February 5
A Cool Time in Madison

Kite on Ice Panorama

This was our fourth visit to Kites on Ice and we still think the whole idea is crazy. It is cold, slippery, and physically very, very demanding. Crazy... but still wonderful. We love it!

Cool Modegi Cool Lee, Linda and Pete Cool Michael

This year, over 70 fliers were invited from 11 different countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Germany, France, Belgium, and England.

Cool Peter Cool Toki and Sato Cool Rob

The best part of the event is seeing all your kite fiends show up with a weird assortment of heavy winter clothing and funny hats. Sometimes, you aren't even sure who you are talking to!

Cool Gerard Cool Andy Cool JoAnn

The worst part about the event is sitting in a freezing Porta-Potty with all of that clothing crumpled around your ankles....

Cool Barbara Cool Glen and Jose Cool Hsu

Now if someone would just tell me whether I'm supposed to wear short underwear under my long underwear....

Cool Susie Cool Fire Cool Charlie

Inside the center, there were exhibits, displays, and workshops. Guests were able to make kites, hear lectures, and get up close to examples of aerial photography, miniature kites, art kite and historical kite artifacts that ranged from Garber Target kites to original tetrahedrials made by Alexander Graham Bell and pages from his note books.

This year, the weather was unusually warm, which means that the ice was unusually thin. As a result, the flying field was moved from the preferred venue, right under the windows of the convention center, to a sheltered (and colder) bay a few miles away. That made logistics a bit more complicated but the organizers get high marks for pulling it off and the volunteer crew did a fantastic job transporting gear and setting anchors.


Those of us working out one the ice referred to the kiters assigned indoors as the "workshop weenies". But I'm sure that in there, all warm and dressed in tennis shoes, tee shirts, and shorts, they had disparaging things to say about us as well...

Big Bird
Clement Cathedral Two Kitties Two Birds Valcke Clown
Gomberg Gear No Limit Snow Party

Al Sparling, Susie and I launched a trio of Octopus on the back of the field. We took delivery on another large Penguin and flew our Mid-Sized Peter Lynn Kitty as well. Peter delivered a small cat prototype, finally, and we plan to have them in production in the next two months.

We never got back to the Convention Center this year because we couldn't leave the big kites unattended. But Pete Dolphin was kind enough to eat our lunches there for us...

Each night, kiters gathered for more stories and fun. During our first year in Madison, we began to joke about the variety of headgear worn to keep warm in the ice. As a result, the Funniest Hat contest emerged. The competition is a tradition.... everyone parades in silly hats, are laughed at by their friends, and then the person with the best butt wins!

Trepanier Bulldog

Screwing on the Ice

Susie and I got home at midnight on Monday. We were about as tired and achy as I remember ever being at a kite event. But we had a wonderful time. The elements were cold, but the friendships were warm.

Our next stops are Zilker Park in Texas and then Yucca Valley in Southern California.. That gives me nearly three whole weeks to catch up before I go on the road again. To celebrate, we'll take 20% off the price of any Snake or Corkscrew tails during the month of February.

See you out there!!

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