December 23, 2012
Yesterday I went to see the first installment of the latest Middle Earth film trilogy: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I have not yet read the book, but the familiar mood, settings, and some characters from the earlier The Lord of the Rings trilogy of films lent the journey a familiar air. (And yes, I did see a film at the AMC 20 in Tulsa. The reel change markers in the two-dimensional version I viewed were quite evident, along with the juddering of actual film sliding past a lens. However, soon that will be an experience relegated to the past. Will digital projection lead to a shift to higher frame rates? Director Peter Jackson hopes it will.)
Similarly, the day before I made what, for regular readers, should be an expected journey: driving 30 minutes west from home to hike at Osage Hills State Park. Since my day hiking frenzy began in mid-2009, I’ve hiked various trails there almost two dozen times: three times in 2009, eight in 2010, seven in 2011, and now five in 2012. I’ve thoroughly exhausted the novelties of its trails and any appealing bushwhacks.
But I still enjoyed taking a few shots along my 5.25 mile journey roughly following the Bugle Trail loop. The shelter in the picnic area was a nice spot despite the tepid afternoon sun, which also illuminated the no-longer-leafy bluff across Sand Creek, affording a good look at the cave across the way, along with the large fading KEEP OUT sign adorning the bluff below it, which I managed to exclude from my shots.
Sand Creek was stilled by the drought, the rocky creekbed mostly dry, as were the waterfall ledges separating pools of water. The rope swing hung forlornly in the winter air. But the soft, calming walk around the Creek Loop was restorative, followed by the rougher and invigorating tower/lake trail.
I’ve made no grand hiking plans for this winter break, and my declining number of hiking days and mileage for 2012 represents how I’m running out of novel trails which don’t require an overnight stay.
But I still enjoy day hikes and, unless weather and ennui intervenes, I might add a few more miles to my total for 2012 during the final week of the year.