Tag Archives: Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition

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.

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.


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


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.


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.

Turkey Mountain Work Day

A bunch of people got up early last Sunday morning and headed out to Tulsa Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness for a Work Day. I’m a member of the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, the organizer of the event. Lots of people from the community joined in. Notice the camera lady interviewing the President of TUWC? Check this link on the coverage they provided of the event.

It was a perfect storm of great weather and great publicity. Also, there was a promised pancake breakfast. All told about 70 or so people showed up to work on a variety of project. Everything from picking up litter and lopping trees and brush on the trails to some heavy duty trail armoring involving moving heavy rocks (100 pounds or so) to help with erosion control. There were also fence building projects to separate hikers from the downhill bicycle trails, and other erosion control projects.

The various projects were described and people gathered around the designated project leads for what they wanted to do. All tools and equipment are provided. We ask participants to bring gloves, water, and appropriate clothing. I was the designated lead for those who wanted to pick up litter and clear limbs. I ended up with about ten or so people of all ages, including some Boy Scouts and their moms and a dad. So we got our garbage bags and loppers and off we went to clear out the Snake Trail.

It took us about two hours to work on the two miles of designated trails. Everybody stayed with it very well.

I had another event to go to so I didn’t get to participate in the pancake breakfast but from all reports it was a success. I think everyone involved enjoyed the event and they really did some good. Check out the TUWC facebook page for over a hundred other photographs and some more descriptions of the work that was done.

I am linking with My Corner of the World

Turkey Mountain Joins the Old-Growth Forest Network

Early in May this year I was invited to a small ceremony where Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness in Tulsa was going to join the Old-Growth Forest Network. Hmmm, never heard of them but sounds interesting. Besides, there was a hike included in the event. Sign me up!!

Jeff Edwards of RiverParks.

The Old-Growth Forest Network is an organization founded by biologist, turned author, turned activist, Joan Maloof who became alarmed at the loss of old-growth forests in the eastern USA. Very little old-growth forests remain in the east, less than 1% of the orginal forests and maybe about 5% in the west.

Sarah Adloo of Old-Growth Forest Network

Old-growth forests are those that have been undisturbed and old trees are allowed to grow old and die. I found out that old dead snags can provide habitat for up to 300 different species. The Old-Growth Forest Network is trying to find and designate at least one publicly owned tract of land in counties, that can contain such forests. They estimate that is about 2370 counties. Turkey Mountain is the 199th such forest to be designated and only the second in Oklahoma.

So the dignitaries made their speeches and a plaque was handed out.

I borrowed it for a closeup. And then we went on a hike. It was about a mile and we got to the location of the oldest tree on Turkey Mountain. I forget what kind of tree it is but the dendrologists say it got started in 1774. They only tested thirty some trees based on their experience of where the oldest trees would be. They said, rocky land on steep slope where logging is difficult is the best bet. So it is likely that there are older trees on Turkey Mountain.

True confessions, my original photo wasn’t very good so I went back recently and got this video. The tree is kind of old and bent and I couldn’t capture it in a still so I got this video. It’s not the prettiest or the biggest tree in the world but it is kind of special.

So it was a nice outing. I got to learn something and go on a hike. I’m always up for that.

This link is for the report on the event by one of Tulsa’s television station.

I bought one of Joan Maloof’s books. I got the kindle version because it is half the price of the paperback. I’ll let you know what I found out.

Check out Old-Growth Forest Network’s web site. Lots of information on Old-growth forests. Here is the organization’s page for Turkey Mountain.

Do you want to live in the Tulsa area and want to get involved in things like this. Check out the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition.

I am linking with My Corner of the World. Check it out.

Getting the Word Out

I’m on the Advisory Board of the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, (“TUWC”). I am also retired so although I am pretty busy I have a lot of flexibility with my time so lately I have been working some informational type functions for the TUWC.

Back in mid April we had a work day on Turkey Mountain. The manly men and strong women do the heavy duty lifting, digging, shoveling and such on the trails. I worked a table with another guy doing user surveys for the River Parks Authority tallying information and asking people about their outing.

On April 19, again a day event hard for working people to man, I worked a table with others at Tulsa’s Guthrie Green during the Enviro Expo. There were all sorts of environmental organizations present. It was kind of cool.

