The River Why, kite and frozen lake version

My adventuring has evolved into something so calculated that I don’t have a lot of mis-adventures. Today was a good reminder that I still have a lot to learn! Which is good!

I took my 1.5 m kite to Valdez Glacier Lake for a lunch break. The wind was ~25 mph at the nearest gauge.

When I unrolled the kite it started spinning in a spiral, binding the strings so that I couldn’t pull the brakes. Some gusts brought the kite up in the air, with enough force to drag me along the lake surface (~10 inches of snow on smooth ice), for about 50 feet in all. I spent half an hour laying in the snow, pinning the handles under my body so that the kite wouldn’t get ripped out of my hands. I’d reel in a twist of string whenever there was a lull in the wind. Eventually (30 minutes) I got the kite close enough to pounce.

It was actually pretty comfortable, and kind of meditative. I thought about Gus in The River Why, reeling in his fish. I thought about Doug Demarest and how “it always gets better,” which is true when you are pinned on a lake with a kite you can’t control, but also true in life. I thought that if it is windy enough to move you without a kite, you probably shouldn’t try to use a kite.

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