I like to travel, but no one ever seems to really mention the relative exhaustion that follows short and long trips. Hence why I'm home today and not at work. Though "work" is a relative term in my world.
We took the weekend to skip up to Oregon, IL for a kitemaker's retreat, aptly called MAKR (Midwest Area Kitemaker's Retreat). It's mostly filled with middle aged kite builders who come in from all over the place looking for a good food, a good time and new kite building techniques.
Chris was teaching a class at this year's retreat so we got to go for free which was AWESOME because with the wedding and all anything free seems like a real blessing ^_^ He was teach the build for a kite called a Platz Glider, which is a "zero wind" kite. This just means it can be flown with no wind or flown indoors. It's incredibly light weight and still amazes people with it's ability to fly. Chris modified the plans a bit, but it's based off a German design. A quick search on Google for "Platz Glider" will pull up some interesting facts and a few pictures of Chris himself.
I made one simple kite myself out of recycled plastic bags and spent the rest of the time taking pictures.
Cliff helps Ross cut a bit of the end of his Marconi kite. Ripstop can be cut and sealed using a hot cutter. The picture really didn't capture the smoke rising up, but trust me it gets plenty hot.
Teeny little paper cranes, handmade by a guy named Andy. He had these hanging from his thread spool holder. Each crane decreased in size 1/4" ! He gave me a little gold one since I loved them so much ^_^
There was an abundance of wildlife in the area. Even the finches are starting to shed their winter colors for their bright yellow.
We finally packed up and headed out around 2:30pm central time, since we lose an hour going back home we didn't arrive back till 10:30pm eastern. Not bad. We discovered on our trip back that both Illinois and Indiana seem to be covered with wind generators. You have to go off the beaten path to find them, but there's whole colonies of these things out in the country. They seemed almost sci-fi with their gigantic blades.