Actually I hate “mudding” but I am glad it’s do-able. Today’s ride seems to call for a map. Click the map to enlarge (CTRL-click for a new browser tab) and please note the lavender digits representing each shot that follows in numerical order. The idea was to poke around the edges of the former Glenwood addition that the Air Force bought and turned into a training area, but also because they needed an empty crash zone for aircraft in trouble. I will note that the bogus FEMA Camp stories insist that the actual fenced in reservation is one of the sites listed for such use. Fat chance.
Jeanette’s maiden voyage was very messy. Between rain sessions today I went out for a ride. It wasn’t a long ride, just a couple of miles from my residence, but I’m no longer riding to “work out.” I ride simply to play and cleanse my soul a little. Exercise happens, but not as a goal. The entry point was just across SE 15th (north edge of the map) from our Barnes Park Trails area. I simply shot across the street and jumped the curb into a green area that was cleared last year. This map is way out of date, but useful. I went across the wooded area just west of the feature labeled “Buddy’s Produce” in white letters. Map symbols indicate the last section of tracks to be used for anything at all some years ago. I basically followed those tracks and the first photo shows what it looked like. I found a zig-zag path between the trees and shrubs in that picture (#1) and came across this storage facility (#2). There was really nowhere else to go, so I retraced my path back up the tracks and came out on the road in front of Buddy’s Produce (just off the map on the north edge).
To the east of the Midwest City Sanitation Department is a public drive back to the recycling dump and it’s on a bit of high ground way above the Soldier Creek. That’s the primary water feature that runs all over the eastern quarter of the map, draining from south to north. The old neighborhood is fenced off on high ground, rather hard to pick out on the map, leaving a large eastern belt that is under periodic commercial development. This aerial photo is about three years old and doesn’t show the health-care park east of the creek, only some red soil scraped of vegetation. I rode across the now paved portion of that and out into the grass, which turned out to be growing in very fresh leveling soil — soppy red clay. Jeanette moved nicely in low gear, but she was encrusted with thick gobs of it by the time I wandered back toward the more civilized parking lots along that far eastern edge of the map. I stopped at this apron and decided not to go back out into that mud pond again. Just to the left in that shot (#3) is a tributary running down to Soldier Creek.
As I headed south along Douglas, there was yet more fresh development under way, and I had to dodge a lot of fresh excavation mud. By riding along the street in the grass, I managed to shed the worst of the caked red goop, so I was ready to avoid any fresh additions. Beyond that was a drive way running back west. There’s a lot of that industrial park stuff in there and I jumped off into a grassy area well packed by motor vehicle traffic until I ran across that circle at the north end of Global Parkway. The next shot (#4) was aimed westward from there. I ran into a bit more mud, but discovered a well-hidden recreation area in the low flat ground near the creek where the tributary runs into it. Turning north I followed a badly washed out jeep trail that ended near the water (#5), but turned sharply left and back into a little opening. There were signs of camping, but not recent.
Backing out, I noticed plenty of little four-wheeler trails spidering out into the woods at intervals. I took one to see if they went anywhere (#6). It split between two routes running parallel to the banks of the creek and looked like fishing spots, but currently so overgrown I was getting slapped and no pictures were possible. I came back out to the jeep trail and climbed a slow rise southward, which was along the back fence of a ratty old trailer park (east of my #6), what’s left of the merging of Dimick and Edgewood Parks, keeping the latter name on the sign. My paternal grandmother lived there for years. When we left Alaska in 1973, I flew down and stayed with her a while to get started in my senior year of high school while my parents slowly slogged down the Al-Can Highway with our household goods in two pickups and a very long open trailer. Most of what was Dimick Park is now woodland. So heading back south brought me out onto SE 29th (off the map on the southern edge).
That VOR beacon is a funny white dot on a gravel road in the open grassy area there in the aerial shot. I stayed off the street and rode through the Air Force’s grass along SE 29th to the curvy street (Palmer Drive) that stays outside the eastern fence line.
I bumped into a former neighbor from the trailer park in Choctaw. He had left when his mom died and he was having a rough life. Pray for my friend Larry, because the rest of his family has cast him off. He refused to stay in a “Christian rehab” house that uses the worst of prison discipline. I could write a book about that awful practice. The last thing that man needs is more abuse. We chatted a bit while I stopped in a puddle in the pavement and reduced my mud load by about five pounds. I rode on with a somewhat less jolly frame of mind. I stopped where Palmer crosses the old Grumman Drive on the map and took this last shot of the day (#7). The sign does not restrict photography as it would if there were sensitive facilities nearby. Yeah, a potential FEMA camp (snork, snork).
I zig-zagged my way through the back streets to my apartment and gave Jeanette a bath and some fresh lube. I have no intention of mudding again if I can avoid it, but it’s good to know we’re up to it as a team. Oh, and I’m accumulating future PayPal donations until I can get a really good digital camera.