Friday, March 31, 2017

5 October 2016 Chandler Park

I had a full day at the office so Ali and I were only able to enjoy the bit of daylight at the end of the day. I had visited Chandler Park before, but there were still plenty of caches to find and the trails are worth visiting. The evening's find was hidden in the park's rock structures. The park encourages climbing in these rocks which have faces as high as 40 feet. We hunted a bit for the cache, but were able to make the find and finish our walk before the early sunset.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

3 October 2016 On to Tulsa

I needed to be in the Tulsa office the next day so we were traveling with limited stops along the way. We started our day with a virtual at the grave of Charlie Parker. It's good to see this jazz legend is still remembered and his grave is still a stopping point for his fans.

Our next stop was a colorful visit to Kauffman Gardens. Butterflies and bees were plentiful and busy with the late blossoms.

Lots of pollen looking like saddle bags

A visit to Missouri's oldest cache was in our plans for the afternoon. When we arrived in the area of the cache I was skeptical about whether the cache was going to be memorable or not. We drove through high density, heavy traffic areas to reach parking which was a larger strip shopping area. Once Ali spotted the trailhead and we were on the trail, the cache was worth the visit. It is located along a stream called Indian Creek. The trees along the trail provide a great cover from the surrounding development and made for a fun cache journey.

Our last, late stop of the day's journey was Independence, Kansas for a visit to the Little House on the Prairie Museum. We arrived too late for the museum to be open, but were able to make a short stroll around the grounds as sunset arrived. Hopefully, Ali and I can make the trip to the Tulsa area in reverse and be able to visit during the daylight and when the museum is open.

On to Tulsa...

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.