Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

Each morning a few ballons takeoff when it's still dark. Very beautiful...

Early morning inflation just before takeoff.

The flight controllers where striped shirts - they're called "Zebras" - they...

This is just one little section of the launch field. Wow... it's...

Each morning at 7 AM they play the national anthem as a...

Balloons with larger baskets are commercially owned and often carry several paying...

 

Our pilot Andrew Avon in lower left corner with blue shirt and...

 

Passengers in one of the large baskets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We inflated but didn't fly. I was in the basket for ballast...

The huge Wells Fargo Balloon.

More special shapes.

Ladybug flying - I found this photo on the internet.

The Boomers are a great bunch and we're having a great time.

Judy & Luke Rinehimer are doing an outstanding job hosting this Boomer's...


(Ron Writing) This was opening day of the Balloon Fiesta. It was a very exciting day. It started early, much earlier than usual for us, since we had to be on the launch field and ready to help by 6:30 AM. It was still dark but we found our grid out on the field and met our pilot Andrew Avon from Glens Falls, NY. Andy and his dad Bob arrived late last night with “Annie” (originally named "Ladybug"). We have learned that there are basically two types of hot air balloons “standard” and “special shape”. Annie is a special shape and she is huge. The special shape balloons are generally heavier and more difficult to get inflated before the flight and then stowed after the flight.

The weather started out looking very good but the forecast was for the winds to get strong and gusty right after sun up. At first most of the pilots were not intending to launch but some started inflating the envelopes (balloons) so they could at least be up for a static display. Later the sun came up, the winds remained calm and many of the balloons took to flight. It was beautiful seeing so many balloons both on the field and in the air at the same time.

Our pilot Andy decided to inflate Ladybug but to not risk flying today. He seems to be one of the more conservative pilots and that’s a good thing. Mike Liberti did the same thing but his two sons both launched their balloons.

We enjoyed working with Andy, his dad Bob, along with several of the other Boomers assigned to crew for Annie. We went through all the steps of getting Annie set-up, inflated, deflated, and stowed away.

By around 10 AM nearly all the balloons were off the field. Although it was a good and fun experience, it was quite strenuous and we needed to take a nap after getting home. During Happy Hour, a show of hands of who took naps proved we were among many.

This evening a few of us went back to the Fiesta grounds for dinner, the Twilight Twinkle Glow, and the AfterGlow Fireworks Show. A glow is when balloons are inflated at night but remain on the field. They are beautiful when the propane flame illuminates them from the inside. It turned out that it was too windy for the glow and just as the fireworks was starting it got very windy and seemed as if it would start raining at any second. We decided to leave right away to avoid a possible drenching and beat the crowd.



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