The snowkite is an elusive creature. Twelve meters long, it weaves about in the sky flashing green, red and gold with the word “ozone” in black lettering that looks small from the ground.
On Thursday a small crowd of kids eagerly waited by the Horizon Middle School football field for lessons on how to fly a snowkite. It was part of To Cross the Moon Expedition’s first stop in Bismarck.
2xTM snowkiters are trying to cross the state to promote wind energy.
From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., education coordinator Jason Schafer and community outreach coordinator Chelsea Hummon, along with Anna Holden Martz and snowkiter Sam Salwei, gave slideshow presentations on wind power as a renewable energy source.
As part of the presentation, they asked students to participate in their campaign to deliver thousands of hand-written letters to Gov. John Hoeven about wind energy. When class adjourned, plans for some snowkiting fun were dampened by a lack of wind.
While the 6 mph wind was enough to get the 12-meter kite into the air, it wasn’t enough to get the trainer kites that the 2xTM crew use for lessons flying.
The demonstration was limited to Salwei getting the kite into the air with his feet planted firmly on the ground … most of the time.
Salwei jumped into the air a couple of times, each time floating lightly back to the ground.
“I could jump over the goal post if there was enough wind,” Salwei said after one jump.
At another point, Salwei leaned back until he was sitting on the ground and let the kite drag him across the grassy surface.
“It’s the only way to travel,” he said.
Just before folding up the kite, 20 minutes after the demonstration began, Salwei told the kids that they would have to come out to today’s demonstration at Bismarck State College’s soccer field to try it.
By James Ziegler
22 February 2008
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