October 19, 2005

it’s goin’ off in rural minnesota

It’s a creepy, chilly October night. The night air is blowing like crazy, sending dead leaves skittering across the pavement. The porch door keeps slamming shut in the wind. If I was evil and undead (or rather, if I was evil and undead and unemployed) I would totally be out tonight, munching on live flesh. As it is, I’ve got work to do, and the freezer is full, so it’s tough to justify a night on the town.

Today was 75 degrees. Yesterday was 65 and windy, so I drove out to Waconia for a killer kiteboarding session. I haven’t gone kiting since last spring when I was living in Hood River, and holy geez did it feel great to get on the water again. The launch is a bit tricky and the weather is a bit gusty at Lake Waconia, but it’s a huge lake with a reach measured in miles, so you can get a heck of a lot of kiting in once you’re out on the water.

I was out for a couple hours, just smilin’ and slicin’ back and forth. At one point I caught a huge gust and nearly ate it, but I dug in my heelside edge like crazy and held on for dear life. With teeth clenched I waited for the gust to taper off, but it kept blowing and I kept accelerating to insane speeds. I rode that gust forever, driving across my two-mile reach in record time, and I never got railed by it.

I should have taken my victory as an indication to get off the water, but now I was greedy and would do whatever it took to get whatever I could. Sure enough, the wind absolutely died on me while out in the middle of the lake. My kite Hindenberged and there wasn’t enough wind to get it relaunched, so I began the slow and arduous process of swimming back to shore. After a spell I emerged from a drainage ditch with my kite, and hiked half a mile back to the launch site to grab my car and drive back for the rest of my gear.

All in all, it was a great session. I got a ton of kiteboarding in, notwithstanding my Walk of Shame. It wasn’t the first, and it certainly won’t be the last. I absolutely love this sport, even though she can be a harsh mistress. Afterwards a bunch of us smelly kiters went out for beers, hittin’ up Floyd’s in Victoria, Minnesota, a one-horse town if I’ve ever seen one. Once I got home, I spent three hours untangling my kite lines.

I’m forever optimistic, but it’s possible that our unseasonable warmth is drawing to a close, and with it the kiteboarding season. Fortunately, as soon as the snow flies we can start thinking about the snowkiting season, which is supposed to be absolutely epic in this neck of the woods. Lake Minnetonka is the big hang in this area, kiting out of the wind shadow formed by Spirit Island and Wayzata Bay. It’s a shame that Wayzata is five minutes down the road. I’m so used to living in Hood River, where Kite Beach is only three minutes away. Yes, I’m a spoiled brat, and I deserve to be punched in the gut. I would have it no other way.

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yo! glad things are going good for you. was out at smith for a fantastic 65 – 70 degree day. it was epic and fantastic and filled with t-shirts and unfettered boobies, smiles and groans, spray, triumph and defeat. it’s why we put up with Bend, right? I also realized how out of shape my ass is. but you would have loved it. every gorgeous minute of the circus and zoo at smith on a sunday in the fall.

Oh man. I wish I coulda been there, smilin’ and groanin’ along with you ol’ lot.
The weather here was kinda stinky over the weekend, but I went out for a couple runs and saw Happy Apple play at the Solera.
I also learned all about windshield washer fluid. Apparently when you mothball a car for four months in a garage that gets to 120 degrees in the summer sun, the glycerin in the detergent precipitates out of the washer fluid, turning into a sticky, goopy mess. Such fun!