Saturday, May 30, 2009

Our day in Bartlesville

We spent yesterday in Bartlesville. We left the house around 10:30 am and drove straight to B’ville. We saw the Washington Park Mall on the right as we drove in. The GNC store (registration point for B‘ville volkswalks) is located in the mall. I asked the man at the counter for the walking materials, which he handed to me. I then went to a bench just outside the store and filled out the necessary forms, stamping my books while I was there. (Saves having to return afterwards.) In addition to the Event Book, I stamped my books for American Authors and Literary Landmarks, Riverwalk America, and Railroad Heritage.

Next we went around the corner (inside the mall) to a Subway restaurant and split a $5 footlong Black Forest Ham sandwich. Having registered for the downtown Bartlesville City Walk, we got back into the car and drove to a parking area near the downtown. We started out on the walk, seeing many historic buildings along the way, including the skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, known as Price Tower. We had toured the building before, so we just passed it by today. Across the street was the Civic Center which can hold 1,800 people. This building is the main venue for OkMozart, an annual festival held June which runs for 10 days. I would like to go back to B’ville and take in some concerts. In addition to the ticketed concerts, there are several that are free.

Walking along the streets of B’ville, we came upon the city museum. It is located on the fifth floor of one of the buildings in downtown B’ville. For a city museum, it was quite good. After finishing the walk, we returned to the car, which was parked near the art museum.

We now turned our attention to geocaching. I had pre-loaded the coordinates for five caches in my GPS receiver while in Sand Springs. When I turned on the GPS unit, it said the nearest cache was only a couple hundred feet away. I found it hidden in a wall behind a loose brick. The next cache took us downtown again. It was in a small magnetic container attached to a wrought iron fence. Once again, I signed the log (Orbi Toe is my geocaching name) and placed it back where I found it.

The next cache took us to Memorial Bridge, so named because it lists the names of the area citizens who died in WWI. My GPS indicated that the cache was off north of the bridge, which meant it was down below. Fortunately, there was a path leading down to the riverside (Caney River). We walked down to the path running along the bank of the river to where my GPS indicated the cache was hidden.

We had looked around for about 15 minutes, when I spotted it. It was a micro cache – a green aluminum tube about an inch and a half long, about the thickness of a pencil, perhaps a bit larger. It was clipped to a fence. I unscrewed the tube. Inside was a log which was rolled up. We unrolled the log and signed it. Getting it rolled back to fit inside the tube was another story. Believe me, there was no room to spare. I was starting to think I was going to have to remove one the pages of the log to get it to fit back inside the tube.

Somehow, we got it back inside the tube. Just then I felt something land on my right shoulder. I thought it might be a grasshopper and reached up to brush it off. I asked J if she saw a bug on me. She said a bird had made a deposit on my shoulder. Sure enough, when I looked at my hand I saw remnants of undigested berries. I had been crapped on. Score one for the birds.

It was a good thing I had another shirt with me. I changed when we got back to the car, parked maybe a hundred feet away. We went to Dink’s Bar-Be-Cue not far from the cache. I went to the washroom and scrubbed my hands, returned to the table and ordered a pork barbecue sandwich with okra and potato salad.

We decided to skip the cache out at the airport (west side of town) and went instead to a cache titled “In the shadow of a sphere.” This cache is located at the golf course. There is an observation tower there build out of, what looks like, scrap metal. At the top sits a large metal sphere made of, maybe, rebar. It is, perhaps, a hundred feet high and enclosed in a cage, of sorts.

We looked and looked, but never found the cache. Could it be lost (geocachers use the term “muggled” for caches that are discovered by non-cachers and then plundered)? Perhaps it was there but we did not see it. The coords led me to a single tree just north of the tower. The ground around the tree was newly mown. The tree itself was fairly simple. When I got back home, I activated a feature on the cache page which will send to me any logs added to the cache. So if others fail to find the cache, I should know soon.

Cache results for the day: 3 finds and 1 did not find, which brings my total number of finds to 199. Volkswalking total: 225.

We headed home and made it back in time to watch NOW with David Brancaccio and then Bill Moyers Journal.

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