Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ancient Tulsa (Turkey Mt and area)

In doing some elective research on Turkey Mountain, I stumbled onto an article on It's a LONG read, but these three sections were of particular interest to me.

Geological Notes
The view from the high ridges of Chandler Park changes as you look in each direction. To the north, just below the ridge, runs the Arkansas River. Water flows from west to east, along the natural bend in the river. The bed of the river is wide, indicating a normally slow flow along the bend. On the north side of the river is the Charles Page Boulevard area, known to many people as the Sand Springs Line. The “Line” came from the Sand Springs trolley cars that ran along the north bank from 1911 to 1957. To the east is a great view of what we call Lookout Mountain, the flatland of West Tulsa and Garden City. In the distance to the east is Turkey Mountain. On the east bank of the river is downtown Tulsa and beyond. A clear day offers a view reaching out far into the distance. To the south is the rolling prairie land of Red Fork, Carbondale, Opportunity Heights, South Haven and Oakhurst. Just below Chandler Park is Berryhill, small but growing. On the southwest corner view is a series of ridges between Berryhill, Sand Springs and Sapulpa. At one time the area was trees and rocks, but it has given way to development of many kinds as the new millennium began. For most people the view of this area would be enough to satisfy their curiosity. But there is much more to the complex makeup under the thin surface. Why are there ridges here in the first place? Why is the river bending and shallow? Why did they look for, and find oil and gas all over the west side? We asked the members of the Tulsa Geological Society for a description of the west side from their point of view. What can they tell us about how this place came to be like it is today?

Archeological Notes
Looking at Southwest Tulsa as far back as 12,000 years ago, Jenks resident William M. O’Brien has found physical evidence of life here. “I have heard that materials taken from a nearby petroglyph site have been dated to about 12,000 B.C.,” he wrote in “The Presence.” In February 1986, he was shown mortar holes in bedrock and a petroglyph of a right foot in Jenks. “Over the past decade, I have pursued a theory that some of these (mortar) holes were used by early cultures as reference points for establishing astronomical alignments,” he said. He asserts that during 8,450 B.C. a cataclysmic disaster, possibly an asteroid, snuffed out many plants and animals and it caused massive ecological change to surface 1,000- 1,500 years later. Further, from 1,500 B.C. to the Early Historic Period, that an inscription carved in rock in this area, shows that early Europeans ventured here. “They were Celts, Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Libyians. They came from Tarshish in Spain, Carthage, upper and lower, Egypt, England, Ireland and many other parts in Europe,” he wrote. O’Brien is critical of textbooks which credit the finding of the New World to Columbus and go on from there. He places the boulder pictured here as 3,000 or more years old. He calls it the “most significant petroglyph.” An inscription near the Arkansas River says a man named Gwynn carved it and he had fair hair and white skin. “Gwynn probably came from Spain on a Phoenician vessel around 500 B.C.” An inscription in north Tulsa has been translated Dec. 10, 1022. Drawings on cave walls appear to be left by Indians—Comanches, Kiowas or Pawnee. They show three warriors on horses and one on foot. Horses were beginning to be introduced in Wyoming in 1690, and the gun was adopted by Indians around 1700. The cave drawings don’t show guns.

Anthropological Notes
The Mooser Creek basin holds evidence which may date to a period from the birth of Christ to 900 A.D. Possibly the site of a Woodland village, the area has stone tools, grinding sets, and cryptic rock designs, according to Jean Sinclair of the Tulsa Archaeological Society. The grinding tools are mortar holes shaped like an inverted cone in rock, monos or rock hand tools, and rock matates or table surfaces. The most spectacular so far is a 6-8 tabular surface, previously broken. “It is certainly the most speculative,” she said. Some of the rocks are enclosed to prevent vandalism and tampering. The Society would love to have access to all of the site to dig ten test holes for other artifacts, but have so far been limited to the public segment of the area.

