Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chandler hills

On Saturday afternoon I drove up to Chandler Park for some hill work. The Chandler "backcountry" has some of the longest sustained trail climbs around. It's also a great place to get away from it all. Endless ATV tracks can keep one entertained for hours.

Abandoned rusted equipment and heavy soil erosion point to industrial activity of another age; something was mined from these hills. The place is a bit too rugged for any kind of serious modern development, so it there it sits, forgotten by most Tulsans. Most visitors to the developed city park have no idea that about two or three square miles of forest extend to their West. As for the off-road motorists who make the trails, I rarely ever see them, and if I do meet one on the trail they slow down.

There are some incredible rock formations scattered about the hillsides, and enclosures that would have made great hideouts for Jesse James and his gang.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Late arrival

On Saturday I ran all of the marked trails on Turkey, which amounts to a half marathon, more or less. I started with the longest loop at a leisurely pace, taking each smaller loop at a faster pace, until I finished on the red trail at my 5k race pace. It was a good workout and leaves me confident for the Turkey and Taturs 25k in two weeks. It''l be interesting to get an objective reading on how much (if at all) I've improved my speed on the trails since I last ran this in 2011.

Fall comes late here in Oklahoma and it has taken me about as long to figure out what to do with my running this season. The trip out to Pumpkin Holler wasn't an option, so I focused my efforts closer to home. For a time I was working towards the Tulsa's Route 66 Marathon, justifying all the pavement as a qualifier for Pikes Peak.

That turned out to be a bad idea, as I quickly burned out from running all those miles on the paths around the river. Everybody has rough patches while training, but I sensed something was wrong when even the idea of of Route 66 sounded like yet another boring Saturday run. A one-hundred dollar long run, mind you. So I cut back on the mileage, hit the trails more, and focused on what inspires me. A little late, perhaps, but better than never.

So now the plan is to run Turkey and Taturs, then the "Double Half" marathon in December. At least half of that one is on the trails, and I can still qualify for the Pikes Peak Marathon. After that its a matter of keeping the mileage up until Post Oak Challenge 50k in Feb.

The foggy quality of the photos is from sweat condensation on the lense. Carrying the camera inside the hydration belt and underneath a jacket was not a very smart move.

Until next time, "may your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."

Monday, October 21, 2013


Pilgrimage is a universal human experience. The pilgrim sets out on a journey to a place of spiritual significance, seeking forgiveness, enlightenment, healing, a new identity, etc. Curiously, these places are often associated with water.

On the morning of the first frost, I set out on a pilgrimage of sorts. In a gulch on Turkey Mountain there is a place I dub “Lynx Falls”. It’s a smoothed out slide of limestone that remains dry for most of the year, but after a series of rains, morphs into a beautiful cascade. With all the rain we've had lately, there was a slight chance that the falls would be active.

A typical pilgrim, I ran the trails with a lot on my mind; a lot of unanswered questions about the future. Perhaps things could be sorted out at the falls, I told myself.

Alas, there was no running water that morning. Life questions remained unanswered for another day.

And yet... the soft light captured in the hoar frost, the wispy vapor blanketing the ponds, and the crisp air provided a measure of solace.

 Peace found on the journey. I suppose that’s all we can really ever ask for.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Out of the sky

I almost left the camera behind on Saturday morning for my long run. So glad to have reconsidered, for I would have missed this. Its not everyday that interesting subjects drop right out of the sky.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Days 34 - 40


From Riverparks looking out to West Tulsa

Somewhere on Turkey Mountain

A lazy afternoon by the Arkansas

South Tulsa


South Tulsa (same pond)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Days 26 to 33

Last week was taken up by traveling and conferences, all work-related. Managed to snap a photo on every day but one...with mixed results. I suppose this is what the challenge is all about.

I nearly missed last Sunday's photo as twilight dissipated into darkness on our family walk. Then Megan pointed out this odd arrangement of wires. Is it a lemon, or a cartoon character learning to fly a kite?

The 11th street bridges, Tulsa

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas

Spiritual Life Center, Wichita, Kansas
This is from a Friday night run. This is a typical view of Sophie in the stroller these days: kicking her feet around and waving at pretty much everyone we pass.

No photos for Saturday, day 32. Indoors at a conference ALL DAY.

Finally, from a long run on Saturday morning:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sacred Ground (Day 23)

We've had some incredibly mild weather here in the last week. It was 60 degrees on Thursday morning as I went out for a quick loop on Turkey.

There is an awesome trail just to the East of the powerline clear-cut.  It stays in the woods for most of its journey North, skirting the edge of two tiny ponds on the way. The terrain is fairly technical with lots of little ups and downs to keep things interesting. On its Northern end, the trail briefly ventures out into the powerline clearing before it ducks back into the woods.

It was here that I noticed what looked like golf balls littered all over the trail. Hundreds of them. For whatever reason, the conditions were just right on this hard packed trail to support a massive colony of puffball mushrooms. They were so new that the mountain bikers hadn't got around to crushing them yet. I reverently tip-toed around them until I was in the clear. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A wonderful anomaly (Day 22)

On Wednesday evening I went for my usual run over to the Brridge with some extra pep in my gait. With the Arkansas rolling at 50, 000 cfs, I knew the area around the low- water dam would be a sight not to miss.

And wow, it did not disappoint! About half the town was out to marvel at the the giant curler waves and frenzy of  whitewater below us. There was a deafening roar only matched by the same river somewhere North of Buena Vista. Apparently the river hasn't been this high is several years.

Mr. Mayor, if you read my blog, why not declare a city- wide holiday? I mean, with all the negative news in our city of late, don't we need to celebrate something this awe- inspiring?

surf's up!

And I'll go ahead and break my one photo a day rule because the sunset was just too sweet to file away.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Days 19, 20 and 21

Slim pickings these last few days. Tonight I got out for a run after sundown and about all I could do was point the camera up...

Tulsa Riverparks

21st Street Bridge, Tulsa

Tulsa Riverparks

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Days 17 and 18

Well there was a picture for day 16, but I've misplaced the data card.

Before we left Massachusetts, Mom gave me her Kodak Z981 that she wasn't using anymore. Its been a blast to play with; the zoom lens and higher dynamic range opens up new possibilities in familiar places. Its too big and clunky for trail running, but I can carry it in the stroller or my seat pack on the bike.

Day 15

A family cemetery in Westport

Day 14

Somerset, MA