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Flying across the plains




Sometimes we leave on a vacation having no idea where we'll wind up or how long we'll be gone.  It is a powerful kind of freedom that our vast country provides.  So we decide one evening to load a little gear into the RoadTrek the next morning & head up to a small town on the Ohio called Madison.  We chose to leave with minimal preparation planning to buy anything we might have forgotten along the way.  After a couple evenings on the road we decide we will venture onward.  There was something in a store that we wanted.  Wall Drug is in western South Dakota.  I like to drive.  When I left home that first morning I actually thought about not taking any kites.  Maybe try to buy a few along the way was my logic.  But at the last moment I just had to grab a few.  I chose from some laying on the kite table.  Tornados were threatening in the mid west so we were watching the storm patterns in order to avoid severe weather.  We have had some crazy times on previous trips.

We stopped for the night in western Illinois.  Stayed in a campground that was surrounded by fields of ankle high corn.  The wind was blowing from the west at a good pace with some gusting.  Time for high wind kites.  Pulled out the Micron, attached it's tail & entertained the neighbors with the humming & buzzing little gem.  The wind picked up a bit.  Usually, where I live, the evening brings calm conditions.  But wind started gusting higher causing the lines to sing & the leading edges began deforming.

So out comes the B2 mid vent with a 50' x 50# line set with 11" handles.  I could launch & fly around a bit but the turbulance from numerous small trees made sustained flight tough.  I walked around trying to fly myself into a better spot without any real improvement.  It looked like there might be a bit of a wind tunnel where the entrance road came into the campground near our site.  I was lazy.  I did not bother to wind up my lines to walk across a seeminly harmless stretch of taller grass carrying the kite & dragging the lines.  Not too good.  So I parked the kite at a good launch site & dealt with the line issue.   I knew the lines should straighten out if I kept my head & did the right things.  There was a good snarl of loops & knots at the twenty foot area of the line set.  I staked the handles & gently teased out the snarl in no time.  "Dang, I must be starting to get some of this kite knowledge I've read about!" I thought.  The wind blew down the road, through an opening in the trees & out over the pristine corn field.   The small flying window was about 30 x 30 so I practiced small manevers & positional hovering.  The B2 mid vent is a wonderful kite.  After a half hour I heard a toot of the horn signaling me to return to the campsite.  Life is good.  Next morning we stopped at Antique Archeology then battled the wind driving across Iowa.  It would be a couple more days before there was time to fly again.   SHBKF



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