(I’m keeping the cycling stuff here because our account on the other server has rather limited storage space.)
Between allergies and rotten weather, it’s been awhile since my last long ride. Yesterday’s journey was a straight out-n-back on Midwest Boulevard. My objective was the Arcadia Conservation Education Area. But first, I wanted to catch up with the construction project on the North Canadian River crossing that had me mystified all last summer. On my last ride past here, I realized they were trying to recover a washout of the bank near the bridge and they’ve made good progress. In the first shot I stepped off the road and down the grassy bank from the south side. In the second shot, I was up on the apron of the bridge. I still have no idea about that stone wall just a bit farther north, but I’ve seen evidence of preparatory utilities digging in the field beyond the heavy equipment visible in the background there. The enigmatic stone wall fronts that field.
A ways north, up past NE 122nd Street is this little memorial to Alan Spencer. He was killed by a hit-n-run driver in broad daylight as he rode along Midwest Boulevard; he would be just a year or two older than me now. God alone is my protection and can call me home at His whim, but I’m going to ride for His glory. It’s not far from the underpass where the road was cut deeply into the rosy sand rock to pass under the Turner Turnpike. On the right is a maintenance access stairway because the rock face is so steep.
Beyond that portal is Memorial Road. The section of Midwest Boulevard from here on is a dead end, running past some very expensive real estate on the right, while the nature preserve on the south side of Lake Arcadia dominates the left side of the road. Except for one section where the state maintains a depot of equipment, the signs all along this road say no vehicles, but pedestrian traffic is encouraged in the woods. A few places offer packed gravel paths in areas specially developed for education groups to see this miniature wildlife refuge. On the left here is the single shore accommodation where the water often washes up during the wetter season of the year. I’m standing in a heavy collection of flotsam and you can see the red grit of Oklahoma coating everything.
Back behind me a ways is a tiny parking area at the very end of what would be Midwest Boulevard. All other roads are reserved for state equipment, but I rode on them anyway because there was no one else around. Just east of that parking area is a learning center up on top of the highest ridge. I saw vehicles like this from time to time but no human occupants anywhere. The road running past this building would be NE 150th, as it trails off to the east and runs into an arm of the lake. Part of it was gated off, but I managed find this little educational facility in a side pond (image to the left here). You can see how the hiking paths are connected to most of the facilities.
I ate my lunch at a picnic table near there, took a couple of shots that didn’t work out well and rode off back down Midwest Boulevard. Along the way, I stopped to capture a couple more images that worked out a little better. First up is the farming landscape on the southeast corner of Hefner Road off Midwest Boulevard. I am standing on the slope looking down toward the North Canadian River. Down Midwest Boulevard a little farther south was a large home lot with a couple of houses and a large collection of old military 2.5 ton (Deuce-and-a-half) trucks converted for brush fire suppression. There were a few more of these scattered around the same acreage, most without any of the tanks and apparently still in use as farm trucks.
It was still just a bit cool, but we are in a warming trend, so I plan to get in a lot more riding this week.