It rained off and on this morning, so the ride was delayed. Of course, rain blesses both flora and fauna, as we see in these two images taken in Pecan Grove Park. Today the geese were grazing out on the empty soccer pitches. Of course, my path took me through Tom Poore Park first, and in this third image you can catch a glimpse of my other gym in the background. The park was mostly deserted today, but the squirrels were very busy in the pecan grove.
The creek runs up under Midwest Boulevard, then curves right around and cuts under NE 10th. While there is plenty of open ground visible on the map where I should have been able to get another shot of the creek behind the businesses facing out on Midwest Boulevard north of NE 10th, the creek was totally obscured behind foliage. I even tried to follow an open mowed path through the woods up toward the backside of either of two apartment complexes, but it was just too muddy and I wasn’t ready to do that again. There really wasn’t any good place to stand where the water was visible at all.
So I went back out to NE 10th and around Fairfax Apartments (notorious for flooding just about every year when Soldier Creek tops the banks), up Penny Lane, across a bit of open grass onto Campbell Drive and then north on the stub of Bella Vista where it runs into one of the best kept secrets in Midwest City: Mid-America Kiwanis Park. It’s a rough, half-graveled path through the woods into the park itself. The park shows little signs of human traffic, but the city keeps it mowed. However, Soldier Creek is totally undeveloped here. The park exists because of the creek, but does little to make it accessible.
At the northwest corner of the park, the creek picks up another storm drainage tributary and disappears into thick forest. The tributary was dry because the rain didn’t amount to much in terms of volume. However, I spotted a couple of deer before I could get may camera ready. They went up the far bank, through the woods, then came back out on the other side of an open field and peered at me through the trees screening the bank opposite me. I tried my best to follow the creek, but it’s all inaccessible on private land or simply impossible to access because of natural foliage. This is not a good time of the year to dive into the underbrush in Oklahoma, lest one be devoured by all manner of biting insects, plus getting painted by every form of poison ivy you can imagine — shurbs, vines and even small trees.
Eventually I spotted an opening to a nicely mowed open field near the tracks. I was just able to view in the distance back along the tracks where the ground slopes down toward the creek. And then I look across the tracks and somewhere in the general direction of that grassy wooded area, Soldier Creek empties into Crutch Creek. It’s all hidden on private farmland. There was no open route across the tracks, and no way to follow them safely because these are still in use. Today’s map is the last image.
I plan to survey Crutcho Creek in the near future.