless skies so I launched my drone from the back yard. These were rainless clouds but hey they shaded us a little bit. This is looking northeast from about 50 meters high.
And looking straight west. Not a drop of rain in them.
I went downtown for some reason and ended up going by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church across the freeway from downtown. I love the domes that are on the Orthodox churches.
And just down the street is Tulsa Fire Station 4 which is located right on Route 66 as it goes through town. They had a spiffy new (to me) Route 66 sign that I thought was cool. I posted it on Instagram and on a facebook Route 66 sign. Somebody from out of state asked if that was the only Tulsa fire station on Route 66. So I checked and no, there is one other Tulsa Station Fire Station.
Tulsa Fire Station 66, way out in city limits but in the country on Route 66. They call themselves “The Keepers of the Mother Road.” I thought I knew all the Tulsa US 66 attractions and no I didn’t. Check out their facebook page. They like people to come by and visit if they are not doing anything and host all sorts of school and other groups.
One of the things I do is water the monarch waystation on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. I went up there Wednesday morning and it had rained!! Not much of a rain but it soaked the parking lot. I didn’t feel much like watering after it rained plus the park had a contractor there laying down sod and I felt that they would probably be wanting to use the water tap and hose that I would be using so I just plugged and abandoned the project (oilfield lingo for giving up) and decided to go hiking. I’ll be back in a few days.
I went by one of the small lakes on Turkey Mountain on my hike. Something about skies and woods reflected on water really attracts me.
Earlier this week I went on another bike ride on the RiverParks trails. I stopped and inspected the progress on the new pedestrian bridge and dam. Going pretty darn slow is what I think but I got a shot of the crane.
And this is a photo from NASA from the new James Webb telescope that is taking some spectacular images of space. Click on the photo and you’ll get a description of what you are looking at. I’m still in the stage of just looking at the imagery, the text dulls the mind. (Sorry). They are letting everybody use the pics under a liberal creative commons license. Awesomeness is what I think.
I went on on another bike ride the other day on Tulsa’s RiverParks trails along the Arkansas River. I took my Canon Superzoom Camera with me. I stopped again at The Gathering Place to check on the new pedestrian bridge and new dam being constructed. Not much progress so I focused on the construction equipment being used.
In the bed of the river they had this huge concrete pump putting concrete around boulders on the riverbed. So it looks like in addition to the bridge and dam maybe they are shaping the river for other purposes. I’ll have to check into that.
There were lots of tracked backhoes at work (I call them track hoes.) This one was actually on the west side of the river doing something not related to the bridge or dam.
Here are several more on the riverbed. The contractors have constructed a huge cofferdam to divert the river flow to the west side of its banks to make room for construction.
And another trackhoe
And yet another. Not too many of them were being operated the day of my ride. I have no idea why. The weather was great.
And this one had a jackhammer type attachment.
As you can tell, I love construction equipment and checking out construction and trying to figure out what they are doing and how they are going about it.
I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out.
I got it all on this week’s post, Gardening, Hiking, Bicycling, A Plea for Help, and a Musical Finale! Are you ready? Lets get started!!
Earlier this week I went to Turkey Mountain. We’ve had a lot of rain and they want people to stay off the trails when its muddy. Kind of like your Great Aunt Grace telling you to stay on the plastic runners. Or at least that’s what my Great Aunt Grace would tell me. Anyway I first checked the Monarch Waystation. Lots of green stuff there and few blooms.
I’m no butterfly but if I were I guess I would be digging into whatever these flowers had to offer. My botanical ID skills are woeful. I do know that these are yellow blooms. Enough Gardening, and now Hiking!!
And then I got back in my car and drove up to the upper parking lot. Ordinarily the I would have gone up the trail but I was rationing my energy because the temperature was over 90F and the head index was almost 110F. Anyway, I started down the Snake Trail to go explore the NW side and see if there were any new trails out that way.
The Snake Trail is pretty decent. When I take first time visitors to Turkey Mountain, before the new trails were started, I took them on Snake because it was relatively flat and not very technical (in other words breaking your ankle was unlikely). Turkey is going to have a mixture of old and new trails. The terrible erosion prone, non sustainable trails will be blocked off to allow the ground to heal.
I got up close to the YMCA and headed east and soon came to some new trail that I had not seen yet. So I jumped on it and went a couple hundred yards or so and saw that it was not yet open. I thought it looked a little rough. Anyway I got off it and got on a parallel old trail.
I emerged on what is called the Powerline Trail and went back to the parking lot. Powerline is difficult. It gets kind of technical and really steep and has several false ridges. I guess you could call it Heartbreaker as well. It is in full sun which makes it extra fun on a hot sunny day. But hey I made it. I guess you already figured that out because I wrote this post.
And now the Bicycling Segment!!
