Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning we saw this in our neighborhood...

See it? 

I got all excited and Mike was a good sport to follow it a bit so I could get photos.

We both laughed about it as we used to see hot air balloons frequently when we lived in New Mexico. In fact, about once a year we would wake up on a Saturday morning hearing the WHOOSH sound they make as the local balloon festival often blew many over our neighborhood. I capitalized that WHOOSH sound as it can actually be a really loud noise, not a gentle sound at all.

Can you see the flame shooting up inside the balloon?  

That is, of course, how the air gets hot. Otherwise it would be a cool air balloon and it wouldn't rise. Still, who first thought it would be a good idea to shoot a flame up inside a flammable balloon as it held your life in its basket?  

We actually got to ride in a hot air balloon in New Mexico, thanks to our friend, Jim, and our friends, Bob and Marcia. Jim owns a balloon and Bob and Marcia were the chase crew. We got our turn to be a chase crew as well. That was kind of fun and a bit scary.

Did you know a balloon can't really be steered?. The pilot just makes it go up or down until finding a breeze going the way he wants to go. Sometimes there is not a breeze going exactly where planned.  Sometimes the balloon take an unexpected route. That is why a chase crew is called a chase crew. 

Sometimes there isn't much of a breeze at all. Sam and I had our ride together. Although he is 6'4" now, he could barely see over the top of the basket then. I couldn't bring myself to hold him up very far as I had wild worries of dropping him over the edge if we hit a bump.... An air bump.  That wasn't really a worry. Our friend, Jim, kept piloting us higher and higher, trying to find a good breeze. Sam and I went very, very high!  I don't remember how long our ride was, maybe 30-40 minutes. When we landed, we'd only gone about one block.  Nevertheless, it was a wonderful experience. Thank you, Jim! 

The part I did not know was that those graceful balloons do not always land so gracefully. They bounce!. The chase crew has to grab onto the basket and be human anchors. Sometimes the anchors get bounced around a bit as well.  Who knew? 

Anyway, blue skies, no clouds and a hot air balloon made for a lovely drive to church.


Maria Rose said...

I wonder how the chase crew works in crowded events like Albuquerque

Cindy said...

Gorgeous photos! I've never been in a hot air balloon but I sure love to watch them!

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