I really enjoy pairing the Grand Boulevard Trail with the Ok River North Bank Trail. Today was just a ride for the exercise. I’ve done this a couple of times since I started taking pictures, so there wasn’t a lot new to shoot.
Way back when I was a kid OKC built a housing project here. Lots of big apartment buildings, but it was all wrong. There were no stores and no bus lines ran through here. Trosper Park wasn’t too awfully far away, but the only other thing out here was heavy oil field equipment yards. So being assigned an apartment here by the Housing Authority was like being sent out in the middle of nowhere. It was a high crime neighborhood, of course. Eventually some of the buildings burned down and nobody fixed them. So they were emptied and bulldozed and that was the end of a very stupid experiment.
Past Trosper Park (kinda busy today) and some semi-industrial stuff, I hit Interstate 35. This is easily one of the worst stretches of highway in the Heartland. There are way too many exit ramps in a short distance, merging into one another at times. Downtown it takes a huge wicked jog eastward where it meets Interstate 40 before continuing north and it is congested most of the daylight hours. About two decades ago this was all under construction as they were adding a lane, generally widening and regrading the underpasses. The crash fatalities shot upward doing the construction, and I recall watching a couple of them happen just in the short time I drove a taxi here in OKC.
Farther along the Grand Boulevard Trail at Walker Avenue is the old Capital Hill High School. It’s literally “old school” because the building is ancient. When built, it was a high class white neighborhood. After a while it declined a bit and the dope dealers and hookers moved in. It is currently dominated by Hispanic students. Capital Hill became “Little Mexico” for a very long time, but it’s now seeing some other folks moving in and the place is showing some renovations and even a few new homes replacing some old ones. The all-Spanish signs are being replaced with bilingual stuff. This part of Grand Boulevard is truly ancient in terms of OKC’s life so far. The cycle goes round and round.
Once I got to the end of the Grand Trail I turned west and took the Portland Avenue Bridge to cross over. This is the far western end of the North Bank Trail. From there I headed back east and stopped for lunch at the dam just before the May Avenue bridge. I found a seat on the boulders lining the bank and watched cormorants and geese flying around. The cormorants especially hang around this dam more than almost anywhere else along the urbanized river course. You can see burgundy redbud trees on the far bank. This dam, just visible in the edge of the shot, starts the middle pool reserved for commercial boat rides during the tourist season. There’s another set of gates farther downstream near the start of the rowing regatta section.
My rear tire went soft just as I turned into the Bricktown Area, but I couldn’t find the leak too easily. This being a self-sealing tube, I pumped it back up and hoped for the best. I made it home okay and it was a decent workout. (I really need to save up for a decent mountain bike; this hybrid gets way more flats than any bike I’ve ever owned.)