Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Washington State International Kite Festival (WSIKF) 2011

From WSIKF 2011

I'm currently on a two week trip to the Northwest to visit my sister Debbie and her husband Mason in Portland and attend the Washington State International Kite Festival which was held last week in Long Beach Washington.

Click the picture above for more from the kite festival.

We spent 3 days over the weekend at the kite festival. When we got there, the beach was cold and windy with low clouds, so low that many of the kites were up in the mist. We walked around to check out what was going on and then I got a couple kites out and found a spot to fly. I put up my Gomberg Super Sled with a couple of taper tube windsocks and my 12 foot grinder spinsock. I anchored this to a sand anchor and then got out my Prism Quantum stunt kite and 100 foot tube tail. The wind was very strong so getting the stunt kite up with the tube tail was very easy. Even though the weather wasn't the greatest the beach was very crowded with fliers. Mason even took a shot at flying my stunt kite.

On Saturday the weather was beautiful but from the hotel it didn't look very windy. It was much different on the beach. Clear skies and strong wind. This time I decided to find a spot in the official flying fields. Once I found a small spot, I put up the super sled so that Debbie and Mason could find me. Besides one crabby Rev flyer who thought I was crowding their spot, everyone there was very friendly. I wanted to get my 12 stack of Dyna Kites up which take a lot of room. Also, I don't think I've ever flown them in as much wind as there was. My ground stake was too short for the beach sand so I had a little trouble setting up but one strong yank and the stack hit the sky.

These kites pull a lot in normal winds but this was crazy. I had a hard time keeping my footing while in the strongest part of the wind window. I flew them for a while and then Debbie and Mason came down to the beach. They were able to see the Dyna Kites from quite a distance down the beach. Mason took a bit of video of me flying them which is part of the video below. After a while I took a break from the Dyna Kites and switch to the Prism and long tail. Once again, Mason gave it a shot and did better this time. I think with lighter winds he'd pick it up quite well. With the strong winds the kite just reacts too fast and is easy to crash.

While I was flying the Prism, I looked over and saw my anchored kite acting up, I looked down and a Rev kite flyers had gotten his lines tangled up in my Grinder wind sock. I guess that's why they call it a grinder. It took a bit of work to get them untagled as the spikes on the grinder had hit different lines. Things like that happen when you're flying. The Rev kite flier was Brett from Eugene Oregon and they were happy they crashed into someone mellow. After getting his kite untanged he offered to let me try it out. I've resisted trying them because I don't need another expensive kite addiction. I actually have another brand of four-line kite but I've only tried to fly it once. I've been told that it's hard for two-line kite fliers to pick up the four-line style. Brett was very helpful in showing me the basics. It looks like I'll be getting mine out again.

After that, the wind seemed a bit lighter so I decided to get out the big stack again. Of course once I did the wind was stronger than ever. I flew them for a couple hours but had to take several breaks. One time I landed the stack, applause broke out behind me. I hadn't noticed that a croud had formed. Kind of embarassing. If I'd known, I would have tried some fancier stuff with them.

My trip to Portland continues until the 29th. Other things I've done is to travel quite a bit on the local public transit to see the sites. I also met up with an old friend who used to live in Atlanta and now lives in Portland. This coming weekend we're going out to the Coumbia Gorge before I return home. Overall it's been a great trip and it's been great to spend a lot of time with Debbie and Mason.

Click the picture below for more that I've taken during the trip.

Portland 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hurkey Creek Campout 2011

From Hurkey Creek 2011

Julie and I made the trek to Hurkey Creek again for the second annual teardrop and vintage trailer gathering. This is group dry camping at its best. Great people and great weather all set under tall pine trees. We got there on Thursday and there were already quite a few campers set up. The temperature was in the 80s during the day and nice and cool at night. I set up my campsite next to John Samarin who I know from other campouts. He already had his canopy set up so I didn't need to set mine up this time. We had a good time hanging out during the weekend. I also met Mary from Scottsdale, Arizona, who creates wonderful pottery. The ones she had on display featured teardrop trailers.

On Saturday there was a big potluck dinner where the dutch ovens were lined up ready for everyone to sample what was made. I made my usual spicy meatballs which are super easy and people seem to like. They were all gone. Each night there was a big central campfire where you could sit around and talk and enjoy the night air and the stars. There were quite a few shooting stars over the weekend. As usual it was a relaxing time and I thank Carrousel and Ray Corliss for putting it on and look forward to next year. Click on the picture above for more.