Sinclair urges those interested in these finds to be cautious about their conclusions. For instance, she points out, what woman would want to scoop ground flour out of the tight point of the stone mortar? A deep bent line in one rock may represent the bend in the Arkansas River or it may be something else. State Archaeologist Dr. Brooks Odell saw the rock markings and is baffled by their meaning. The society feels the evidence points to a large long occupation or possibly a village in that Turkey Mountain forest. “We have concerns about (Indian) pot hunters,” she said. The area needs to be treated with respect, and the artifacts not moved or damaged. Several individuals put on an “enrichment cluster” at Remington Elementary last spring where they demonstrated shucking corn, grinding it and fire building. Dr. Don Wycoth showed flint-knapping. The cluster was so popular that it drew youngsters from other clusters. Speaking of flint, Sinclair has a flint-edged scraper from the area. The closest place to find flint in those days was what is today Kansas.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My trail sensor was in action today

Today, I was driving from west of Oolagah tp north of Skiatook via county roads, and had a change of plans about halfway to nowhere. The plans scrapped the SKiatook stop, and I needed to head back to Owasso to meet my son who was doing the final buts of fixem-up stuff to the house they are selling. There was no hurry, so I turned south then east then south then east--whichever road looked the most interesting and figured I would eventually get to one of the highways leading somewhere I needed to go.

I chose to ignore a dead end sign at one point because--well, the road was inviting. The end of the road was a few miles from the sign, making me want to find the end all the more. Drivinhg down a narrow two lane road (or maybe a wide one lane road--could not tell) I caught what looked like a trail out of the corner of my eye. I threw the ford into reverse, and sure enough--this WAS a trail.

There were no POSTED NO TRESPASSING signs, so I actually had a clear conscience prodding along. Covered with leaves, it was obvious that these were not frequently traveled, but of course I had to know where and how far they went.

The "why" for these trailz was found in this tree. The ladder gave access to a tree stand where hunters sat and waited for deer. I used to hunt deer--like 35 tears ago, but it's just not my thing now. But trail runners and hunters do have the love of the woods in common.

I think this chair has been here for a long long time. One with a vivid imagination could read this sight a lot of ways. Was this an act of aggression by the tree? Or was this an embrace by the tree? I will return in 10 years to look again.

The trail led to a small beaver pond.

And construction was still ongoing. From here, the trailz in each direction  were dead ends, so I headed back. 

As is always my obsession, tall trees combined with blue sky and the sun means I HAVE to take a picture. Sorry.

Getting back to my truck, I had made a 1.2 mile round trip--not enough to make this a return destination (except in 10 years when I revisit the chair in the tree.) I suppose one could combine some road running alongside this oxbow lake. 

It sure looked like there was a dirt road along the shore on the other side, but I did see several NO TRESPASSING signs between the road and the lake. :-/ Another time perhaps.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Can the tide be turning?

The "battle" for Turkey Mountain is heating up. Now more than ever, YOU can make a difference. The Tulsa World reports that some of the city counselors are not supportive of the mall in this location. The article is pasted below.