Double cool because my former employer was a sponsor of the event and they had a bunch of people I knew there. I stole this photo off their instagram feed so I hope they don’t get too mad with me. It was fun catching up.

And then that Friday I worked a table with fellow board member Marci at an Earth Day event for school children at Tulsa’s Chandler Park. Marci knows all sorts of things about the natural world including butterflies, plants, critters, all sorts of stuff. She is also a long time educator and she knows how to talk with school kids and their teachers and parents. She was amazing to watch in action. She has a way of leading people to come up with answers on their own. It was a fun event. The kids were all excited about the topic. I love it when kids are enthusiastic about learning.

I have worked with TUWC the past several years and love it. If you want to get involved or volunteer check out their website at TulsaUrbanWildernessCoalition.org. We have a work day coming up in June and in May we raise money for the group by volunteering at the Tulsa IronMan competition. Check the TUWC web site above for the details.

And this week ended my school year work as a Reading Partners volunteer tutor at a local school. So I said goodbye to a student I have been working with for the school year. The kid was a hard worker and very enthusiastic all year and showed tremendous improvement in their reading ability this year.

This is my fourth year of volunteering for the group and the most satisfying. The previous two years were virtual and that was tough. It is very difficult to form bonds with students over a computer. I felt bad for the kids because they spent a big part of their day online. If you want to learn more check out their website.

So what do you do for fun in your spare time?

Turkey Mountain Trail Work Day

group turkey mountain workday
Photo from TUWC facebook page

Early this past Sunday morning close to fifty volunteers showed up in the freezing cold to do a variety of projects on the trails of Turkey Mountain. They did everything from reclaiming old trails to building new trails to repairing erosion damage on trails. We all got divided into teams and off we went. The project was put on jointly by the RiverParks Authority and the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition.


I was on a trail reclamation team. The park has lots of up and down trails which is just lousy for trying to control erosion damage. Plus the up and down trails intersect a new high speed mountainbike trail running back and forth across the cliff faces. Mixing glorified social trails with high speed black rated mountainbike trails is not good. So this project addressed a safety issue as well.


Reclaming the trails is basically putting debris such as fallen logs and brush on the trail and raking leaves onto it. The effect is startling when you are done. The trail vanishes.


Some trails you have to do several times as some people resist losing their favorite trail. What happens though is that without people and bicycles causing further damage, the old trail heal themselves.

Here is a reclaimed trail. The old yellow trail, it was replaced by a brand new trail off to the right designed and built to be sustainable and will shed water of the side of the trail instead of the water running down the trail.

We were done by 1 PM or so. Everybody was tired but satisfied by all the projects that got done that day. We had refreshments and people went on their way. Check out the TUWC’s facebook page for a bunch more photos from the days work.

Turkey Mountain cleanup - Bob
from a post by the Tulsa Riverparks Authority on facebook

Some serendiptiy earlier in the day. In a facebook post publicizing the event, The River Parks authority posted a photo from a work day from years ago. My brother Bob is in the photo off the right. I remember when he lived with us a short while he helped out in a cleanup one day. I thought that was kind of cool.

Linking with My Corner of the World

Earth Day 2022 in Tulsa

This past Saturday I drove to Tulsa’s Arts District, just north of downtown, to help work an Earth Day booth for the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition. It had been a long time since I had been to such an event. They used to have them on the main mall during the work week when I was still working.

Just as I got there a fashion show featuring recycled materials was underway. That was interesting.

It was pretty windy. Kind of a full skirt alert thing going on.

They had some musical performances. Some guys drumming and then later on some sort of hippie, country, poppy group who were not bad at all.

Chinese Wisteria

Wandering around the other booths I came up on the table for the Carrie Dickerson Foundation. Carrie Dickerson was a determined lady who led a coalition of people that forced the Public Service Company of Oklahoma to abandon the Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant project in 1982 after a nine year battle. Construction on the plant had already started and when it was cancelled, it was the only nuclear power plant to be cancelled as a result of legal and citizen action. As much as I am proud to be a member of an organization that forced an outlet mall to abandon their plans for a mall on Turkey Mountain, I’m in awe of the people who forced Black Fox to be shut down. People don’t remember it much any longer but Oklahoma has populists roots that are still there beneath the surface. RIP Carrie Barefoot Dickerson.

