Saturday, January 2, 2010


Each year since I came to Boulder in 1982, I got together with Jim and George, the owners of the Into The Wind kite store to do a little celebratory 1st day of the year kite fly. We would meet in a nearby high school soccer field in the bitter cold and attempt to fly kites with frozen fingers. Then a year later up on top of “Bald Mountain” in the foothills of the Rockies just above Boulder for a fantastic view of the plains spread out below. It was always exhilarating after the long trek to the top in the freezing Colorado weather to unfurl our kites and send them up into the chilly winds.

We’ve managed to keep up this tradition despite Jim’s passing many years back and have been joined by many other friends over the years. Fools on the hill … flying kites when most sane people would be inside nursing a hangover from the New Year’s party the night before. I always thought kite flying is the best way to start a new year off to clear the air and watch the sky.

I think this might be the twenty seventh annual New Year’s Day kite fly. Some of those days on the hill were bitter cold, others warm and almost balmy with winds swirling around the top of Bald Mountain making the kites circle lazily overhead in 360 degree wind shifts. One time a full force blizzard hit as Melanie and I trudged up to the top to get the kites ready. We didn’t think anyone else would join us. Nobody would be that crazy. The road up was almost impassible with blowing snow. On top, out of the mist came friend Tom and his whole family like some apparition yelling our names with his kites under arm. Two other friends showed up and we flew in the blinding snow storm. The kites flew ten or twenty feet overhead but you couldn’t see them. You could only hear the flapping of nylon and feel the tugging of the line. That was one of the best kite flying days ever!

We moved the kite fly off of the top of the mountain and down to the prairie a few years ago. Better winds down below. Then when a Boulder Open Space ranger happened by last year and told us we had to apply for a permit to fly kites there we decided to move the event again. This year we flew in a little used city park on the east side of Boulder near the local airport. It was the perfect place with a big kite field, views of the foothills and the ‘Flatirons’, spectacular clouds over the continental divide and an audience of prairie dogs.

Kites were flown, banners rippled in the sparse winds, hot chocolate and apple cider bubbled on a camp stove with cookies served. A nearby sledding hill helped during the doldrums with some great slides. About fifty friends and friends of friends showed up to celebrate decorating sled kites and flying them in the gentle breeze.

Partway through the day a Boulder Police squad car pulled up into the parking lot. We thought we were going to be busted for flying without a permit or something. He watched the event from inside the police car for a while then we heard the crackle of his loud speaker switched on. “Very cool” he said in a dry speaker voice. Someone on the field yelled to him to come and join us. He clicked on again and said “I wish I could”… and then drove away.

The sun sank behind the mountain top as we cleared up the kites, banners and unfinished hot chocolate. It was the perfect day for sky watching and kite flying while welcoming in a brand new year. Come and join us next year!


Barbara said...

So sorry to miss what sounds like a great day! We look forward to seeing you two in the new year!

T Havens said...

Alohaz from Aloha
Glad we are so far away or we would be very very tempted and then would freeze our toes off.
Slippers in the snow ! ! ! NO NO NO


Hiten said...

hi this is hiten
ur indian friend...
how r u?

when u have visited india in 1990s
we meet at kite festival at ahmedabad, gujarat, india...

at that time i was only 3 year old..but now i'm 23..

i still have ur gift(kite) at my bedroom...

my parents remembers u..

give my regards to ur family..

pls do reply

Hiten said...

my email id is..

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