City councilors hesitant about proposed outlet mall near Turkey Mountain

Many of the city councilors who hold the fate of a proposed outlet mall near Turkey Mountain in their hands aren’t thrilled with the location or how the project has been handled.
At least two are on record as saying they could not support Tulsa Premium Outlets in its proposed location on the corner of U.S. 75 and West 61st Street, and another has scheduled a public meeting on the proposal.
The meeting, arranged by Councilor Jeannie Cue, will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 17 at the Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills, 1902 E. 71st St.
“I want (the developer) to answer the questions that all concerned residents have,” Cue said. “We want to get their input because we have not heard a public comment from them on their plans.”
That meeting will be held the day before the developer of the mall, Simon Property Group, is scheduled to present its rezoning application to the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.
The commission is a recommending body. The City Council will have the final say on whether the rezoning request is approved or rejected.
Cue, who represents the district where the mall would be built, said her constituents have generally been supportive of the project, but that the overwhelming majority of people she’s heard from are opposed to it.
“I have been getting numerous emails from all over Tulsa County and the surrounding area who are not in favor of it,” Cue said.
She is the only councilor to hear from Simon, and that wasn’t until Friday. Still, she has plenty of unanswered questions.
“I would like to know the cost (to the city),” Cue said. “And have they done a study of the infrastructure needs? What are they asking, because this has not been discussed with the council on what their actual ask is of the city.”
Les Morris, director of public relations for Simon, on Friday provided a list of organizations the company has met with to discuss its project.
They include River Parks, the YMCA, Tulsa Urban Wildlife Coalition, Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, Lee’s Bikes and Tatur Racing as well as other users of Turkey Mountain.
Simon also has met with ODOT, various utility companies, and city Engineering and Planning Commission staff. It also plans to meet with other city councilors before the company goes before the Planning Commission, Morris said in an email.
Clay Bird, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, said he believes Simon is reaching out to interested parties.
“To the best of my knowledge and from what they’ve told me and what I’ve heard from other groups, they are,” Bird said.
Simon, owner of Woodland Hills Mall, announced plans to construct the upscale outlet mall last year.
It would cover more than 48 acres of private property and include more than 350,000 square feet of leasable space, according to project plans. The only entrance to the mall would be off 61st Street.
The proposal has drawn criticism from Turkey Mountain enthusiasts who are concerned the mall would encroach on trails and spoil the pristine wilderness setting.
Council Chairman Phil Lakin said he and his family have spent countless hours exploring the wilderness area.
“I will always do what I can to support smart development because it’s good for our citizens and government services,” Lakin said. “But this development, in its present form, seems to unnecessarily encroach on a highly unique Tulsa treasure.”
Lakin is CEO of the Tulsa Community Foundation. The foundation is affiliated with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which owns 139 acres on Turkey Mountain.
Councilor Anna America said she would love to see Tulsa get an outlet mall — and the sales-tax revenue that comes with it — but that it shouldn’t be built in its proposed location.
“It’s an absolute asset for Tulsa,” America said. “I would love to see this mall in Tulsa — just somewhere else.”
America, like other councilors, has heard from constituents concerned about how the proposed mall would affect Turkey Mountain. She said she shares those concerns, but is also troubled by the prospect of the city’s providing tax incentives for public infrastructure needed for the project.
Bird has said previously that the city has had discussions with Simon about creating a Tax Increment Finance District to fund the work.
TIFs allow developers to repay government entities for the construction of public infrastructure related to their projects, often using sales- and property-tax collections.
America said she would rather see a TIF used in another part of town, given that Tulsa Premium Outlets would be built a mile north of Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, which was built using a TIF.
“We have used it in that area,” America said. “I want to be more judicious about where we use those.”
Councilor G.T. Bynum said his experience has shown that developers who reach out to the parties affected by a project are the ones whose projects succeed.
“On this proposal, on something this controversial, the first I heard of any public outreach was in the last few days after plans had already been submitted to the Planning Commission,” Bynum said. “And I have yet to hear from a single Tulsan who likes the proposal. I am keeping an open mind until we see what the Planning Commission recommends, but am so far not very impressed by the approach.”

Our speaking out, letters to the counsel and mayor, and Facebook posts are working AND we need to keep it going. 

Before the mall fiasco, I did not know who my city counselor was. Look at the map below, and see what district you are in.

Then email them a courteous letter expressing your desire to see Turkey Mountain natural--as it should be. Don't know their emails? CLICK HERE

Turkey Mountain is in District Two. I live in District Two (2/10 of a mile from the Turkey Mountain parking lot) and Jeannie and I have exchanged emails a few times. She is not at all sold on the mall going on Turkey, and she can be quite influential with the other eight counselors. Take a few minutes to send an email. If you're lucky and they respond, keep the dialogue open. These city officials work for us, and want to represent us.

If you are so inclined, make this your profile picture on FB. :-)

An impromptu Post Oak Trail preview run

I ran with a few friends at Post Oak today. This was the last official training run before the Post Oak Challenge, which happens in two weeks. I am working an aid station there both days, and another TATUR group is also working another aid station both days. We're not trying to take over, but I HAVE made this Post Oak Challenge part of the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series. Former RD and friend Johnny Spriggs invited me to run with him, and since this was the last chance before the race, and also because I LOVE trail running in the snow,. I jumped at the opportunity. There were about 10 brave souls who ventured out on this windy snowy 26° day. I had no problem driving there, but did slip my truck into 4-wheel drive coming up the Hill from Hell, which had a fair dusting of snow in places. We wisely divided into two groups, of which I chose the slower one. 

Johnny led the way, following the orange ribbons. I am always confused by the multi-colored ribbons. I know one color is for each distance, but I'm still confused. Goof thing I'll be at an aid station!

