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. The forecast for Thursday was not promising, which afforded us the time to catch up with Heather Shenck and her new baby, Steven.
In the afternoon we headed up Skyline ridge to see if we could get any kiting in despite the light wind conditions. The wind was indeed light with only a few people getting a session in. The lucky thing for me was that some of the boys were willing to spend time helping me tune our new North kites. Up until that point both Frances and I had been struggling with the new quiver, it was killing me to have these gorgeous kites and not have them fly quite right. Imagine having four new
Gucci handbags and not even being able to unzip them, that was how I was feeling about the kites. These four North Evos are the most beautifully constructed kites I have ever seen, each stitch is in exactly the right spot, the fabric, valves, reinforcements and design are all top notch, the bar is the most bomber bar I have ever seen, as well. Tuning on the bar was what got me, up until we received our North kites I had only flown “attach and go” kites, I have never had to think about how I was going to tune my kite. Fortunately boys do think about this stuff and got me straightened out, thank you Sean, Josh and Billy!
After the productive tuning session the group in the parking lot was discussing the bad luck of all the area hotels being full for another event. I was happy to offer the solution of the guesthouse/ retreat I had found for Frances and me. At this point I had not see the place in person but I new there was plenty of rooms so the group of us headed for the Fairview Retreat. Upon arriving I immediately called Jen and Tyler and told them they had to head over and check this place out. The retreat has a kitchen fit for cooking for large groups, a media room sporting surround sound and projector TV that puts up an 8’x10’ image. Bathrooms are shared but the rooms are extremely comfortable, well decorated and private. The retreat sleeps up to sixteen people with Jerry, the owner, offering on a per room or all house basis. Only clean and happy people should call Jerry for more info. To quote Tyler Brown, “This place is going to change the face of snowkiting at Skyline, people will want to stay here.”
On Friday morning the wind turned on early so we headed straight to Skyline as soon as we ate breakfast and packed our gear back into the vee-dub-you-a. It was another gorgeous and sunny day, with little wind since the last snowstorm the snow conditions were creamy and smooth. We pumped up the 10 and 12-meter kites and went out for a long and lovely session seeking the untracked spots and kickers to jump. Late in the afternoon Billy Bordy and Frances posed for photos.
Billy is a great model, for the camera, and obliged me by jumping over me a few times in exchange for trying to get a unique shot of him gliding. I think I may have succeeded on both counts.
At sunset part of the crew went out for a sunset session. I went east to the far end of Bosco’s Hill with Jen and had an amazing two-person session. Unfortunately I left my camera at the car but I will always carry the image of Jen with her orange and blue kite and orange and green outfit perfectly complimenting the western Utah sky as the sun went down over kiting paradise. We finally coasted back to the cars around seven in the evening tired but dreamy with the loveliness.
The best day so far has been Saturday with light but steady wind. I had a long and therapeutic session lasting almost 5 hours. Ron Orton and I decided to avoid the cameras after I attempted to photograph Luke, his son,
and Jon McCabe kiting a shoulder of powder on a western slope overlooking the valley. Our adventure took us clear to the end of the western ridge where we did multiple laps in a field of untracked powder. The hours spent out in the outback with Ron were another special memory I took away from this gorgeous weekend of fun and friends.