March 14
The Clear Blue Skies of Yucca Valley

Every kite event has its own personality. Fliers, location, weather, public interest, and available kites all combine to generate a unique experience. And of course, sometimes you find really special gatherings in somewhat unexpected places.

Yucca Valley is a small community just outside of Palm Springs. Each spring, the Parks and Recreation Department organizes a festival that draws the cream of Southern California kiting to the high desert. It is raining in the Carolinas and snowing in Chicago. But here the skies are blue, the temperature a perfect 70 degrees, and the winds a smooth 8 mph that arrive right on schedule.

Kid's Flying Field

The other nice thing is that "Yucca" probably draws the highest per capita attendance of any city event in the country. The "Kid's Field" is filled with kites, and remarkably, they all stay in the Kid's Field.

On the large kite field, familiar inflatables are lofted by a variety of friends.

Large Kite Field Large Kite Field Large Kite Field Large Kite Field

Large Kite Field Large Kite Field Large Kite Field

The entire event is held on the High School football field, with bleachers on one side and a running track circling around us. There are also a series of stadium lights which make for tricky long line flying. Stretch your Pilots or Flowforms out too far, and you risk ...

Mega-Watt Disaster Mega-Watt Disaster

Mega-Watt Disaster!

It isn't always easy to fly a kite on a smallish field surrounded with posts that run 125 feet high and are topped with 18 huge lamps. Get a multi-line bridle anywhere near and there are all kinds of places for strings to get caught.

In this case a Sutton 125 dropped over the lamps with four bridles perfectly spaced around four lamps. Pull on one side and the other tightened. Allow some slack and the kite twisted up the lines tighter. It was not going to be pretty.

We tugged, coaxed, and manipulated lines for over an hour with absolutely no progress. Then I borrowed a rok and some fighting line.

The hard part was positioning the rok between the Sutton and the lamps - 125 feet up -- with the wind blowing straight across everything. We didn't need two kites caught up there. But finally I got the rok where I wanted it and began to saw against the Sutton bridles. One by one they gave way until the big inflatable floated loose.

Flier ingenuity prevails!

Plenty of other fun was had over the course of the afternoon. We raced Bols and enjoyed sport kite demos. But nothing matched the drama of cutting the Sutton free. And no, it wasn't my kite.

Running the Bols Ben Sets Up Ben Flies

Sometimes the hardest thing to to on a busy field is find a shady place to relax. Always leave a kite in the bag so you have something to lay on. And always remember to plant a banner between you and the sun.

Susie and I got home late Sunday night. The next trip is in just two days and will involved a long, long flight. Don't hesitate to email if we can do anything for you.

Lyle and Karl Banner Shade Jania

The Stuff Sack Sale we announced last week is one heck of a buy!

We're overstocked on large stuff sacks. This is the convenient 39 x 24 inch size. Normal price is $12 each. For a limited time, we'll do them three for $20.

Replace your aging and torn kite bags -- fill one with sand and use it as an anchor -- store up dirty laundry and ship it home from college to be washed.... But don't miss this hot, hot deal!!

For more details, check our Accessory pages.

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