This is the first good ride I’ve had all week. I decided today was the day to shoot all those flowers I see growing along the routes to Draper and visible from the road around it. I don’t know the proper names for much of any of them, and I didn’t shoot any but the most eye-catching stuff. Meanwhile, I’ll throw in some chatter of this week’s events.
Because I worked on the car Sunday — and it was hard work — I decided to rest Monday. I chose Sunday to do the work so no one from the apartment staff would be here to notice; they fuss about anything that looks like major surgery. I had to disassemble my right-front McPherson strut and replace the upper seat and that would look like a big deal to them, since none of them are mechanics.
But I had to buy some more tools to finish the job so I couldn’t afford to fill the tank and take a drive to my next picturesque location: the Black Kettle National Grasslands. That’s an all-day trip out west of here, and there’s several historical sites and museums in the area. Plus, the place does offer a semi-rugged terrain that can be quite lovely in some places. Maybe I can get out there later this month.
I also missed my heavy workout because of weather and because I had a new computer tech support client this week. It was pretty simple stuff for me, just figuring out that some expensive printers were not wireless, but required ethernet cables to become network available for the home office.
We are supposed to stay in a rain pattern off and on through Monday. This stuff usually comes through as a broad storm front covering the whole state, sweeping west to east. Several areas have suffered flash floods. It’s delaying the work on the new bike trails at Draper Lake. It looks like they have about eight or ten miles of trail ready for paving, but there are a couple of spots where it runs over fairly deep ravines. It looks like they are trying to cut into the hillside next to the main road to take advantage of the fill work done way back when, but that won’t be enough. Just one heavy rainstorm could run over that and wash it out, so I’m waiting to see how they’ll brace it up.
I expect to see a lot of heavy stones packed into the exposed dirt slope in the next week or two. As I was heading toward the exit trail from the lake area, I passed two very large asphalt paving machines borne on long lowboy trailers. That signals the paving will start in the next few days.
Another place I hope to visit is the Wichita Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma. I could stay down there a week and not see half of it. I took US Army Basic Training at Ft. Sill in one corner of that Wichitas back in 1979 and remember hiking through some of those mountains. It’s where I learned land navigation and reading topo maps. Apparently I learned it better than I realized, because several times afterward I was assigned to tutor folks who struggled with it.
I can visualize to some degree what the contour lines on the map represent. But I’ve long wanted to go back and revisit the area when I was free to choose where I wandered. The whole area is filled with major tourist sites, numerous long equestrian trails, gold rush relics, etc. I could spend the rest of the year just taking trips down there.
I’ll finish with a shot of red clover. It’s not rare in these parts, but it is unusual. The white clover is ubiquitous; you can’t get rid of it around here. The other thing that’s extremely common is honeysuckle. Even before I got to the lake area, it was sometimes overwhelming along the route. I never ceased smelling it around the lake. Here in central Oklahoma, it grows wild and can be found in almost any shady area that isn’t mowed.