Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2 October 2016 Missouri

I really want to travel Route 66 from Santa Monica through Oklahoma. The Oklahoma to Chicago portion isn't a great priority for me. Maybe its the thought of being in the southwest that interests me. Maybe in my mind I expect the remaining bits in the southwest to be more quirky. Today's travels started with the Route 66 State Park in Missouri. At one end of the park there is a visitor center. The park used to be accessed across the old Route 66 bridge over the Meramec River. The bridge decking was removed about ten years ago so now all that remains to tie this to the old route is the steel girders. We did stop in to see the visitor center (souvenir shop) before making our way to another entrance to the park and a few geocache searches. What we saw of the park seems to be fading away with old 66.

Old path of Route 66 over the Meramec

There was an old Sinclair station in the Cleveland Flats when I was young, but it is rare to see them in my travels.

With it being fall, I wasn't sure what we would see, but I hoped to visit a remaining prairie area on this trip. Tucker Prairie offered us a fall walk on the prairie and even a geocache at the far end. The tall prairie gentian was past its prime but still in bloom and plentiful. It was joined by a few other asters and late summer wildflowers showing their last color. It would be great to see at another time, but I enjoyed the visit. The cache may have been one of the most painful 200 foot journeys we have made, but we eventually reached the ammo can.

Our last big stop of the day was in Fulton, Missouri. This historic location was the spot where Winston Churchill and President Harry Truman traveled. The visit included a memorable speech by Churchill called the Sinews of Peace or the Iron Curtain speech. For us, it was the third time we have been brought to a piece of the Berlin Wall by geocaching. One would hope this wall and its failure would help us understand a new wall is not the answer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

1 October 2016 Turkey Run State Park

We were heading to Missouri but stopped for few caches along the way. We started the day at a couple caches placed on private property. It was a pleasant location that offered some quiet time in the woods. Our main stop of the day was a visit to Turkey Run State Park for a 2000 geocache. Turkey Run offered some good trail time with nice rock formations. We weren't overly successful with our cache hunting here, but did find the old cache.

I had a special treat at another parking area within the park. There was a party at the park with a couple old Pontiacs. They were both super, but the 63 Grand Prix with 8-lug rims was a real step back in time for me.

There was a reason why Pontiacs from 1959 through 1969 were called Wide-Track Pontiacs.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

30 September 2016 Charleston Falls Preserve

I needed to visit Tulsa for business. We decided to take the weekend and a couple vacation days to drive together and enjoy some time on the trails. Our first day on the way to Indianapolis was mostly wet, but we were able to enjoy a visit to Charleston Falls Preserve.

It may be fall, but there were plenty of late summer wildflowers on view at the park this afternoon.

The images on line of these falls shows lots of flow over the falls. I hoped recent rain would have provided ample water, but the falls were a trickle during our visit.

I consoled myself by climbing into the nearby cave to explore. There was a small chamber at the end of the entrance and some deep paths with very low ceilings. I wasn't up to crawling in the water and ended my journey in the first chamber.

The small pond was a disappointment for wildlife spottings, but the side of the trail near the pond was loaded with closed gentians.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

27 September 2016 A Sunny Lunch at Sunny Lake

If days in northeast Ohio can be called vibrant, this one was vibrant. I took a break from the office to do a 2+ mile walk around Sunny Lake. With fall here, opportunities for days like this are fading.

A pair of bluebirds were visible with feathers to match the sky's color.

A mallard and a pair of painted turtles were gathering heat at the water's edge.

22 September 2016 Visiting Garland

I was flying home on a red-eye with some time to do a little caching. Rather than heading to a park, I stopped in Garland for some urban caching. Garland reminded me a bit of Coventry in northeast Ohio, a quirky neighborhood dominated by local businesses.

The milk bottle is a focal point of the street.

This may be an old mason's building, but with a building dating to prohibition and a barred, covered window, the door reminded me of a movie scene for a speakeasy. It's kind of funny that this term has been kidnapped by hipsters as place to gather and drink fake martinis. The building is now home to a real estate company.

Some of the older signs and buildings showed some real influence from googie architecture. The ages are about right for this disappearing 50's look.

After a slow drive through Spokane's rush-hour, construction traffic, I made my way to the airport and a flight to Seattle to wait for a red-eye east. It's quiet at the normally packed Seattle airport by the time the aircraft for the red-eyes make their arrival from oversees flights for the return trip east.

At least one of the shops was still open so I could bring Chukar Cherries back east for us. ;)