Tag Archives: Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Fun in the Sun

We had a huge hot spell for a while and then lately it has been lots cooler and drier. I have to advantage of that.

One day I went to Turkey Mountain and hiked about three miles. My knee that has been bothering me was not a problem. That made me happy.

I moseyed along on the new trails and some old trails. I love being retired. You got the woods to yourself most weekdays!

I found a good vantage point on the mountain to see the Arkansas River and south Tulsa on the other side. This truly is an Urban Wilderness.

One day Heather and I bicycled 15 miles on the RiverParks trails. Doesn’t sound like much but it was a nice time.

At the house, the crepe myrtles are loving the sun. I posted this image on instagram and while I was thinking crepe myrtles, I typed out azaleas. Nobody said a thing about it except my wife. You need wives like Heather keep you straight. In other news along that line, I had some books to return to the library and so I went there and tried to put them in the book return slot and they wouldn’t fit. You know why? Cuz I was at the post office, that’s why. Heather got a laugh out of that as well. And I’m saying the books would have eventually got back to the library.

And another sunny photo at my MIL’s swimming pool. The net is up because my skin is so white that it causes sun reflections that blind our nations surveillance satellites. Don’t buy that, how about this? The local ducks took to using the pool as their hangout spot. Turns out that ducks can foul pool water quickly.

So that’s about it for me. I hope that everybody (in the northern hemisphere) is enjoying their summer. You folks way down south, just hang in there it will be your turn to have summer in several months. You guys in the tropics. Just enjoy if you can.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!

Bicycles, Bridges, and Skies

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I went on a ride on Tulsa’s Riverparks trails the other day. It was hot but I had lots of water and you know when you ride you make your wind. I stopped at the Gathering Place and checked out the new pedestrian bridge under construction. It is going to be done sometime next spring. I’m looking forward to it. It has it’s own web site here.

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Here’s the old bridge from the other side of the river here. It was a railroad bridge up until the 60’s or so and then was later converted to pedestrian bridge. When the Gathering Place was done, the city suddenly decided the old bridge was unsafe and proceeded to tear it down. Many of us felt a little played but I’m not too upset. I think the real reason was that the low water dam just downstream was obsolete and was being replaced. I think the construction of the new dam would destabilize the old bridge. So that is why I’m okay with the new bridge plus it will tie-in better, than trying to make the old bridge work, to the Gathering Place on the east side of the river.

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Also looking across the river is Tulsa Power Station. An old natural gas powered electric generating plant still in service. It hardly ever runs.

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From the other side of the river looking downtown here is where I worked for years before I retired.

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And of course I have to take pictures of construction equipment. This is working on the riverbed. It looks like they are putting up structures in the river. The construction site is protected by a huge cofferdam as the bridge and the new dam are built.

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And about a mile upstream is one of my favorite views, looking at the arches on the 21st street bridge.

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And five or six miles downstream photos of some of my fellow bicyclers. This woman has an ebike. They are pretty popular. I know people of average fitness that can go 50 or 60 miles on them. They’d be nice to have but I like something that doesn’t plug in.

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And a conventional road bike. Lots of really in-shape people on the river!

And here is my bike. A hybrid type with a big soft seat and big tires. I’m looking for a smooth ride.

I’m linking to Skywatch Friday. Come join in!!

Hochatown Adventure – Second Day

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So last week I talked about our first day at Beavers Bend State Park in southeast Oklahoma. The second day we did a couple of hikes including the Friends Trail along the Mountain Fork River. This section comes off the bottom of the Broken Bow lake. The water is very cool and the state stocks it with trout.

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Several fly fisherman were on the water with their waders and long rods.

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I have done a little fly fishing but I was wishing I had a simple Zebco rod and reel, some worms, and a bobber.

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This guy was the smoothest fly fisherman I have ever seen. Hopping from rock to rock doing all sorts of casts into various pools. My late Father-in-law was a great fly fisherman. He could put a fly on one side of a rock or on the other side of the rock. Me, I was just lucky to get it out in front of me somewhere.

It is a very peaceful river and the day we were there were not many people.

We went to the park’s Forestry Heritage Center which has exhibits on the timber industry and culture of southeast Oklahoma. It’s a fun place with a 1960’s type vibe about it. They had a geocache there and Heather found it!! It had stymied us on previous trips.

I love this sculpture dedicated to Woodland Firefighters. It reminds me of my late father who fought forest fires early in his career in the forest service. He had the aluminum hard hat and a Pulaski, the combination axe and hoe the guy is holding.

We took my father to the museum years ago and I remember him showing us how these various chain saws and other tools were used in logging. I remember asking him why the yellow chainsaw had the saw blade horizontal. The answer was that early day carburetors couldn’t work work on the side so you had to hold the engine up straight while cutting trees or the motor would quit. So now you know!!

Later we went back to the cabin, drank a few beers, played some games, started a fire in the fire pit, made some smores and tried out the hot tub again. We had a grand time.

