I’ve had two long rides since my last cycling post. First, I went out to Draper, but wandered a bit on the way. I decided to run past the north end of Tinker AFB. I noted previously that the US Air Force bought out the entire Glendale neighborhood just north of the runway after one-too-many plane crashes into the houses there. So they bought it, scraped it clean of housing debris and turned it into a “training area” and storage site. They left the pavement and some of the streets are almost usable still. I’ll be poking around it a little more later once I get the mountain bike, but for now I wanted to point out this thing we used to call a VOR back when I was pretending I could afford flying school. It’s actually part of the landing guidance for the runway, which is directly behind me where I stood shooting this picture (upper left image).
They also wiped out another, smaller neighborhood nestled up against the NE corner of the main airbase property. It’s been replaced by a long “defile entrance” (military term) to the Hruskocy Gate, which used to be right off the corner of the runway itself (just to the right off-camera). This defile runs a quarter-mile around that hill and then down a ways before turning back into the parking area. It’s a way of pulling off the massive number of cars from the main civilian routes as thy are processed for entry. There’s a huge civilian workforce here doing aircraft maintenance. The main facility is over a mile long running parallel to the runway, which itself is about 2.5 miles long.
That new structure at Draper Lake is almost finished. That is, they are doing the landscaping outside, while some massive installation takes place inside. That they have a small transformer substation for this building indicates a lot of heavy equipment.
Today I wandered eastward a bit. I was hoping the northeasterly winds would protect me from the heavy allergens I usually encounter out that way. I’m doing okay so far. This was one of those days when I made up my mind on the route only a mile or two ahead of me. I ended up on Triple X Road where it crosses the North Canadian River. The road is still closed because the Army Corps of Engineers still hasn’t granted the county permission to fix the river bank where that house was swallowed by the floods. So the I stopped on the bridge and sat down on the yellow line and just prayed awhile facing into the wind. I really like wind when I can alone like that. This shot shows the scene looking back south along the east side of the bridge. I also stopped a few miles later where the river runs under Wilshire Boulevard. Again, it was a peaceful moment facing into the wind.
From there I stayed on Wilshire all the way across to Spencer-Jones Road. I took that south to NE 63rd and rode down to eat my snack on that bridge near Spencer. I caught a glimpse of this massive swimming turtle, easily 24″ (61cm) long hanging out in a deep pool below the bridge. (Someday I plan to have a better camera.)
Edit: I forgot to include this image of Crutcho Creek. This is where it turns sharply under a railroad bridge and very close to Midwest Boulevard. This pool is highly unusual in creeks around here, as it turns sharply off to the right of the image.
Folks, it’s already been a pretty busy day in my part of the universe, and I really needed that time out in the wind and solitude of the back roads. I’m looking forward to riding some of the off-road areas I know about starting next week.