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Today’s pictures are not meant to stir moral recognition. Rather, they simply mark a day’s outing where the moral considerations were of a totally private nature. You’ll catch on, though. This was a day to just play and fulfill an unfinished quest, at least in part. On the day of the crash I had been on my way to shoot some pictures of Bricktown and Downtown OKC. Still, it’s just a playful ramble on the bike, so I started off cutting through the side streets. On the way was this little neighborhood playground called Holoway Park. The sidewalk ends just around the corner there and I took that street straight across the area westward.
I crossed Sooner Road into Del City and it was pretty much a straight shot along Judy Drive, past the ratty and rowdy Del Crest Junior High and into Ray Trent Park. On the other side was some more neighborhood, and I crossed Sunnylane Road and kept heading west until Townsend took me north back to Reno Boulevard. By now it was just a half-mile to the entrance of Eagle Lake.
The lake was deserted of visitors, but a work crew was there installing a new boat ramp. The trail around the lake is gravel, mud and some grass. On the far eastern edge is the jurisdictional boundary between Del City and OKC, the the OKC Parks bike trail beings abruptly at the tree line. So today when I cross the bridge, there was no big movement in my heart. That blue tractor has a mowing deck mounted on a hydraulic arm dropped over the fence and cutting grass there. This one was easy to avoid; I simply took a sharp left off the end of the bridge on the grass and caught the path, where I turned around to snap this shot back up the hill.
The accident scene was just a short distance beyond there. It’s not as I remembered, but in late April there is only some grass, none of the massive head-high weeds. I paused a bit and felt nothing unusual about the place, so I turned and took a shot of the remnants of previous bridges across the river before all this massive work was done where I-40 and I-35 cross. That’s three generations lying standing or lying in the mud there; how the mighty have fallen.
I’m learning to mix using my cellphone for quick and simple stuff, and dragging out the real camera when the shot justifies more effort. I carry my camera in a second fanny pack on the right hip. However, I didn’t try to take any pictures of the second mowing rig I encountered. He was blocking the whole path. This one had a rear view mirror (!) so I waited behind him until he glanced at it. With my bright orange and yellow safety vest, he reacted quite visibly. He half turned and held up one finger, then began pulling over to the right while retracting the mower boom. I never moved until he actually waved me by. It wasn’t long before I crossed under the Eastern Avenue, crawled on the gravel road between the rowing course and the Indian Heritage Center, followed by a dip under I-35 to where the actual official bike trail begins for the south bank.
One my left was the central railroad yard. Across the river was the new rapids park (above right), which is a big deal — it’s gotten attention as a certified training center for all kinds of stuff. This Chesepeake Boat House district has turned into a really huge tourist trap with a cable slide across the river, a tall water slide and other water rides, and even a nifty humpy bike park (free access). It’s coated with a special rubbery asphalt to reduce injuries. And of course, they accommodate wildlife; Canadian geese are federally protected and can be found all along the river course. I note with some amusement most of this stuff is not visible on Google Earth because it’s all so recent and was finished quickly.
I climbed up and down some overpasses, but the newest one that connects all of this to Bricktown isn’t finished, so it’s not open to traffic. So I took the shortest route over and down into Bricktown. Talk about an expensive tourist trap. I stood on a large stone sitting out in front of Outdoor Sports and faced ENE back across Bricktown. You can probably make out the baseball park in the distance (over the trees in the center of the picture). There are several hotels, dozens of bars and restaurants, and a sort of quiet water canal for which you can rent peddle boats. This is all just east of the center of Downtown OKC. I found a high spot that allowed me to shoot back into the city center and our skyscraper district.
This whole area is a mixture of preserving historical buildings in what was once an industrial area built almost entirely from bricks. Up that quick rise to the north is Deep Deuce, which has become a dense collection of those tiny, expensive yuppie apartment buildings. Still standing in their midst is the old Calvary Baptist Church. If you could see the sign up close, the last line at the bottom where they used to show the pastor’s name says in small letters that it is actually the law offices of a notorious ambulance chaser. That’s a much as they would let him do to mark what is actually inside. There are quite a few of such historic structures in this part of the the city.
By this time I was quite sore from climbing so many hills. I’m still riding in lower gears a lot of the time. So I limped over the 4th Street and headed straight east back toward home. Again, I’m not into touristy shots like this, but it was something I had to do.