I’ll climb off my soap box long enough to show you a monarch butterfly who I saw flitting around the earth day events.

And then later on a bunch of young women in their prom dresses with their beaus, parents, and photographers came for the photo ops available at Guthrie Green. I thought it was kind of cool. I have great hopes for our young people. They are going to inherit the world. Personally, I think they are up to the task.

Skywatch Friday – Things are Looking Up at Chandler Park

Early one morning last weekend I and along with several other members of the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition met with some Tulsa County Park Officials at Chandler Park in west Tulsa.

They showed us an area that they have been reconstructing for some time. They are putting in a lot features and turning into much more than a place to have picnics. They have an event space, complete with substantial electric power capability and a pad that can handle food trucks, and area that can be used for big tents complete with tie-downs. It’s going to be great when they open it up to the public in a few months.

Then they took us on a hike on all three of their trails. Some of them still have some graffiti.

Other areas have been cleaned up with power washers. This area was used in the filming of the upcoming movie “Killers of the Flower Moon” and the movie people cleaned it up.

The “Lost City Trail” at Chandler is unique with all the rock walls, cliffs, and narrow passages. It is a hotspot of activity for the local climbing community.

It has several different overhangs.

They have a pond that they are finishing up. It’s pretty amazing all they are doing.

They are looking to partner with community organizations for events and other attractions. The energy and enthusiasm of the staff was cool.

Great things are fixing happen at the park. Do you want to get involved? Do you have some ideas? Check out the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and Tulsa County Parks Department.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out.

Our World – Scavenger Hunt

Not to toot my own horn, but I guess I will. I helped to plan and implement a scavenger hunt on Turkey Mountain this past weekend. It was originally supposed to be New Year’s but it got postponed because of weather.

The RiverParks Authority gave me thirty items to give away. Small stuff like stickers (people go nuts over stickers these days) and key chains. I conceived the idea of using repurposed cd jewelboxes and designed new covers and “liner notes” for containers for the giveaway items.

So late last Friday I loaded up my jewel boxes and headed to Turkey Mountain. My friend Laurie from the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition helped me place them on different parts of the mountain. It turned out to be a good workout with about 5 miles of hiking involved.

We didn’t really hide them because we wanted people to find them. The RiverParks Authority also had people out and about placing bigger items like water bottles and tshirts on the mountain. They also had people adding new stuff during the day.

We hid one in the famous washing machine at a crossroads on Turkey Mountain. (It’s actually a drier but I get dirty looks when I bring up that fact. Ever notice that anybody who says “actually” gets dirty looks.?

I was busy but I always take time for photos.

Especially when the sun is setting.

Here’s a screen shot of the facebook invite for the event.

Channel Six here in Tulsa showed up and did a story on the event.

A good time was had by all. I was proud to be a part of it.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Come join the party!!

Leave No Trace Conducts a Hot Spot on Turkey Mountain

It’s been a busy and productive past week. A team from the “Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics” based out of Boulder Colorado has been on Turkey Mountain conducting “Leave No Trace Hot Spot” training. A Hot Spot, is an area that is being loved to death and Turkey Mountain fills the bill. What they are trying to do is to teach people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly to help these areas bounce back.

The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition applied for, and received approval, for the Hot Spot. The River Parks Authority and the Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA also sponsored the training. The Y provided their beautiful new revamped facility as the site for the training.


The trainers surveyed the mountain and held workshops geared towards local teachers and property managers on how to educate students and park users to be better stewards of the land. It is all data and science driven. Check out their web site. They have a lot of resources available.

I learned a huge amount about how to use a property softly. No more will I throw an apple core into the woods after eating it. Nor will I cut across switchbacks when I am in a hurry. I learned that plastic bottles never decompose, ever. They just break into smaller and smaller pieces and now the average american eats about 44 pounds of microplastics during their lifetime. I also received a great deal of information about peeing and pooping outdoors.

It was also amazing that the Hot Spot training happened the week that the River Parks Authority announced the start of Phase One of the Turkey Mountain Master Plan.

This link has some great ideas to keep in mind when you want to outdoors.

They have a ton of stuff on their Youtube Channel. They have a whole series on “Don’t Be That Guy” Here is the first one.