It was great for the three of us get away for a few days.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday. Check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Getaway to Beaver’s Bend

Early last week we packed up the ole Honda Pilot to head off on a little trip to southeast Oklahoma. We were not going to be gone long but for some reason the car was packed full.

On the way we stopped in Antlers, OK for gas. They had this memorial to the Cboctaw Code Talkers of both World Wars.

We rented a nice cabin for a couple days. Nice big decks, a hot tub, a pool table and a pretty sizable out door area.

It had a baby Sasquatich inside. I love the corny things people do to decorate their cabins.

Heather playing ladders. We also played cornhole, swung on the swings, and used the fire pit and the hot tub.

We brought along our elderly Pomeranian, Rascal and he seemed to have a great time as well. We went on daily one mile walks with him and he practiced going up and down the steps to the porch.

We grilled a lot of food and spent a lot of time together.

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The next day, we loaded up for a hike (Rascal stayed at the cabin) and went for a three mile hike on the Mountain Fork River. A very nice trail that is relatively flat.

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We didn’t see hardly anybody the whole time.

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The weather was sunny and cool. That’s Logan in blue to the back.

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At the end of hike we came across a collapsed old building with just the foundation remaining. I love mysteries like this? I’m gong to have to found out what the deal is.

Anyway, that was just the first 24 hours. I got more to tell later.

Sad news from Tulsa today. A gunman barged into a medical office building and killed four people before taking his own life. The Tulsa Police Department was on the scene three minutes after the call came in. They ran up to the second floor where the shots were coming from but they were too late.

Take care I’m linking at Skywatch Friday.

Tulsa Ironman Triathlon – 2022

Last Sunday afternoon I spent six hours helping out with a local Triathlon, the Ironman Tulsa. The racers swam over two miles in open water on a lake, over a hundred miles on a bicycle, and then finished up with a 26 mile run. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

The organizers had a bunch of aid stations all along the length of the course. I was at an aid station on the marathon run segment. The racers ran two loops on the Tulsa Riverparks Trail System so I saw everybody potentially four times.

I handed out gatorade. Gatorade is not too popular with athletes. It’s just colored sugar water. So I didn’t have a whole lot of takers. Water was the most popular drink. Pepsi for some reason was popular. Cups of ice were very popular.

The most asked about beverage was chicken broth. It was brewed up in the late afternoon and the back of pack runners were going for it.

So it was interesting. You see a lot of very tired people. The people at the front of the race were pretty bouncy for just getting off a hundred mile bicycle ride.

Here is the lead man of the race.

And the lead woman. Both these are just cruising along like they are jogging around the block.

Anyway a great time was had by all!!

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday, come check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Droning On

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We finally got a break in the windy spring weather and I launched my drone. I generally just go straight up 50 meters or so from my back yard and look around.

Not much to see if the skies are clear but if there are clouds things get a lot more interesting.

Another day we had some rain, that makes for dramatic skies.

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And I finally got this jigsaw puzzle finished on my ipad. I had been working on it for several weeks. I love doing them.

I’m linking up with Skywatch Friday. Lots of talented bloggers there, go check it out.

Skywatch Friday – Outside Time!

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.

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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!!

Skywatch Friday – Cinco de Mayo

Big news is that last week I took my brother Bob out for another outing. This time we grabbed some burgers and headed to the RiverParks trails to have a picnic.

And then we wheeled him up and down the trail for a mile. He’s a former marathoner who participates in his sport by riding his chair in the halls of where he lives. About 16 laps to a mile so 48 to do a 5K. He loves entering virtual runs and has finished a bunch of them. He is one amazing guy.

I don’t run any longer but I walk and ride my bike quite a bit. This is at Lafortune Park which has a nice 3 mile path around it. I prefer trails but it has been raining too much to walk on dirt.

My favorite tree at Lafortune Park.

Heather and I went on a bike ride earlier this week on a rail to trail route north of Tulsa. It was beautiful and we covered 15 miles or so.

And I had to stop at the Rexall Drug Store in Sperry that was a movie scene in The Outsiders movie filmed in the early 1980’s in Tulsa. I love finding and checking out old movie scenes (and new movie scenes as well.)

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It has been a windy spring so I have not been flying my drone. It weighs only 249 grams and I could just see it heading to Arkansas in the high winds. The other day the winds died down and I launched the drone and caught an ok but not great sunset at about 50 meters.

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And here is the view looking straight down. Our home has the four blue chairs.

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And a drone selfie of yours truly.

A day or two ago we had big thunderboomers in Tulsa and a Tornado Watch. So time to go outside and take a video right?

Wednesday night was more of the same. This was later in the afternoon.

Sorry for the scattered nature of the post. Too many photos and not enough posts.

I hope everybody is having a peaceful time. Lots of drama going on both nationally and internationally. Everybody just breathe okay.

I’m linking Skywatch Friday come join in. Let me know of other great memes you have seen. Don’t be shy if you are the host of one!!

