August 5
Windless but Well in Quincy

Greetings from Central Michigan! The Tri-State Windriders and Kite and Flight Store have a great thing going here! I've never seen a community so supportive and involved with a local kite event.

Welcome to Quincy

Last year, we attended the first Quincy festival and struggled with fickle winds and fields covered with stubble. Every time a kite got near the ground, roots and twigs would reach up to grab and tear the fabric. But this year, the huge field had been groomed, re-groomed, and then inspected by hand. I'll say one thing for those Michigan fliers -- they work hard to make you feel welcome.

Kite Bags

The problem was that we still had those fickle breezes.

The day before, tornado warnings, heavy rain and thunder pushed the winds to over 70 mph and knocked over tents. But Saturday, the sun came out and the wind evaporated. Sport kite contestants pulled out their ultralights. But there is no such thing as an Ultralight Giant Octopus. So we sat on our bags and waited...

Finally we borrowed a small "Gator" and tried to tow one of the kites into the air.

Mobile flying is hard because you have to get the kite inflated or it will drag across the field and damage something. Turns at the end of the field are also a challenge. And finally, you have to know enough about Gators to start the engine after stopping....

Octo-Towing How Does It Start?? Octo-Towing

Flags on the nearby grain silos and grain elevators would swirl from one direction to another in the warm air. But we managed to loft kites for five minute intervals before they fell from the sky. With pieces like Al Sparling's Giant Barrel, that was enough to make an impression.

Sparling Barrel Sparling Barrel

Sunday night, we feasted at the Kite Store and then scooted for our hotel just as the rain returned. Susie watched a huge lightening show from the window as I answered emails.

Thanks to everyone in Quincy for your fine MidWest Hospitality. And thanks to Al Sparling for these fine photos. Remember what we say on hot windless days -- never fly everything. Always keep a kite in the bag to sit on...

Off to Delaware on Friday!!

Streamer Flags are one of our best sellers!! And through August 15, we're taking 20% off for Update readers! Let us know what colors you want of the 75 foot (normally $35) or 35 foot (normally $19).

For more details, click here.

GKPI Stuff

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