Friday, February 23, 2007

Lake Pepin Ice Thickness

The ice on Lake Pepin is 10 to 20 inches of blue ice. Still prime time for kiting. With a foot or more of snow coming this weekend it's going to be the best of the winter season for me! We also need some photos on my blog so I am going to throw up some archive photos. Here's Pepin on a stormy day in October. This is looking out from Maiden Rock...Kiters...The water is very shallow here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Second full day of kiting

Bryan Z and I went to Calhoun yesterday to kite. We set up and then stood on the ice attached to the kites waiting for the lull to end. End it did and then we were off. Bryan was flying a 15 meter Diesel...beautiful kite...looked so gracefull and I have to admit I was a little envious of the air he was getting on it. My kite was a bit small for the amount of wind but that was OK as I really had to work it to make power. I did get alot of fast runs on it. I met another kiter named Pete who gave me some great tips on flying my kite. I now understand more on control. It's just getting better! I do realise that I will be extremely spoiled living down here by Lake Pepin. The long fetch makes for very consistant winds. Looking forward to the great weekend snow storm!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be kiting monday thru friday next week on Pepin if anyone wants to go.

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Link on the Side

Ben is a whitewater paddler from Minnesota who is down in New Zealand right now. He's started a blog to chronicle his adventures down under. Check it out. One day I'd like to see New Zealand!

A few more thoughts on kiting...

Hey I'm just sitting here thinking about yesterday and my first real day of riding. It's not so much as skiing but the feeling of being a bird. The kite is your wings and you are in control of every little movement it makes. I was playing with depowering on the uptake of a swoop to just pulling it in to really add the power on the down swoop. You forget you have skis on. You fly across the lake much like a bird skimming the water. Before you know it you're in the middle of the lake and it's time to head back. Lake Pepin has always been beautiful anytime of the year. The view of the bluffs is spectacular. It's funny how things line up in your life. When I got home that night I put on public TV and there was a program on Birds of Prey and their aerodynamics. I would have to compared my TD to a hawk after watching the show. I liked the quick movements and responsive feel. I'm not sure if I am going to carry this over to wakeboarding yet. I'll have to see how the spring goes.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I am a Kiter!!!!

Well this weekend I was determined to kite! Saturday I went to Pepin for the NW wind. I tried for 2 hours and had nothing but bad luck. I couldn't figure out just what was wrong. I just couldn't fly the all. I made a call to Pete from Lake City to see where the best spot to kite a SE wind was for Sunday. I met him at the wayside just north of Lake City. Well when I had my kite all set up he checked the lines and found a twist in the bridle and today the kite flew and flew and flew!!! I spent a wonderful 4 hours just riding Lake Pepin! Pete started another man on his first day and there was another gent that was on his second day. Everyone did just great! What a great day on the lake! I can actually say I can kite!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wind Watching vs Rain Watching

No difference as far as I'm concerned. This week has been an exercise in patience. I'm on the afternoon shift and do not have the time to get on Lake Pepin with my kite. The good news is it looks like Sat. is going to be a great day to get out!!!! 24 degrees and a NW wind at 9mph! Perfect for me. I will most likely be in the town of Pepin, WI. that day tearing up the lake (or at least trying to). I wonder if Ralph's bar still has great cheeseburgers?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday Pool Session

I haven't been to a pool session in a month. It was a structured class going thru the basic paddle strokes with a little fun twist added. There was time for free pool at the end which I used to dial in my rodeo roll. Back in Dec. I really pulled my shoulder learning that roll. It's taken awhile to heal. The first rodeo roll hurt it again but I slowed the motion down and it worked alot better. I am REALLY missing being on the river! I have 5 days off coming up and am planning to spend it kiting as much as I can! I just have to get thru 4 more afternoon shifts!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

First solo flight

Today I took my kite to Pepin. The winds were forcast to be light so it would be a good day for me to get started. I had no problem setting up my kite and getting it all rigged. There was just a light wind blowing. No sooner did I finish the set up I tried to launch. Well the short version is...I lofted the kite once on the last wisp of wind and then it died. Not even a ripple on my kite. Well I had to figure that this just wasn't in God's plan for me today. I had planned to take a snowboarding lesson tonight but if the wind had blown I know I would not have made it. So today ended up being my first day of snowboarding. Now that was fun! With a few age related adjustments I was able to handle it pretty good. I was lucky enough that no one else was taking the 6pm class so I had an hour of one on one instruction. I want to learn kiting on my skis and then move on to snowboarding with my kite. I learned enough tonight to know that a snowboard is in my future...more toys...just what I need...really!

Zorongo Flamenco

Zorongo Flamenco is going to be at the Southern Theater March 1-4th. If you haven't seen them it's an incredible show! I know I've posted about them before but I just can't say enough good about them. So much talent!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

No longer a kite virgin!

Today Bryan Z took me for my first time kiting today. We started on his 3.5 meter training kite. Tough little kite with some power. Moved up to his 5 meter foil kite. That one had more power yet! Then we threw up my 10 meter Turbo Diesel and I put on my skis. Well then I started moving. I had alot of fun today. This was something that I immediately knew it was going to be a good match for me. I am looking forward to my days off to get some more riding in!
I learned quite a bit today. First, my WRSI helmet does NOT cross over to kiting like I had hoped. The kite travels up past where the sun visor is and you can't see it unless you do quite a back bend. Hot starts on one ski are quite surprising ;-) Below zero is kinda cold...but only when you stop. Bryan Z is an excellent teacher! Incredibly patient! Thanks!!!!
My apology's for not having any photos up. Bryan took some so just click on his blog . My camera is in the shop...I guess too many times down the river did it in.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Check again...

OK maybe not all the paraphernalia I need. But I have all the basics I need to go. There is always "more" gear to be had. Like a helmet with headphones and an Ipod. I love shopping!
I had my new toy out today to take inventory and see if I can figure out everything. Looks basic and my goal is by Sunday to be waaaay beyond the beginer point and have lots of miles behind me.