Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Great Tulsa Campout at Turkey Mountain

The Great Tulsa Campout at Turkey Mountain was a great success. Postponed from a rainy September weekend, the replacement date was blessed with pristine fall weather. Ascent Tulksa, along with RunnersWorld Tulsa, TATUR, Spokehouse Bicycles, and last but not least RiverParks put this inaugural event on, and from all I have heard, it will be an ANNUAL event.

Picture swiped from the Turkey Mountain Campout Facebook page
Leaves were in full glory with flaming red, orange, and yellow peppering the lush tree-scape.

I checked in at 2:15 pm, and the parking lot was full with eager campers--some newbies, and some old hands  who made tent pitching look easy.

There was something for everyone--trailz, music, good food, friends, and some inflatable playground equipment for me.

I won the prize for smallest tent. Funny how a one-man tent takes three men to erect. Edward's tent was equipped with a 12" inflatable mattress, and a 50 watt propane heater.

Christi gave it a test nap. Judging from her snoring, I am thinking it got an approval.

A warm 70° day was perfect, and even a little cool with the steady north breeze. 

I counted 36 tents, and more may have come later.

The agenda called for a TATUR led hike at 4:00, and I assumed the duties for that. We started out with 18 hikers, and most had never been on the trailz at Turkey. 

I chose a short out-and-back hike to the scenic overlook on the lower Yellow Trail. A family of four turned back early on, but the rest stayed right up, and we made our destination in about 20 minutes. After a group picture, we headed back--or so I thought. I headed out and chatted with a couple who who seemed to have really enjoyed the outing. After a quarter mile, I noticed they were the only ones who followed. So, I sent them onward while I ran back to the group. They were still enjoying the view and seemed in no hurry to go back, and insisted that they could find their way back via a trail of bread crumbs--provided I didn't eat them. It was a mere .8 of a mile, and the lady in trekking poles was a Turkey regular.

The food trucks had arrived. Seigi's had hot dogs, polish sausages, and brats. Andolini's had a wide variety of pizza. It was a tough call as to which was better. I had a polish sausage and a bite of a hot dog. The dog was a lot better. I also had a couple of HUGE pieces of pepperoni pizza that was top notch. Stormy had a "butter cake" which was a hybrid pound cake/cheese cake that looked very tasty. Shoulda got a piece!

The first band--actually a duo--was Grazzhopper. They were a folk group, and sang a couple of Grateful Dead songs, and a couple of songs I have never heard--might have been their own writings? I like them and would love to see them perform again.

After the first music set, there was a "glow hike." Edward and Wes had hung glow-sticks on a half mile loop, and a large crowd walked this with headlamps and flashlights. Night running is nothing new for me, but was a wonder for most of the participants. It looked like the guys had hung 1000 sticks around the loop. About halfway through the loop, someone uttered "What does the FOX say?" And the hoots, grunts, ring ding dings, and ahhhroooos resounded through the woods. It was impressive.

The campfires were beginning to seem pretty comfortable, and Kathy broke out the marshmallows, Graham Crackets, and Hershey bars for some Smores.

The second band was the Klondike Five. This was a wonderful band--great musicians, who masterfully played a variety of twangy country-folk and bluegrass. Every song was crisp and a delight to listen to. From their vantage point, they could barley see the crowd, and midway through their set, they unplugged their instruments, and joined us around the campfires where they played 5-7 more songs. I loved their music, and Kathy and I have invited them to play next Sunday at Turkey and TATURs. They're gonna check their schedules and let us know if they can make it. (fingers crossed!)

The last band was Ego Culture, and these guys were great musicians too. An instrumental group, they played a laid back jazzy set of arrangements that reminded me a lot of Phish. Without vocals, the crowd was not quite as attentive, but most stayed until their set was through. These three bands, all local musicians, are worth seeing, and I plan on trying to look them up.

Low temperatures are forecast to be near 40°, but I think it'll get into the 30s. My tent zipped up with a sleeping bag should be warm enough, but remember--I also live a mere 200 yards from the trail. This campout will all end tomorrow with the usual Sunday morning group run. Let's see how many happy campers we'll see then. :-)


  1. Well I blew this one. I thought it was Friday and we had stuff scheduled for early Saturday so I didn't go. My loss big time. This sounds like a success, hopefully I'll get a second chance.

  2. Had a great time!