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18
Apr
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Painting and Kiting

As the seasons are changing things are warming up here in Montana.  Packy and I have already made several treks to Ennis Lake to kite with out kite friends.  We even logs a day or two in March, a first ever because of the extremely mild winter and spring we have been experiencing.

I have been using the extra time and warmth to work on some paintings.  I started a series of paintings inspired by Ivan Doig’s book “This House of Sky” in the fall.  I read “This House of Sky 15 years ago and reread it in September and found myself even more in league with my old literary icon, Ivan.  Read more »

5
Apr
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A Dead Cat, no Bike Lane and a Blabbermouth in a Caddy

This is embarrassing but it took a dead cat, no bike lane, a blabber mouth on a cell phone while driving and my dog getting hit by the blabber mouth to get me out of a small blog slump.   I think I just heard you gasp when I mentioned that my dog got hit by a blabber mouth, not to worry she is fine, this is the wonder dog after all, who got punted 20 feet by a grizzly bear last summer and acted like it was just another day at the office, no squealing, no injuries and no hang ups.

I am a bit odd or eccentric when it comes to certain things; one is saving fuel.  This may sound ironic to you, as I am a kiteboarder in Montana, which equates to driving a lot and consuming a lot of fuel, but I guess I try to make up for it around town by riding my bike.  Last fall I purchased a small utility trailer for my bike so I could grocery shop and run errands via the bike.  The bigger the haul, in the trailer, the more smug and pompous I get, it is wonderful for my ego and my urge to be righteous.  Read more »

28
Mar

Indoor Kite Flying

My Friend Nic sent me this video of her other kite love, indoor kite flying.  This amazing woman is flying a kite inside without wind, I find it facinating.

17
Mar
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Maui Wowie

When I go on vacation to kite I hope the weather will be windy and the water warm or the snow powder.  To get more specific, I like strong steady wind with warm turquoise water or 18” of 1% powder with smooth moderate wind.  This recent trip, to Maui, was the former strong wind and pleasant water. I have found myself pumping the 5-meter kite day after day.  If you do not kite a 5-meter kite is the size of well, a napkin, it looks like a speck or a hummingbird up in the sky, it is plain tiny which means the wind is honking if some chooses such a small piece of fabric to pull them around.  I went out a few times on my twin tip just for amusement sake but I find the surfboard is what kiting March Maui is all about.  There is something to be said for being pulled into a head high wave by a juiced up hummingbird.  Heck, it is hardly any effort at all and the kite just drifts down the line because the wind is so strong, I think I would call it ego kiting and right now, just so you know, I feel pretty good about my kiting ability.  Yep, doing all this in a bathing suit just adds to the experience, no frostbite here, just flaming pink sunburn, pure kiter bliss. Read more »

9
Mar

2012 Episode 3 by Joe Irons

Here is Joes final instalment of his trilogy of Montana kitning, enjoy.

6
Mar
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Where Have we Been Again 3: The Georgetown Lake Open (GTO)

This weekend Frances and I traveled just 2 hours down Interstate 90 to the GTO.  Cole Russell put on a wonderful event with course racing, speed and distance trials and a freestyle competition.

There are experiences or events that I experience where the sum is truly greater than the parts and this weekend was one of those happy and great take aways.  On Saturday morning I got out of bed and started organizing for the weekend at 5:00 AM.  I was hoping that Frances and I could have a 6:30 departure for Georgetown Lake and the Georgetown Open, affectingly called the GTO.  This was the final snowkite event for this season, put together by Cole Russell.  Cole has worked hard to put this event on for the past six years as he has diligently built his snowkite business, Underground Kitesports, in Phillipsburg, Montana.

