Go and Do: Let your inner child soar above Glenwood Springs

If you have outer children, let them soar, too (but, figuratively)

Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Flying a kite is a lot like how I imagine it would be to walk a flying toddler on a leash, or perhaps, an energetic cat on a hang glider.

It was fun, but I had zero control over what happened from one moment to the next.

Also, people look at you like you’ve lost your marbles, but they’re not sure if you’re a threat to society or a mix of mildly annoying and entertaining.

In hindsight, those looks might have been more because of the professional photographer trying to coax an engaging image out of a childless, adult male flying a kite in a ballpark on a Thursday afternoon.

I was that adult male, and this what I learned:

Flying kites is a blast, and I’m not sure why I gave it up to work full time at a newspaper.

Trees are the natural predators of kittens and kites.

Please, stay away from power lines and thunderstorms.

In fact, it’s a safe bet to stay away from pretty much anything — large fields would be best, and I personally found an empty baseball diamond at Two Rivers Park to be more than accommodating.

Wind matters: Too much and the string burns through your fingers, too little and you find yourself poking at a lifeless piece of cloth.

And, lastly, don’t overthink it. Just let the kite do its thing.

Glenwood Toys and Gifts co-owner Noel Bismark stocks kites in his downtown Glenwood Springs toy shop.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Our exploratory journey began at the Glenwood Toys & Gifts’ newest location, 801 Grand Ave.

Noel Bismark, who owns the toy store with his wife Joanna, said they returned to Grand Avenue on May 1 after trying out a spot on Sixth Street for a couple years.

“We love this location,” Bismark said. “It might be one of the best storefronts in town, so we were really lucky.”

Specializing in classic and retro toys, board games and Legos, Bismark’s store is a cornucopia of simpler toys from simpler times.

With the recent move and supply chains still in a state of chaos, Bismark said his kite selection is typically much larger, but he had a handful of different models and designs on display, ranging from $10-$20. In the coming weeks, he said the kite section will grow considerably as his suppliers fulfill their order queues.

“With kites, it’s all about the tail,” Bismark explained as he helped Post Independent photographer Chelsea Self and I pick the perfect test model. “The tail helps keep it stable and make it look like a great flying dragon.”

Kite in hand, we strolled down to the park suggested by Glenwood Springs spokesperson Bryana Starbuck.

Foot traffic was light enough that we didn’t have to worry about the kite’s dive-bombing antics putting anyone else in danger. Though I will admit, I was nearly as entertained by Chelsea ducking and weaving the kite’s unpredictable flight patterns as I was flying the kite.

Nearer the river, wind currents were strongest. Stronger wind and a longer line made for a more enjoyable flight experience, but it was also close to the walking path, and I would advise against flying a kite anywhere that might endanger the unaware passerby.

Setting up and breaking down was simple and easy with the biggest step being trying to interpret a four-panel, knot-tying illustration. The gist was make a loop with first pre-made loop, loop new loop around second pre-made loop, fly kite.

Starbuck also suggested Sayre Park as a kite-flying option and offered potential flyers a couple of tips:

“Make sure to fly your kite in open spaces,” she said, “avoid trees, electrical lines, and keep an eye out for other park users in the area.”

I know, I know. I just said those things just a few sentences ago. Here’s the thing: Flying kites is an inexpensive, fun and easy way to enjoy a warm summer day. But with great power comes great responsibility (according to Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben), and not paying attention to your surroundings could lead to serious, if not life-threatening, ramifications.

Please recreate responsibly, and for the love of fun, nostalgia and the great outdoors: Go fly a kite!

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at

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