Sunday, December 28, 2014

First Fly 2015

We'll be flying kites on the first day of the year again. January first is the day. Call us crazy but this is probably the 31st annual. Some years it's only been the two of us. Others have been attended by a great group of friends and kite flyers from all over. There have been sunny days, sometimes sunny and warm. Occasionally there was wind. Always some sort of refreshments and warm beverages like hot chocolate and cider. Some have been in snow storms, 60mph winds, no winds. Sometimes we bring sleds for the hilly sites. One time there was spontaneous snow sculpture making

This Boulder tradition had it's beginning way back in 1983 when co-owners of the Into The Wind kite store, Jim Glass and George Emmons and I decided to fly kites on the first of January. We met up at a local high school football and soccer field, popped a few kites up into the freezing winds, flew for a while and then dashed back to the car heaters to thaw out our fingers. It then became a tradition.

The rules for the fly was that we'd fly something no matter what the weather and what the conditions were just so that we could start the year out right and with a positive spin. After a few years other friends and family started joining us. The event traveled a bit. It went up to Bald Mountain, a short drive up Sunshine canyon above Boulder. The hike up the hillside to the top led to a view was fantastic! It was usually a clear day and you could see all the way to the Kansas border or at least to the skyscrapers of nearby Denver to the southeast. It continued there into the mid nineties with a combination picnic gathering, kite flying and tree climbing.... to retrieve the kites from the branches.

One memorable fly was during a full blown snow blizzard storm. The storm swept through as we were hiking up the trail to set up the kites and picnic area. We thought no one would show up. Amazingly five others made it up the road and trail and we spent about an hour in the blizzard flying kites. You could not see the kites just ten feet up over our heads but you could hear them flapping wildly. It was a surreal and fantastic memory.

Since then the First Fly was held in various city park and Green Belt areas around Boulder dodging the rangers who told us we could not fly kites without a permit. Permits are required for groups of twenty people or more. My response usually was "I don't know where all these people came from", or just apologizing and promising that I'll apply for the permit next year.

This year we will be flying at our 'Wind Ranch', a large field behind our North Boulder
studio. The field is where we sometimes test fly kites and is a broad expanse outside the jurisdiction of the city of Boulder. It's the realm of prairie dogs, hawks and great horned owls, lots of wild rabbits and some hungry coyotes. Our neighbors of the complex have goats, chickens, pigs, turkeys and a fantastic spring time gardens.

If you're in the area, please stop by for some hot chocolate and a bit of fun in a snowy field. The address is 2227 Yarmouth in Boulder. Please park in the parking lot next to the stone studio building or on the street. 
Walk north from the parking lot into the big field behind the houses. 
You'll see us. Starts at noon. Please come if you can.

A few pics from past years First Fly .....

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