Tag Archives: Turkey Mountain

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

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

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.

Skywatch Friday – Still Looking Up!

Things change fast around here in northeast Oklahoma. Just a few days ago it was freezing and we had snow on the ground.

And then it warmed up! Way past my sweet spot. My sweet spot in the winter is in the 40’s. It keeps the snakes brumating and the ticks and chiggers at bay.

So it has been pleasant the past few days.

On Valentines Day Heather and I spent the afternoon together. We toured Philbrook Museums galleries and gardens, lunched at the tony Utica Square shopping center and then shopped at Trader Joe’s.

Today, son Logan and I hiked two miles and change on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. It was glorious.

I saw this strange double bent tree. My bet is that it is haunted. Turkey Mountain has a long history of outlaws, moonshiners, fourtune hunters, drug labbers, railroaders, ranchers, and worst of all oilfield workers (aka oilfield trash.) So yeah, there is a lot of haunting going on.

They are busy at even more things to play on the mountain. We chatted with the guy building this thing. He and his 87 year grandfather are working on it. It’s going to be for mountain bikers. It looks like a crappy way to die to me.

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

Shadow on the Mountain

My son and I have been on a couple of hikes lately on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain. We found this old oil well pumpjack foundation. Oil was discovered on the mountain in the 1920’s and production continued until the 1960’s. There are lots of old relics of the industry scattered about on the mountain. I personally know people who worked on these wells.

We went by this old wellhead. Don’t worry it’s safe.

Pedestrian Bridge on gravel trail

A new pedestrian bridge on a new trail.

And a birdhouse in the middle of the mountain.

I’m linking to Lisa’s Shadow Shot Sunday. Go check it out.

Saturday’s Critters – Lizzie, Kodi, and some Birds

This is our sweet Lizzie. She has a sad face she is really a good cat.

And this is our juvenile delinquent, Kodi the Pomeranian. Most of the time he is a sweet dog but he has issues that we are working on. My wife, who he really loves, has left town for some training so he and I are together this weekend and we have had some challenges but we are making it work. I jollied him into going on a walk which took the edge of his anxiety and later we played for a bit and he let me pet him for quite a while.

The weather broke for a little bit the other day so I went hiking on Turkey Mountain. Towards the end of my outing the sun almost broke through and the birds high in the trees all broke out in a cacophony of birdsong. I only had my phone with me so I got no photos and I made this video just for the sound. It was great. Since then, we are back to misty rain. We were supposed to have a work day on the mountain Sunday but put it off for a month due to the muddy conditions.

That’s about it for this week. I’m linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters. Go check it out.

Saturday’s Critters – In the Woods, On the Water, Covered with Leaves

I went on a hike the other day and encountered some deer. I love seeing deer. They are so beautiful and graceful. They are not hunted on Turkey Mountain and so are not skittish at all.

I went geocaching at a local park and saw some ducks paddling around on a pond.

Kodi and I were playing in the backyard and he decided to take a little rest break in the leaves.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!!

I’m linking with Saturday’s Critters.