Thursday morning, I got up, skipped yoga and took my bike out on the other side of the Arkansas River to ride the paved trails. That hill you see on the other side of the river is Turkey Mountain. Don’t be giggling or laughing at the Mountain. We don’t have too many in Tulsa.
On the south end of the RiverParks trails is a Native American Tribal owned casino. The trail squeezes in betweenn casino and the river. Somebody, maybe the tribe has been doing some “Riparian Mitigation” on the riverbank and it is bearing fruit. I never noticed these trees before. I love it.
On the north end I stopped at the south end of the Gathering Place. With better weather people are taking their toddlers there and they let the kids migrate into the bike lanes. I don’t blame them, they are new to the trails and don’t understand. Anyway, when the new people I just cut my ride short and go back. Better than risking hitting somebody. But I stopped and smelled the roses
Do I look like I need help? Well I do!! Come volunteer at the Tulsa Ironman race on May 22nd.
Last year I volunteered on the running segement on Sunday afternoon. It was fun and easy. I just handed out water and gatorade to the racers for several hours. These men and women are amazing athletes. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition gets paid for the volunteer hours they provide to the event. Check here to get more info if you are interested.
And the musical section of this mess of a post. Featuring a hot mess herself, Miranda Lambert. I got her new album Palomino and am loving it. She is a good singer and has quite the sense of humor.
That’s about it folks. I guess I had some sky photos in here somewhere. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!
Sunday evening I attended a stakeholder meeting on Turkey Mountain with the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and others to get a tour of the new trail they are building and get our feedback. Previously I had paralleled the trail this time we actually got to walk on it.
It’s going to be a bi-directional multi-use trail for bikers, runners and walkers. It is nice and wide and after seeing it I think it will work well.
For bicyclists they have a “Choose your adventure” options where you can take jumps if you want to or bypass them.
A huge difference from the existing trails is the extensive work they are doing to cut down on water erosion. They are following the land contours and the trail is side sloped one to two degrees to encourage water running perpendicular to the trail than down it. They are also taking the rocks they find and putting them downhill from the trail to help contain the dirt.
They have some great banked turns.
Here is an action shot of me (on the right) stolen from a friend’s facebook post. Hopefully he won’t sue me.
We came to end of the construction. They only have about a half mile or less to finish this segment. This is the first mile out of 13 or 14 miles in phase one of five phases.
They hope to open this in the next few weeks. I think it will be epic. They asked each one of us what we liked and what our concerns are. Everybody loves the trail, the main concern is minimizing conflicts between bicyclists and walker/runners. This trail will be the fastest bicycling trail on the mountain when it is completed and will be popular with the jumps and steep banks. The Riverparks Authority is planning on a lot of mitigation measures such as making sure that the turns have clear sight lines and education measures so everybody understands who has the right of way (people on foot do) and encourage mutual courtesy.
So we are pretty excited about our new trails. There are other changes coming as well. They might be having the first prescribed burn. That will help a lot getting rid of non-native species and clearing out the understory.
Monday morning I took my bike for a ride on the RiverParks Trails here in Tulsa. It was about 15 miles which is a good ride for me. I have found if I start around 9 am or so then I avoid all the idiots on the E-scooters and E-bikes. I hate those things. They cause a lot of problems but that ship has sailed. They are here to stay
. The Gathering Place was all lit up with wildflowers. I think they are grooming things better now. Previously it looked unkempt and they got a lot of complaints. I like the new balance. I think it is still low maintenance and low water usage.
Stopped to take a phone call. Nobody on the trails but me!
I had a great time!! It’s like a moving meditation to me.
Back when I worked, I used to go running on the Arkansas River Trails in Tulsa after work on Wednesday nights. Wednesday seemed to be when the free spirits showed to also enjoy the evening. Hula hoops, slack lines, juggling, hammocks, music, and marijuana prevailed. The atmosphere was chill. One time when the water was low some of the free spirits showed up and displayed their rock balancing skills. They were amazing. I took a bunch of pics, this is the one I like the best, some geese came by at sunset to check out the rock art. So this is right out of the phone, no filters, and not even any cropping or levelling.
Tuesday at noon I was signed up to go to a “Lunch and Learn” at work. That is where a vendor agrees to buy us engineers lunch if we agree to listen to their sales spiel. However, it was such a nice day, I ditched the lunch and learn and decided to go look for a new geocache named “RiverCache” right on the banks of the Arkansas River. So I drove down there and went walking along the river using the geocaching app on my cell phone to guide me.
It took me to this little “social trail” on the river.
Which led to this little wild and wooly hobo trail.
After about fifteen minutes of looking here, there, and everywhere I found it!! Actually the photo is not the actual cache. To be fair to other finders and the owners of the cache I am using a photo from another cache I found years ago. The one I found on Tuesday was a lot smaller than this.
I found my first cache on Valentines Day 2004 so I have been at it for over 14 years. I only find a few dozen a year now but I still love it. Check out geocaching.com to get more information about the sport.