The Blue Ridge Kite Festival was canceled due to the violent storms that tore through the region. But that doesn’t keep kite fliers from flying for long. The following Sunday there was an informal kite fly for the fliers that came for the festival and for any others who wanted to come out and fly. There were no vendors or music. And there were no crowds. But there were quite a few kite fliers of all ages and competencies and lots of color in the sky. The weather was nice. Cool and sunny with lots of wind. Not too much but very gusty. It made keeping some kites up a little difficult but not impossible.
The park where we flew was simply amazing. Large, large open fields. Room for all kinds of activities, walking trails near the river and a picnic area. The ball fields were away from the open fields so there was no conflict between different activities going on at the same time. Parking was not a problem. Though it probably would have been during the festival. As huge as the park was, it would have been very crowded with the thousands of people who attend. For an informal kite fly, this park was wonderful.
There was a large trilobite kite in the sky when we arrived. And a manta ray joined it for a while. The stunt kite fliers were out in force. Lots of Revolution quad-line kites and several delta dual-line stunters. The sky was filled with deltas and easy flyer kites. There were some custom-made flat kites and several foils and Suttons. John got his orange Sutton up and it just hung in the sky above the field. I attempted to fly the Kokopelli but the winds were too strong and erratic. After a lot of bridle adjustment, I got Penelope Cat up for her maiden flight. I readjusted Pepe’s bridle and tried to fly them side-by-side. It looked more like a fighter kite flight than two della portas. After untangling lines several times, I pulled the those kites down and set them by the car. I also had the pan flute up for a while. It did not like the winds either so It came down, too. Did have the chance to visit with some of the other fliers. Most of which we hadn’t seen since Labor Day of last year. Got a couple of invitations to other kite festivals and competitions in the surrounding areas. So, what does one fly when the single-liners aren’t cooperating? Why, dual line stunt kites, of course.
I put up the six-stack Hyperkites. They danced around in the winds a little but were a blast to fly. when the winds got gusty, they tried to pull me down the field. I wasn’t quite prepared for the pull the first time but I recovered and enjoyed it. At one time, I was pulled out of my flip-flops. I should have known better and worn shoes in the grassy field. I guess I’m too used to flying on the beach. I retrieved my shoe when I landed the stack to catch my breath. It was great. I then tried to fly the Silent Dart. It did not like the gusty winds at all. I kept losing contact with the kite as it bounced around instead of tracking across the sky. This made me uncomfortable so I didn’t fly it for long.
In the meantime, our daughter put up the Trick-n-Track and flew like a champ. She hadn’t flown a stunt kite in over a year but had no trouble remembering how. The Trick-n-Track buzzed in the strong winds and put on a show with a transition tail following along behind. Our daughter loved it and gave us some hints that she may want one of her own. Especially now that they found a place to fly. Our son-in-law flew the Symphony 2.2 for the first time. This is a soft kite that really has some pull. He ended up on his butt several times but always came up laughing. He picked up flying quickly and actually loved being dragged across the grass. We may have created another “kite monster”. I know what the two of them will want to do the next time they come home to the beach.
After five hours in the park, we had enough. Most of the other fliers left to travel home. We were staying an extra day so we could have an evening to rest up. And spend some more time with family. Despite the weather, it was a great weekend. Now we travel home ourselves and clean up the kite gear and get ready for the next adventure.
Fair Winds All.