Read more »

2
Mar
Packy is fascinated by succulents too.

Predicting the Future by Packy

I am driving the Toy-ot-ta, not the Vee-dub-youa, the transmission of the Vee-dub-youa made a horrible noise when two very large bolts fell on the ground after an oil change.  Packy got to ride in a Bow-wing to Hawaii, he headed there to help his parents start making the transition for a move to San Francisco, or at least that is what he says to his parents, I think he is planning on kiting as much as he can, he took three kites and bought a surfboard. Read more »

1
Mar

2012 Episode 2 by Joe Irons

Here is episode 2 of Joe’s 2012 triology.  Thanks Joe for another great video!  As some of you may have noticed Joe is a semi-regular contributor to this blog and he has given permision to display his work on these blog posts.

Enjoy,

Mel.

27
Feb

2012 Episode 1 by Joe Irons

Joe just sent me this link of the first in a video trilogy he is putting together of the 2012 kite season.  Joe has featured some of the Montana Snowkite Crew having a great time in our corner of the world.  Joe does an amazing job of editing, and self filming; see if you can spot the clips he filmed of himself or others remotely.  Thanks Joe for your contribution!

25
Feb
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El Norte 2: Updraft Thursday

Packy penned this post of the great day of kiting Thursday, enjoy!

Updraft Thursday

Winter is finally making an appearance in Southwest Montana, and when the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast the north wind or “El Norte” for the “Montaho” region, it didn’t slip by the local kite crew. Appointments were dropped and new plans were made, this was not a day to be missed. The northwest wind showed up right on time, the clouds broke, the sun came out and we were on it. Wendensday’s warmth had put a crust on the snow, and luckily the snowmobilers hadn’t rutted it up, so it was smooth and fast. Read more »

20
Feb
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Where Have We Been Again?

This past week Frances and I headed south to the Superfly Open.  This year, because of snow conditions at Strawberry Reservoir, the event was moved to Skyline.  I loaded Frances and all of our gear into the vee-dub-you-a Wednesday after school and motored south from Montana thru Idaho to Utah.  We arrived in Fairview, UT after midnight where we hunkered down in a museum parking lot and slept till past 9:30 the next morning.  Jen was finally able to roust us from our deep sleep and gave us the wind report.  Read more »

15
Feb
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Strawberry Superfly Open Event Changes to Skyline

Jen M. and Jake B. contacted me yesterday afternoon to confirm that the Superfly Open, scheduled for this week, (February 14- 20) will not be held at Strawberry reservoir but at Skyline further south.  Due to difficult snow and ice conditions Strawberry is not suited for the competition this weekend.  Skyline has received new snow this week with more in the forecast.  Skyline also has a favorable wind forecast for the coming days.  For more information please visit the North American Snowkite Tour  I will post more contact info as soon as I get it so please check back.

For more info on the Skyline location Kite Utah has a great write-up.

I have done some investigation on lodging and this is what I found: Read more »

10
Feb
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KB4Girls (Kiteboarding for Girls) Schedule

I am a huge fan of Kristin Boese, as no other woman has done more for promoting the sport of kiteboarding than this amazing woman and she is incredibly nice and down to earth to boot.  Kristen was the International Sailor of the Year in 2010 and is a 9-time world champion.  Besides doing all of this she also has made time to promote social charities and introduces 100’s of women to the sport of kiteboarding each year.  If you have not attended one of Kristen’s KB4girls events you really should, it is a bucket list items for all women kiteboarders, in my opinion.  Check out the schedule on the full post. Read more »

9
Feb
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Lightweight Ramblings -An ode to Sewer Cop

This past week I ran into a friend that just so happens to be a renegade writing hero of mine.  For the purpose of this blog post I will call him by his renegade pen name: Sewer Cop.  Back in the nineties Sewer Cop had a regular weekly article in our small circulation newspaper titled “The Adventures of Sewer Cop.”  This weekly article was made up of the shenanigans of fictional archetypes that resembled infamous community members so much that on any given week half the community was smoking mad while the other half laughed their hineys off.  Sewer Cop is a master of satire and made an uncomfortable sewer and water dilemma the axis of how our world turned.   When I think back to the Sewer Cop days, this guy was so ahead of his time and so lucky, he got real ink and paper to blog on, how cool is that? Read more »

