Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tyler long run

Occasionally I take a camera when I run, especially when I'm exploring a city and looking for curious and interesting things.  Time to check out Tyler, Texas!

Heading out from John's current work site at Texas Responsible Energy & Efficiency - see you later, John!

Some pretty foliage - finally seeing colors turn in east Texas:

Well, this is different!  Yes, THAT David Koresh, buried in a cemetery in Tyler, who knew?

I never would have found it without an exact lat/long location in the back of a large cemetery:

In another part of the same place, a howitzer (easier to find):

Moving on to downtown Tyler, this large water tower was apparently set up as a nuclear fallout shelter at one point:

One of many red brick streets downtown:

I had to go see what an "Earthkind Botanical Garden" is:

I'm not sure I found it.  But this garden sure is pretty:

Lovely bench:

This place nearby sure has seen better days - I just happened to notice it blocked off behind a gate as I was running by:

Barbershop pole = checkpoint!

I like the local bus design:

And the rose logo for the city:

I didn't find many murals, but the science center made up for that with several good ones.  Lots of detail here, planets and waves and layers of the earth:

Things that fly, including a butterfly for Mom  :)

Science on the smaller scale:

This probably isn't an official whaling wall, but I still like it:

I'm a fan of colorful utility boxes:

Peace through discovery - a wonderful concept.  It made me ponder why science and facts aren't more broadly used and appreciated when talking about important subjects, like climate change; is it possible that peace and saving humanity aren't desired by all people?  That thought made me sad.  Big thoughts for the middle of a long run, just bubbling up by looking at one mural.

On the lighter side - something pretty:

You have to be looking in the right place to find this sculpture:

Tyler City Square has a nice little fountain - I wonder if the water jets spray higher sometimes:

"Make Tyler a beautiful work of art" - first time I've seen such an elaborate print on a trash can:

I definitely had to find the grave for Shorty the Squirrel:

A bell that was used as a fire bell before being returned to the church:

The only statue I found while roaming around, here is Mr. R. W. Fair at a parking garage:

An important discovery - the Foundry coffeehouse, a most excellent (and warm) place, a little haven in the middle of downtown:

The warm spiced cider was most excellent:

One of many beautiful houses framed by lovely flower gardens, this one with all kinds of honors including a historical plaque and two types of medallions:

The Children's Park is a wonderful (and sobering) little place to walk through.  There are many sculptures honoring children, like the little kid playing with a frog.  Also a couple of large bears possibly tickling each other?

The butterfly garden, very nice:

Aaaagh!!  A giant ladybug, noooo!  You have to understand that ladybugs have been SWARMING in east Texas lately and I have spent many minutes hunting them down and removing them from inside our trailer.  So my reaction was a bit unusual as ladybugs go...

I've seen several Micro Family Farms in Tyler, finally got a picture of one.  I've not heard of this before, apparently they are helping people set up gardens in their yards in Tyler, Austin, and soon in Dallas:

Obviously it's the off season for a garden right now, but here's a brief glimpse of what they look like:

An impressive amphitheater in Bergfeld Park:

A really impressive gravestone in Rose Hill Cemetery:

I'll stop using the term "impressive" as this point and switch to "humorous":

The halls of Tyler Junior College:

I like this tower of books, called "Foundations", in a courtyard at the college:

Not quite sure what to think about the totem poles nearby:

Wonderful depiction of geese taking off from a pool:

A southern checkpoint:

Bubbly fountain at UT Tyler:

Brilliant red foliage on campus:

A tall tower with carillon bells:

I just happened to time it exactly right (got lucky) to hear the noon performance.  It went on for 10 minutes so I was able to get over there and capture just a bit of the very end of it:

This sculpture of (I think) a snapping turtle is called "East Texas Watch Dog" - love it!

I ran on the twisting, turning, switchbacking bike trails through the UT Tyler campus.  Only mountain bike trail builders can imagine just how much trail distance can be fit into such a small area.  I enjoyed running on it; biking would be more challenging for me with all the little dips and steep climbs.

One item of note was this sign on the bridge - "Bridge maximum capacity: 12 persons or 2000 pounds" - but did they really have to call it out?  I can imagine some people would consider that a challenge and would not be surprised to see a Facebook photo with 13 people standing on it:

A bit of the trail winding through the leaves:

Solar for John (and while it would have been a better picture if the sun were actually shining, I did appreciate the cloudy day for my run):

This one really made me wish we were going to the Bay Area for the annual Christmas decoration nighttime orienteering run next month - so fun!  The question for this checkpoint would be something like, "Who is standing on the left?  A) Santa  B) The Grinch  C) Dinosaur"

Second mid-run break - for a bagel and coffee.  Thank you, Einstein's!

This sign has made me laugh several times recently (see the part on the right), so I was happy for the opportunity to include it in this post:

Making my way back to the west, here's an interesting bunch of animals advertising the World of Wildlife Museum:

And the museum is actually free, so I poked my head inside.  I decided I wasn't really up for seeing a bunch of taxidermy that day, so I snapped a quick photo and went back out to continue my journey:

Running through Lindsey Park to see if I could find the bike trailhead, I happened to pass by this unusual disc golf goal - I daresay it could be considered "impressive":

An excellent sign about how long litter takes to decompose (plastic bottles = 450-1000 years) - please don't leave trash on the ground (obviously) - and maybe reconsider occasionally before buying a plastic bottle in the first place:

Wow, I have never thought about a disc golf course as meriting such a "Warning!" sign like this one.  Makes me want to check out the course and see if there are alligators out there or cliffs to scale or something:

Ah yes, here's the trailhead.  Not visible from the road, so I guess you need to know that it's here?  Maybe I missed a sign somewhere.  Anyway, I'd gotten enough miles for the day already, so I'll come back and check out the trail another time.  [UPDATE - yes, there is a sign across from the parking lot.  Don't pay attention to the mileage on the big map board - total trail length is about 13 miles.  And the trails are awesome!  Bring your bike!]

John, I'm back!

That was fun!  Thank you Tyler!

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