For the first half of our run, the ground seemed frozen--no surprise here. We had several creek crossings which were all navigated with dry feet. I took a toe stump fall and converted in into a tuck and roll, ending up on my back, and getting a full coat of snow in the process. It was fun. During the second half of the run, we got into a bit of frozen slush mud, which is the best kind of mud. The snow mixed in makes the mud far less sticky, and I ended my run with shoes cleaner than when I put them on. :-) 

Leaha, who runs with the Tuesday/Sunday trail group joined us. Like myself, she skipped the run this morning. Her reasoning was she was going to run here at Post Oak. My reason was that the covers were so warm and I slept in. Don't hate!

We covered a lot of the trails near the lodge. We missed out on running in the Botanical Gardens, which are heavily fenced and off limits, but they will be accessible during the race. We did not do the Hill from Hell, which is not too hard by road, but is a bitch by trail.

We also skipped Holmes Peak, which I kind of wanted to do, but was advised that the wind chill was probably -17° on the top. So, our group called it a day after 4 miles, and had a PBR in the lodge. It was a pretty good day.

After we left, I decided to go see how well the Botanical Gardens was fenced off, and give Holmes Peak a go. The gates around the entrance were tall with pointy things at the top, and signs warning of surveillance cameras. Sheesh!!

So, I decided to park at the gate like we used to, and run the 1.5 miler back to the pavement and back. This gravel road has been redone, and practically feels like a paved road. I got my quota of hills in though, and finished with 7 miles for the day. Good times.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The ugly Simon Mall details

The latest plans that Simon submitted to the planning commission included the following drawings.

The one above really doesn't look that different from ones previously published, except there seems to be more parking. Compare the drawing above to one posted a few months ago. From the detail showing the hundreds of parking spaces, you get a feel as to how big this is. How far north does this extend?

It extends several hundred yards further north than I thought. I think the early sketches were purposely vague.

Look at the above map closely. (You can click on it to enlarge it.) See the gray ribbon that ends right above the 2NEWS? That is the usually dry creek that feeds the ponds at the Westside YMCA. The end of the gray ribbon is the concrete bridge that crosses to the Y--with the small pond to the south and below the dam Lake Logan. Just south of the small pond made by the concrete dam/bridge is the property boundary line shown by the obnoxious lime green. The YMCA will have neighbors--very CLOSE neighbors. But it gets worse.

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the above map that you can enlarge. You need to study this. They put the heights of the retaining walls they are building around the perimeter. Near 61st Street, there will be a 10 foot retaining wall right at the edge of the Pipeline Trail. This wall runs north and very slightly west along the top of the ridge, and this wall gets TALLER the further north you go. Around the area where the Old Boys Trail starts, the wall is 15 feet. Not much further north the wall is 45 feet tall. If you follow the wall to where it starts curving around to the west, the wall gets up to 75 feet!!!

The YMCA is obviously very concerned. All the kids attending summer camp will have this 7 story tall wall staring them in the face. Goodbye to the wilderness feel of this YMCA camp.

A bit of humor here I suppose, but I am serious. This mall will never get one cent on my business. All trail users and nature enthusiasts should be of a like mind.

But we can and are still fighting this. We CAN win this. Why? Because building a MALL on this land is just plain WRONG. What can you do to help this cause? Visit the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition. Join their Facebook page. And join Turkey Mountain Strategy on Facebook as well. And WRITE AND CALL your city counselors.

I live in district 2 where the Simon wants to build this mall. Jeannie Cue is my counselor, and she returned my email. I get the feeling that the tide may be turning in our favor. Let's keep the momentum!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My letter to my city counselor

Dear Counselor Jeannie Cue,

We have met at a couple of meetings last summer/fall just after Simon Properties announced their intent on building an outlet mall at 61st/HWY 75. At both meetings, there were several Turkey Mountain trail users in attendance. I was greatly encouraged by your statements of how you loved and grew up visiting Turkey Mountain, and you referred to it as “our Central Park.” J Indeed there are very few cities in the US that have protected urban wilderness areas such as this.

