Friday, August 29, 2014

WSIKF Sidebar

While exploring the North Head Lighthouse on Sunday before the festival, we came upon three gay trees.

After enlarging the photo and studying it in more detail, we couldn't tell whose junk was which... OR... if there was a face looking out from between the trees. Your call!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Home from WSIKF

For Mike, Rhonda and myself, the 600+ mile drive home was endless. We left soon after the final mass ascension (for soft kites) on Sunday, heading out toward Longview, WA and the forever trip down the I-5 to Chico, CA. Stopping at rest stops regularly and having dinner in Medford, OR, we arrived at my home at 12:45AM; for Mike and Rhonda it was another 15 minutes to their home and bed.

During the festival there were four mass ascensions plus the cody fly, which is a mass ascension in itself. For each mass ascension (delta,cellular, flat or bowed & soft)  we participated in, we received a cloisonne pin. If you participated in all four, the four pins form an entirely new pin.

The cody fly also earned you a pin.

At the end of the fly everyone gathered together with their codys and had a group photo taken.

I'm in there somewhere

It's difficult to find fault with the city of Long Beach, WA or the Washington Kitefliers Association; they've been putting this festival on for way over two decades... and it shows. The festival runs smoothly and everyone, especially the thousands of tourists that come to see this beautiful spectacle, has a great time. It was evident to me that smiles, laughter and ooooohs & aaaaahs were the order of the day all week long. One can only guess how many millions of photos were taken in that seven day period.

Here's a few of my favorite photos from our trip:

 Credit goes to Rhonda Davidson for the 2 great sunset shots above

I hope his paws aren't muddy

 Mike Hagen gets credit for the 2 kid shots above

This is sooo wrong, but I'll publish it anyway
(my guess is the 1st word that comes to mind is 'woody')

And this is my favorite

It will take awhile to digest all seven days of the festival, but suffice to say for now... WOW!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Washington State International Kite Festival - The Last Day

The final morning of the festival was damp and foggy with only a 1-2 mph 'wind' blowing... not the best wind for soft kites.

The final mass ascension was for soft kites (parafoils, sleds, etc.), and these are NOT light wind kites. So, we stood around holding onto our kite lines and waited for someone to come by and award us our pin (once in a while someone would run with their kite like a kid at the park).

For Mike and Rhonda and me it was the end of the festival; we had a 600+ mile drive home ahead of us, so we did not stay for the final sport kite events. On the way off the beach, I had my picture taken as 'Jake the Alligator Man."

Is Jake real? You judge for yourself.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Sixth Day at WSIKF

Saturday started off with fog, and it never really quite went away. Occasionally the sun would burn through for a few minutes, but mostly it was light fog for the day. We got to the beach around 10 AM and set up in our same spot overlooking field A from up on the dune.The wind was quite flyable, so we launched a couple of kites to tie off for the day (when we brought them down at the end of the day, they were wet with dew from the fog).

The first events of the morning were sport kite competitions. I caught one of the teams doing a demonstration for the crowd before competition started.

The next order of business was the cody fly... a mass ascension of nothing but cody kites. Everyone who came out onto the field and flew a cody kite got a cloisonne pin.

Like a formation of bombers

 A big cody ready for launch

Up and away

Several miniature codys were flown

A flight of codys (just follow the line up to mine)

The next event was the Teddy Bear Drop for children nine and under. Fifteen names were drawn from all the kids that registered, and those kids got to go out on the field and catch a parachuting bear.

After lunch they held the parade of colors. Anyone with a banner could participate. The parade started on the boardwalk, and from there the 'flagbearers' walked down from the dunes to the main field.

For us the last event of the day was the mass ascension for flat & bowed kites.

 Mike on the left, me on the right & Rhonda below

Rhonda's Brasington kite flying next to a kite made & flown by
Loik Lamalle from France

Something musical

Beautiful graphics

The two 'asteroid' kites belong to Basser Poulter.
The organza tails flow like flames.

Before leaving the beach for the day I took the time to photograph some of the new creatures in the air.
 A centipede

 A caterpillar

 A squid

My last stop for the day was to visit with Ray Bethell.

 Ray's the good looking guy on the left

These banners were made for last year's tribute to
Ray at WSIKF

I met Ray when he came to Hawaii in the mid to late 80s to participate in the Hawaii Challenge Kite Festival. Ray has been flying kites for a long time. But Ray isn't satisfied with flying one kite at a time; he flies three kites at one time. Most people have trouble rubbing their head and patting their stomachs at the same time, but Ray (whom, by the way, is 87 years young) flies a two-line kite with one hand, a second kite with his other hand and a third kite with his hips... and he choreographs their movements with music. We didn't get to see him fly three-at-a-time this year due to a foot injury and a hip that's going bad. But you can still see his amazing kite flying skills on video.

This is Ray Bethell doing what he does best!