Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Albuquerque, NM 9/29/14 - 10/13/14 Post 3

We headed out the door at 5:15 am and began our day greeted by a total lunar eclipse.  What a neat surprise.  No tripod, so unfortunately the picture is a little fuzzy.

We wanted to get to the launching field before the Dawn Patrol took off.  The Dawn Patrol consists of the most talented pilots, who ascend at dawn and report back to the field concerning the weather conditions higher up.

We so enjoy the glow of the first balloons in the darkness of the early mornings and plan to take in the early morning excitement on all of our remaining 4 mornings.  It was beginning to look like it might be a no fly morning. After about a 45 minute wait, cheers were heard all around us as the yellow flag was lowered and the green flag rose signaling the all clear for balloons to begin flying.

Below is a set of pictures that progress through the launching of the Spain balloon.  After the balloon is laid out on the field the balloon is inflated on its side.  Spectators are allowed up close to all of the balloons.  Notice the excitement in the children as the balloon begins to inflate.  The balloon crew then helps to pull the balloon upright.  This takes several crew members to accomplish.  Once upright, the pilot must get full clearance from one of the 'zebras' (officials on the field) before taking off.  The Zebra also clears the spectators to ensure a safe path during ascension.  The last tether is released, the pilot shoots more heat into the balloon to enable lift off (the temperature inside the balloon needs to be 100 degrees warmer than the outside temperature in order to lift off).  The crew guides the basket as the ascension begins and the crowd cheers loudly as each balloon lifts off the ground into the blue sky.  The spectators then look around for the next Zebra, knowing that shortly this excitement will repeat again.  Many of the 'Zebras' really have fun with the whole thing.  We saw Zebra heads, Zebra boots, Zebra Cowboy hats and more.

It was another enjoyable fly day at the balloon field before heading home again......  The last picture in today's post is our truck and fifth wheel amongst the many balloons.  Looking forward to an early departure to the balloon field tomorrow!

Lunar Eclipse
Early Dawn
Early Dawn
Early Dawn
Early Dawn
Early Dawn
Peanuts Forever
Littleton, MA
The Green flag (flying is all go)

The Launching of a Balloon

Zebra Official
Scuba Diver
Carazinho, Rio Grande Do Sul
Darth Vader
Court St. Etienne
Simpsonville, KY
Windsor, CO
Joey and Lilley Little Bee
Chandler, AZ
Sao Paulo
Rio Grande Raider
Crested Butte, CO
Happy Orca
Rio Claro, Sao Paulo
Oso Grande
Pagosa Springs, CO
Gus T Guppy
Shakopee, MN
Purple Haze
Espanola, NM

Ocala, FL

Deland, FL
Vinhedo, Sao Paulo
Lady Jester
Albuquerque, NM
Sea Fantasy
Wausau, WI
Great Britain
Grand Prairie, TX
Giggles and Grins
Bosque Farms, NM
Our Truck and Rig
As in Home Sweet Home


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