It does seem like Simon Properties has been quietly moving toward constructing this mall and it greatly saddens me. I live in your district—532 W 68th St, and the influx of traffic since Tulsa Hills has went in has quadrupled. So many commuters from west of HWY 75 use 61st and Elwood to bypass all the stoplights on 71st near Tulsa Hills. I don’t blame them—it truly seems like these stoplights are not at all synchronized. When the intersection at 71/Elwood was “improved” with no left turn lane, there is a log-jam there every morning and evening. Commuters from the south needing to cross the 71st river bridge also bypass at Tulsa Hills, complicating matters by creating line of cars turning east of Elwood onto 71st.  Making left turns is slow going with only 2-3 cars turning per light cycle. Now, if the mall is built, I can see the traffic quadrupling again.

My objection to the Simon outlet mall is not unlike the trail runners/mountain bikers/hikers.

·         It is an encroachment to what is our park. No amount of “buffer zone” will hide the high rise buildings, light pollution, noise from the traffic, and litter.

·         I am deeply concerned that the traffic issues will lead to beautiful 61st Street and Elwood being widened to 4 lanes—6 lanes and added sidewalks and many more acres of the shrinking Tulsa Urban Wilderness will be lost.

·         Tulsa is interested in economic growth. Having recreational areas and green spaces is more attractive to young professionals and prospective industries than shopping centers. I am not at all against an outlet mall in Tulsa, even in west Tulsa—but not right next door to Tulsa’s best park

·         Another valid concern is the affect that construction of the mall would have on the West Side YMCA. Right now, the Y is a magical place—right off 1-44, yet seems so far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. This summer camp has been a life changing experience for hundreds of children for over 50 years. With the sight of concrete buildings on the horizon, the noise and encroachment of an access road along HWY 75, the pollution of their ponds is a strong argument for locating the mall at another place.

Last Saturday at 3:30 pm, after my hike of Mooser Creek, I returned to my car. I was parked very near the “entrance” of the proposed mall. Counting my car, there were 19 vehicles parked there. I counted 29 more cars and SUVs parked on 61st right by the curve at the top of Elwood. Then I counted 92 (yes 92) cars parked alongside Elwood, and on 67th and 68th Street. (I live on 68th, and they were parked in front of my house and well beyond. J) I then drove the parking lot and counted 115 more cars on the lot and around 20 parked up on the grass. That’s 275 cars—with maybe an average of two people per car. 550 folks were enjoying our Urban Wilderness at that very moment—3:30 pm. I bet there were 1,500 trail users during the day Saturday, and Sunday was almost as busy. That’s maybe possibly as many as 3,000 people who oppose having an outlet mall at 61st Street/HWY 75.

I bet if 1,000 random Tulsans were surveyed, over 90% would favor having an outlet mall in our city. But if a follow-up question were on that survey—would you favor saving this plot of land for Tulsa’s Urban Wilderness and locating the mall on a more suitable site—90% would favor the alternate location. IS this a pipe dream? Could this even be possible to have a scenario where Tulsa gets the outlet mall, and Tulsa’s Urban Wilderness does not lose, but in fact gains? I would love to see the land SOUTH of 61st Street become park land—I am a dreamer, aren't I?

Jeannie, thank you for reading this. I truly appreciate all you do for our district.

Ken Childress
532 W 68th St
Tulsa, OK 74132

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Runners, hikers, mt bikers everywhere. Where to park?

Yesterday, Jake and I did some exploring. I parked on the west side near the outlet mall site, and I was not the only one. There were 19 cars there when we got through with our run, 29 cars parked alongside the road near the old upper parking lot, 92 cars parked on the side of Elwood, 67th and 68th Streets, 115 in the main parking lot, and at least 20 cars parked in the grass. That's 280 cars. With an AVERAGE of 2 people per car, that's 560 people on the trailz on Turkey Mountain just at 3:30 pm. with all the people coming and going during the day, I am sure there were at least 1500 trail users here yesterday. It was 70°, and tomorrow (Sunday) it is also gonna be in the 70s.

A side note--two cops were walking the road issuing parking tickets. I think this sucks. Maybe they were just warning tickets--I hope so. It is wonderful that 1500 people come out to hike, run, bike, picnic, have family outings, and because of the lack of parking are ticketed. The way I see it, there are four possible solutions for this parking problem.

1. Expand the existing parking lot. There is enough unpaved land adjacent to the existing parking lot to double the amount of parking spaces. (I am not totally in favor of this as the sight of too much pavement makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.)

2. Open the old parking lot at the top of the hill. It was closed because it’s a blind corner, but it they moved the entrance a little to the west, I think it would be safe.