Skywatch Friday – Hiking and Baseball

Earlier this week I went out to Turkey Mountain to see if the Monarch Waystation needed watering. It didn’t so I decided to go for a walk on Turkey Mountain.

Instead of going to the upper parking lot for my walk I started from the lower parking lot. I haven’t done that much in the last several years because of the dismal state of the trails going up hill but I was told that that had changed and sure enough very soon I saw the old trail was closed and a new trail was open. And it was lovely, instead of going straight up the hill it goes up gently with a bunch of switchbacks. They don’t have it open all the way to the top yet but it is far enough where you avoid the really bad parts of the old trail.

So then I just took off when I got to the top.

Found these trees, I can’t tell if they are fighting or dancing. What do you think?

On our last big work day one of the things on the list was sowing grass seed on the back side of the switchbacks to keep them from eroding. The grass is doing great.

On the far northern end of the area I came across this ancient dump. Turkey Mountain spent many years as an oilfield and there are several dumps from that era. There are no plans on cleaning them up because they are an archeological resource, or so I am told.

And found an old power pole knocked down.

And here is a video of the route I took.

Unplugging is a movie that was shot in northeast Oklahoma and had at least one scene shot on Turkey Mountain. I love the visuals as northeast Oklahoma is beautiful, but I have to tell you this is not a great movie. Eva Longoria is in it and I was shown the very rock where she decided she needed to take a nap on right in the middle of shooting.

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And now we are switching gears. Wednesday son, Logan and I went downtown to see the Tulsa Drillers minor league team play the Corpus Christi Hooks. I love daytime baseball and I thought I would be seeing lots of such games upon retiring. Well this is the first game I’ve been to in three years. I enjoyed myself immensely. I even think Logan liked it and he is not a baseball fan.

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We were seated on the first base side and I saw this huge mural just outside the left field fence. It is a giant mural of Jacke Robinson. The player who broke the color barrier in professional baseball back in 1947. It’s a very fitting memorial. First, ONEOK Field is in the Greenwood area that was demolished by the Tulsa Race Massacre back in the 20’s. The worst race riot ever in America. Second, Robinson played for the Los Angeles Dodgers which is the parent organization of the Tulsa Drillers. The mural was installed last year right before the centennial of the massacre.

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When the game ended Logan and I headed over to get a better look. It is really big and really nice.

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Jigsaw Puzzle (Not my photo)

And finally, another jigsaw puzzle that I completed on my ipad. They are quite addicting.

Redbud Skies and More

Several days ago I was on Turkey Mountain checking out the Monarch Waystation. I water it when needed but it hasn’t needed a drink in weeks with all the rain and cool weather we have been having. I sowed some native prairie seeds a couple months ago and I was trying to see if any of them were coming up.

I don’t know a thing about wildflowers, and it looked like a bunch of weeds coming up to me. I guess that may be what some people call wildflowers. It may take a few more weeks and somebody who knows what they are looking to see if we are successful or not.

And then I ventured down the paved path and hung a right on the dirt road to the redbud grove. It is beautiful a whole hillside covered with redbuds. There are lots of the trees around town but I don’t know of any that are all together like this.

And then I ventured on the new Lo Chi trail. The old one was cool but kind of frustrating because it was an out and back along the base of the east side of the Mountain. I hate out and backs so I would do what other people did, climb up the side of the mountain to another trail. I’m too old for that foolishsness now.

And there is no need, the trail builders have made a loop out of with all sorts of cool switchbacks and other features to make it fun. You can enter and exit at different spots from the paved trail. Loops are fun, out and backs are boring.

So back on the paved trail I took a shot of the railroad tracks on the base of Turkey Mountain, next to the Arkansas River. They have only one customer now, a big Kimberly Clark Plant. So every once in a while, you can see a freight trail lumbering slowly along these rails. I am not a railroad expert at all but I would not think that these sketchy rails, ties, and roadbed could handle much of a load.

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And then fast forward to Tulsa’s Woodward Park. The flowering is disappointing this year for whatever reason but one could find nice groupings here and there.

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So it was worth going to but I wouldn’t travel far to see it.

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The tulips looked nice in the overcast late day. I think they are almost at the end.

Tuesday we had dramatic skies in Tulsa so I made this low key photo.

Monday I rode my back on the RiverParks trails. My north turnaround was the Route 66 Sign Park. I took photos and then used the circular app on my iphone to twist them on top of themselves. I love this kind of stuff.

I did another one and it looked like a hot air balloon.

And I have been doing more jigsaw puzzles on my ipad. I love it. So these are not my photos.

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I loved this one but it was booger bear. I worked from the inside out. I started at the steering wheel and moved outward. I put on the edge pieces as I found them but I didn’t stress about it.

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I loved this one. It was a lot easier with the brightly colored sail and the stratified colors. On this one I started with the sails and the bright green sea.l

So that is it this week for Skywatch for me. I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.