With a strong southerly breeze behind me as I rode up Midwest Boulevard, I hit Wilshire Boulevard PDQ. Turning left, there was just one hump and valley still feeding into the the North Canadian. After that it was a bit rougher in the Deep Fork watershed. On the way I passed some rather moderate nice homes, and one really slick gate with Mesopotamian art figures (below right). It was hilly all the way out to the Antenna Farm which starts well west of I-35.
First up is the KOKH TV campus (left; shared with The CM 34 studios and KMGL FM radio) and a pretty tall tower over 1000 feet tall. This is a fairly new and aggressive broadcaster in our area, but I never see their reporter vehicles where I see the others. Just a half mile farther west where Wilshire crosses Kelley Avenue is vast acreage belonging to one of our oldest broadcasters. Formerly WKY, it is now KWTV (Channel 9). Back when digital broadcasting displaced the old analog signal, they took down what was then the tallest tower at nearly 1600 ft. All that’s left are massive anchor points. With digital broadcasting it was cheaper to lease a spot on someone else’s tower than to maintain that monster. Out behind their building is OETA public TV station, and off to one side is a couple of radio stations. This is the home of Griffin Communications.
I decided not take the extra distance to see KFOR (Channel 4) and turned north on Kelley. As I passed along some really big church houses, I was able to see the old OPUBCO (Oklahoma Publishing Company, image left), a newspaper house. It was bought up by Anschutz Entertainment, an even richer and more partisan right-wing outfit. They still print The Daily Oklahoman and some other papers. For some crazy reason the mapping services label this building simply “ATM.”
Up and around the corner east on Britton Road is KOCO TV (Channel 5). Their website sucks but they currently offer the best storm broadcasts. You would notice there are a few older houses out in this area (stone house left), but most of them are newish. Some of these broadcasters hide among the odd mixture of homes and businesses now dotting the spaces between large subdivisions, so driving around out here you might not know because they simply don’t advertise. However, up on Britton Road is where you see the most expensive homes and it continues all the way back to Midwest Boulevard.
The two miles east of I-35 are really expensive real estate. I passed a massive place that was camera shy, hidden far back in the foliage, but the sign out front said “Vox Printing.” Their main claim to fame is all the paper packaging (including paper cups) used at McDonald’s. But then, just across the street from this obscenely expensive housing pictured on the left and right here was a stone front dugout that could easily date back to Land Run days (below right). This area did see a lot of settlement during that time, and there are plenty of signs that you can still find.
I suppose the saddest sight was yet another “Ghost Bike” memorial. This time the victim was named Clyde Riggs, an older man hit from behind just a day after the one up on Midwest Boulevard near Memorial Road.
On the way home I noticed that all the activity at the North Canadian bridge was stopped, and very little equipment was left standing around. It doesn’t look finished, so I’m not sure what to make of it. At any rate, I took advantage of the lack of workers to go down and capture what they have done under the bridge (below right). That row of stones as it now stands would just about divert the worst of any flooding down the far side, containing it until it passed under the bridge. The open area in the near ground will see less turbulence and it should spare the bank on which I stood any further carving. However, I’m waiting to see if they close up the equipment lanes they left cutting through some of this stone work (called “rip-rap”) farther upriver where all that equipment and the stone dump was all parked.
With that I’ll drop the last two pictures here. One is the Deep Fork looking south from Britton Road with that huge Vox Printing plant in the background. The other is a really fancy gateway to an expensive subdivision on the hillside above the river.