3. Open the overflow lot that is off 71st. They could do that right now at zero cost. The concern is the huge trucks speeding down the steep hill. But if they simply opened it on the weekends, there would not be trucks on these days.

4. My favorite solution--buy/acquire the Parker property, put in a parking lot, bathrooms, and refine a couple of trail heads. And leave the rest of the 60 acres alone

Turkey Mountain is a hot spot right now. 1500 people yesterday loved their urban wilderness. They see the value in keeping it wild. Ask all 1500 of them, and you would get unanimous support for what we have, and at least 90% disapproval of the proposed outlet mall. I am sure of that. The powers that be need to know this. Call and email your city counselors. Keep abreast of the upcoming development. Join the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition. Visit the TUWC Facebook page. Nothing will change if no one expresses the need for change. Let our voices be loud and clear.

Exploring Mooser Creek

I was at a meeting where a map was passed around to illustrate a point--basically showing where the Mooser Creek watershed is. This is a very critical issue to me as well, as the proposed Simon Outlet Mall would have a devastating affect on this often overlooked stream on the north end of Turkey Mountain.

I am a map nerd. No genius, I just like maps. I have a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer by the commode for quality bathroom reading. I have found awesome places to run by studying the many pages of this stapled conglomeration of lines and dots, with the Pumpkin Holler course being a good example.

The blue lines represented Existing Trails, and I was bedazzled--could there actually be trailz unknown to me so close to where I always run?? Of course, I had to find out.

I know a little about Mooser Creek, having published pictures of the clear pools of water running under 60' bluffs on the northern edge of Turkey Mountain. I know Mooser Creek runs under the Pepsi Bridge, and on the northern edge of the YMCA property. I also understand that the creek originates a few miles to the west, but I had never seen it any further west than from the YMCA. So, with Jake by my side, we went exploring. Jake takes his second swim in Mooser Creek via the Westside Y.

I could not find a trail at all from the YMCA, but we followed the creek westward as it hugged the I-44 service road. Jake again sampled the water, which is crystal clear. On a blue skied 70° day, even I gave thought to taking a dip.

Crossing under HWY 75, we followed the creek--no trailz--but we hugged the edge of the creek and crossed several times on rocks. I managed to keep my feet dry, while Jake managed to get his whole coat wet. This house, which had it's own bridge over the creek, looked to be 100 years old. We passed by unnoticed, but I would love to get to know these folks.

By now, I realized the map was just "proposed" trailz, but I wanted to see more.

(Click on the above picture to enlarge it. Should be readable.)
In 2006, the City of Tulsa published future plans for southwest Tulsa, which included a lot of trail work. Part of the plan was for a trail system along Mooser Creek. I am in favor of this, although it looksd like they are doing a paved trail on the north bank and just a trail on the south bank. Would we really need both? Just the dirt trail would be fine by me. :-)

We kept going, bushwhacking at times, and I knew I wanted to eventually head south to Riverfield or Lubell Park. Climbing a decent hill through lots of green briers did a number on my morale, arms, and legs. AT the top, we ran into a neighborhood, and I did not feel like waltzing through someones back yard. We headed back north and west, and eventually hit the creek again. I thought it was Mooser, but looking at some online maps, it was another creek. Can't find the name of it..

Just around the bend, the banks were high and the water was deep, so we scrambled through the tall grass and briers. We followed what looked like a deer trail, but obviousl these deer were not at all bothered by wicked thorns.

Finally we were able to get back to the creek and cross. Heading south, we ran into another fence, but a huge tree had fallen on it making crossing over easy. A few more yards of bush whacking (a machete would have been nice) and we popped out on a wide trail. :-)

This trail took us right to the NE corner of Riverfield, and instead of trekking right through the grounds, we backtracked and took a utility easement clearing south to 61st Street. Along the way, I tossed a basketball and soccer ball back over the Riverfield fence--my good deed for the day.

Battle scars for the day: a dozen puncture wounds to the arms, and slashed legs. These are a trail runners badge of honor.

First and foremost--this stream should be protected. Construction uphill (outlet mall, etc) will pollute this clear free flowing water. 

I wonder if these plans for a trail system along Mooser Creek have been scrapped? This is such a beautiful place, and would be a huge asset to our city. I'd love to see these built!!