In late October, circumstances prevented Wendy and me from going out on our typical Friday evening date, and we were unable to attend a former student’s marriage reception. But we were able to reunite on Saturday afternoon for a return to Chandler Park in west Tulsa to explore more of the trails along its bluff above the Arkansas River. We ended up walking a total of 2.1 miles along the bluff and then through the park’s frisbee golf course along its south perimeter.
We parked at the Lost City trailhead and descended from the top of the bluff to return to the various rough trails connecting rock outcroppings along the bluff. It was great to be out for a walk, and I deliberately led us down the bluff away from the main path to roam amidst the eroded rock walls, forking along new pathways.
Some graffiti gave a literal meaning to rock face. Wendy posed on its nose, and we speculated that if someone added spectacles these could be our own eyes of oculist T.J. Eckleburg looking over the valley of the Arkansas rather than the valley of ashes. The somewhat dark analogy was reinforced when we discovered that the eyes looked down toward a trail where I found a bag of white powder and a pamphlet on substance abuse services. Wendy was suitably amused, mentioning how they reminded her of the syringe we found in the vacant lot in Russellville back in June. Our travels don’t solely focus on romantic surroundings.
We went down the bluff far enough to get a clear view of the sandy bed of the Arkansas River and the Highway 97 bridge across it. We climbed back up to the rock walls of the Lost City and admired an unusual plant. A short bluff had grass growing on top and spray paint heiroglyphics on its face. Wendy spotted a small hole in a rock wall’s projection, and we had fun setting up a shot of her looking through it. Another wall of the Lost City included a low niche.
We reached the end of the trails and doubled back along the loop at the west end to explore the trail segments there before ascending to the Community Center. We enjoyed a break at a nearby picnic table before threading our way around the park lagoon and past the ball fields entrance to explore the north perimeter of the park.
I was curious if there might be any social trails on that side down to its bluff, but we just found a few very short and overgrown loop trails along the sides of the park’s long frisbee golf course, where several parties were out enjoying that pastime. I got a shot of some long and droopy red leaves of autumn and enjoyed the contrast between the steep and wild trails of the bluff and the very tame picnic forest up top.