9
Feb

Kite Soldiers Event Change

This is just in from Trisha and Monty-

“KITE SOLDIERS 2012 UPDATE…
After deliberations and work with the town of Fairfield, unfortunately due to timing and logistics, we will not be holding Kite Soldiers 2012 in a formal way.
We will be in Idaho snowkiting during the weekend of February 25th and/or the weekend of March 3rd depending on conditions, so come kite with us.
We are very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. If you’ve made plans, we encourage you to keep them. Idaho snowkiting is epic! You don’t want to miss it!
LOOK FOR US IN 2013 BECAUSE WE ASSURE YOU WE WILL BE BACK AND WILL CONTINUE TO FLY THE SOLDIER FLAG!! -”

6
Feb
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Upcoming Snowkite Events

This is a reminder of some upcoming events in the snowkite community in the Northwestern US.

  •  2012 Dillon SnowKite Open, February 9th – 12th 201, Lake Dillon, Co
  • Superfly Open, Feb. 17- 19, 2012, location to be announced.
  • 9th Annual Montana Snowkite Rodeo, February 16-18, 2012, Jackson Hot Springs, MT
  • Kite Soldiers, February 23-26, 2012, Fairfield, ID
  • 5th Annual Georgetown Lake Open (GTO V), Thursday, March 1 to4, 2012, Georgetown Lake, MT Read more »
3
Feb

“The Search” -Trailer

This trailer for a movie shot by one of my favorite H2O photographers, John Builderback, just makes me wish i could spend a week on the Best Odyssey,  Thank you Best Odysseys  for teasing me some more!

-Mel.

1
Feb
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Congratulations to Luke and Frances!

Ken (Ninjafly) just posted the following on the NAST page naming Luke Orton and Frances Cronin the riders of the week, voted by the majority of pro riders in Jackson:

“After a really great week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; 2 individuals have been awarded prizes from the BigMt SnowKite FreeRide. They have been offered their pick of great prizes from Pistil hats, CW-X tights, Superfeet insoles, Kleen Kanteen water bottles, and Dakine. The 2 individuals are: Frances Cronin and Luke Orton.

Frances displayed a huge amount of composure during difficult snowkite conditions. This young athlete showed many of the older snowkiters how to keep it together when the going gets tough. Luke displayed an incredible amount of progression with his snowkiting skills. Read more »

27
Jan

Where Have we Been?

It has been a little bit since my last post but Frances and I packed up and headed for Jackson Hole, the first stop on the North American Snow Kite Tour.  The following was posted by Stuart Penny (look for the shout outs for Frances and Adrenajen) of Black Owl Media:

The wind gave the NAST snowkiters  a taste of  the Jackson Hole powder  on Wednesday keeping the stoke high as the next storm rolls in to clean up the tracks and set the stage for what looks to be a possible sickbird day on Friday.
The first stop on the North American Snowkite Tour in Jackson Hole, Wyoming has provided a great spring-board for what hopes to be a rocking season of snowkiting and exploration in the back country.   Pro riders continued to roll in day by day from all over the country, reconnecting with their friends and sharing the stoke of the sessions and season to come. Read more »
21
Jan
My husband, err pumping up.

Electric Kite Pumps – Pump Envy and the no Stroke Stoke

OK, if you are offended by puns of a pumping nature please do not read this post.  I make many irreverent puns in this post and you may not like it or you may laugh, it all depends. *

So for the past two years I have had this major fantasy about kite inflation.  As immature as it sounds every time one of  our rinky-dink black plastic, stock pumps gets fussy I want  to shove it up someone’s dark and scary place.  I realize this can’t be done as the pump is way too large to fit there and  I really have no idea who this someone is, it’s an abstract concept that, never-the-less, helps deflate my pump frustrations. Read more »

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