Cycling: NE 63rd and Katy Trail

01decenthouseYesterday I managed a short ride after the rains moved on. Today I took the camera out for a longer ride, reversing last week’s loop: up Midwest Boulevard to NE 63rd, westbound over the hills between the North Canadian and Deep Fork Valleys, to Remington Park and then the Katy Trail to NE 4th and back home.

02collapsedhouseLast time I checked this lovely old house (above) is no longer occupied, standing on the NE corner of NE 63rd where it meets Sooner Road. Westward and just off Coltrane is this old place I tried to shoot last year with the pocket camera, but I couldn’t get the focus off the trees. This time I carried my new camera and got it to come out pretty clear.

03barndownhillA half-mile farther down NE 63rd is one that crumbles visibly every year. There’s an old barn out behind it and down the hill; I thought I saw some steps running down the hill behind the house, but I didn’t want to trespass.04oldhouse-a With the recent series of hard freezes the foliage is clear enough to see things pretty well. I recall some years ago someone still lived there and kids were playing in the yard. About five years ago I passed for the first time in several years and saw it was empty.05oldhouse-b A couple of years later the tree fell on it in back. Now the backside is almost gone. In a few more years the whole thing may well be just a heap of lumber.

06remingtonparkThe Deep Fork was uninspiring today, so I kept going out NE 63rd to ML King Boulevard and headed across the parking lot of Remington Park. It was pretty busy today with the casino open and some kind of sports show on the outdoor giant screen TV. Someone asked for a shot of the facility, so I stood on a hill at the south end and stuck my lens through the chainlink fence. That’s a massive building that makes the TV look small, but the center screen standing across the track is roughly 50 feet (15m) high.

07cookingasphaltIt was a quiet ride back down the Katy Trail to NE 4th. Once I got just across the North Canadian River, I noticed that the asphalt plant was running full tilt with dump trucks backed up and waiting. It’s been like this since before Christmas. From what I can see, this is some portion recycled asphalt.08oldcooker It’s gas-fired and you can feel the heat of that nearly horizontal drum (behind the trucks near the steam stack) from quite a distance away. I noticed the trucks driving up under that double-barreled vertical towers on the right (partly behind trees) were having to wait as the asphalt came out in small surges, so those towers are actually empty, dumping straight through whatever dribbles out the drum. As I rolled down past the hot tar smell, I spotted their old obsolete plant between hills of ground up asphalt for recycling.

I tried to take shots of the creeks and rivers, but they just didn’t come out. The North Canadian was up a few inches from the rain. Cherry Creek seems to have gotten almost no runoff, but Crooked Oak and Crutcho Creeks are still pretty healthy even though the rain ended early yesterday.

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About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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