July 26, 2010
Another Beach Show

So imagine you are driving down Highway 101 along the Oregon Coast. And off in the far distance you see, looming above the roadway, a giant flying Octopus....

Of course, we wouldn't be foolish enough to actually fly over the road. But the way the highway turns in Lincoln City, from a distance, kites 100 feet up on the beach appear to be over the street. So when we flew on Sunday, we stopped traffic and tons of people pulled into the Wayside to check things out.

Cool Octos

I've come to really enjoy flying on our beaches here. People are surprisingly nice.

Example: I dug my anchors, laid out lines, and was about to stretch out the kite when a big, burly guy lays out a blanket, chair and cooler right in the middle of where the tentacles would go. I walked over and explained what I was doing. I offered to move (which would have been a real pain!). He shrugged and said he was fine.

So I launched and the tentacles covered his blanket. I apologized. Later, when the wind dropped, the kite woke him up. I apologized, attached a pilot, tuned and relaunched. Then at the end of the day, I landed -- all over him again. I apologized. And he responded by helping me pack up and stuff the kite in a bag!

Sunday was perfect flying. Saturday wasn't quite as much fun. The winds lurched up into the mid-twenties. And for the first time in long memory, I popped an anchor. The kite dragged back toward a hotel and I chased after it in the soft sand. Fortunately, a group of bystanders ran out and grabbed the loose anchor. They seemed to enjoy the adventure. And I breathed a sigh of relief. (I also offered them half off any purchase in our store!)

We've long debated anchoring techniques in sand. Nothing is fail safe. Always consider what will happen when an anchor fails!

In this case, I had split bridles with the knowledge that one anchor popping would simply collapse the kite. Instead, both anchors pulled free. Who'd have thought??

A solution would have been multiple back-up anchors or something much, much bigger. But I decided the high winds made flying unwise and unsafe. I packed up the Octopus and went home to cut the grass.

On a good day like Sunday, the beach gets crowded. I get to talk to lots of people about kites, about Lincoln City, and about their homes. This weekend, I met a team of traveling business people from China, a student group from Estonia, a large family gathering from India, and some visitors from Ethiopia. And of course, there were folks from all over Canada and the States too.

In between, I amused myself balancing stacks of beach rocks. And curiously, plenty of people stopped to take photos of them too!

Hopefully, our ongoing shows will help promote Lincoln City, our hotels, our restaurants, and perhaps even the local kite store. I help people fly their own kites (no matter where they bought them) and pick up trash before leaving.

Rocks

I won't be able to fly every weekend in Lincoln City. But other large kite fliers are coming down when I cant.

Susie and I are off to Berkeley this week. Then I fly in Bogota, Dieppe (Canada) and Long Beach Washington. Busy month! But I'll look forward to seeing many of you on the road.

Bouncy Turtles: :

Anchor a few to the ground and you have a swam of baby Turtles crawling across the field. Or you can lift the nose slightly with a spar and it looks like a race!

Our ground Turtles were designed by Sonja and Dirk Kruger of Germany. They measure about four feet from snout-to-tail. We stock standard colors but can make up special designs too.

Turtles are $30 each. Buy three and save 20%

Bouncy Turtle

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