Today’s ride was more about the pictures and just poking around a few areas I’ve not seen in years. I headed out through Del City to Eagle Lake and stopped for a while on the bridge over Crooked Oak Creek. It remains one of the best places for prayer and meditation. Once I got down onto the River Trails, I caught this image where the Watco engines were idling on the bridge above some waterfowl. I’m just around the bend above the rowing area, looking back NNW toward downtown.
After stopping again at the chapel under the pines on the north bank of the River Trail, I decided today would be a good time to catch some urban terrain I don’t often see. This is a panorama standing on the south side of the Little Flower Church, one of the few growing Catholic churches in the Metro. Their new facility is on the left, just a few years old. This thing is ancient in Okie terms. Their school over on the north side of the campus was built ages ago when this was a thriving neighborhood in the shadow of Downtown OKC. Finally, I went around the front side and across Walker Avenue to capture the old front of the church house.
Back when they decided to move I-40 off the crumbling elevated structure and plant it on/in the ground, it meant changing the route into this area just south of downtown. Part of this big project was a massive sculpture standing on a foot/bike bridge over the interstate. It’s supposed to represent our state bird, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. At night it’s lit up varying colors, and I seem to recall they change slowly, shifting different hues on each arm. On the other side is a huge open space, mud and gravel left after plowing down numerous historic buildings and removing the concrete slabs. It’s ugly, but they did save the old Union Rail Station, because it’s now the HQ for our local transit authority (think buses and paid parking). The only passenger rail line runs from here to Ft. Worth and the station is almost impossible to access because there is no free parking; you enter through a paid parking lot operated by some other outfit. It sits astride the western boundary of Bricktown and it’s ugly. Instead I shot this picture of the much nicer Chesapeake Arena (above left), home court of the OKC Thunder basketball team. I cleverly captured some weeds in the edge of the picture, because that’s what you’d see from the bare earth section on the south side.
My last shot was the Bricktown Canal. This is the far western edge with my back to the elevated railway, a concrete monstrosity with holes punched through for cross streets. As you can see, the canal is empty for cleaning and maintenance. Where I’m standing is a confluence between two long feeder troughs, all concrete and somewhat ornamented. This was about the only shot that turned out. As I rode eastward through Bricktown, I rolled through a long alley several blocks. I had to oddest sense that this was a comfortable place to be. I can’t even afford to buy a glass of water in these places, but it felt okay just rolling through the backsides of those high priced restaurants and clubs. Oh, and I passed the back fence of the baseball diamond, but there’s really nothing to see. It was a quiet and peaceful ride back east on NE 4th Street.