Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

It was about 53° out on the field this morning but it...

Many more balloons were taking off earlier than yesterday.

 

Even the large special shapes were taking off early.

 

 

 

 

The balloons take off in "waves" - here is the next wave...

 

And here is the next wave to the south of our grid...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smily Face is the smallest balloon this year.

 

 

 

After taking this shot we had to get to work so couldn't...

Here we are "milking" the air out of the envelope after they...

We were packed like sardines into the chase van - these sardines...

Back on the launch field for a cold drink and a group...

Chilis roasting out in front of a store in Old Town ABQ.

An Indian performing a dance on the street in Old Town.

The plaza and the surrounding shops were full of both local people...

There were several craft booths selling religious items associated with some religious...

The Flamenco dancers performed on this stage.

 

 

 


(Ron Writing) Again this morning we were up well before the sun and out on the launch field by 6:15 AM. Our pilot soon arrived from the daily morning briefing and reported that conditions were forecast to be favorable for a flight. Several “dawn patrol” balloons lifted off around 6:30 and they seemed to be getting a nice slow flight to the south at low elevation and then back to the north at higher elevations. This is the “Albuquerque Box” effect where the winds blow in all different directions depending on altitude. This often makes it possible for pilots to control the direction of their flight by simply changing altitude and often they are able to land right back where they took off.

Annie did take off this morning and had a nice flight. They first flew south then north over the nearby Indian reservation and then back south and landed about a mile west of the launch field. Andy, Bob, and one of our Boomer friends, Dean were in the basket. Elena and I along with about eight other Boomers followed them on the ground with the chase vehicle. They landed in the circle of a cul-de-sac in an industrial area. Andy made a perfect landing on exactly the spot he selected with no dragging or bouncing. We arrived about a minute after they touched down and already about a dozen spectators had gathered to watch the action. One man with a video camera filmed the entire event from landing to disassembly and packing.

By this time the winds were picking up a little and Andy decided to call it a day. We all got back into the chase vehicle and drove back to the field for a drink and some photos. There were 9 of us in the van when we started the chase. After the flight 12 of us packed into the van along with the basket, burner and other related items.

This afternoon Elena and I took a shuttle bus to Old Town ABQ to enjoy lunch at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant. It was very busy downtown and there was a wait at all the restaurants around the plaza. Our food was good but the service could have been much better.

After lunch we sat in the plaza and enjoyed watching some excellent Flamenco dancers perform. The MC asked a trivia question for any out-of-town people in the audience. I answered his question and won an art poster. Now if we only had a wall to put it on!



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