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
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
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.
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
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.
Packy penned this post of the great day of kiting Thursday, enjoy!
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
I think there comes a day, in most parents lives, when the inevitable happens, their child does something so amazing it both scares and thrills them beyond belief. This was yesterday at Mount Haggin, MT for Packy and me. The day started with the kids amped to kite, they got out of bed early and packed their own gear, it was amazing. We rolled down US I-90, toward Butte, enjoying a friendly discussion on ethics, morality and politic, yes we are a bit geeky and after Rocker Packy declared we could only talk about kiting until we pulled into Haggin so the conversation went kitey, it was fun. Read more
KITE POW 2: LINE LENGTH
Lets talk about Line Length!
Over the years I’ve been kiting, bars have come with anywhere between 20 & 30 meter lines and I was taught to use what I’ve got. But my latest Best performance bar comes with 20m lines and 3m extensions giving the option of flying with different length lines. My question was what length to use and when? Read more
This video was posted today on the Southwest Montana Avalanche Report. It is an amazing story that has transpired over the past 6 days. Worth the view for sure, it tells the story of an amazing dog.
This past week something funny happened, the wind died. Ordinarily that isn’t funny because it means an epic swim a very long waddle across the tundra with your kite under your arm. This weekend was the tundra walk. After our family regrouped at the Vee- dub-you-a (Volkswagen van) I walked up to my daughter who was still stubbornly trying to re-launch her kite. As I approached her I realized she was saying some very colorful things to the kite as sweat fogged her goggles. Read more
In 1988 I went to Hawaii for the first time with my then boyfriend and now husband, Packy. Packy had some wild concept that I was indestructible so our first ocean swim was at Pupu kea (up current from Pipeline) in monster huge surf. After extracting myself from the scariest 45 minutes of my young life I declared I need something a little less life threatening to make my first Hawaiian Holiday memorable. The following day my husband’s dear friend, Ka’au picked us up for an ”epic” surf session at Ku’aloa, near Chinaman’s Hat on Oahu. Read more
Back in the late eighties and early nineties Saturday Night Live had a regular comedy skit featuring two overly pumped Austrian brothers named Hans and Franz. This was around the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was gaining big man notoriety so almost anything Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealson did in the guise of Hans and Franz was incredibly funny. Each skit was punctuated with Hans and Franz proclaiming in unison: “We are here to pump you up!” Read more