Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Full of Hot Air

Last last weekend I had an amazing ride. I got to play balloon crew, help set up a hot air balloon and then jump on in and ride it to 1500 feet. Its the most amazingly calm ride you'll ever take. And the only thing you can really hear from above are dogs barking - no cars, no trucks, no nothing. Its absolutely WILD! The landing is even more interesting because you don't know where you're going to end up. Ruth was Paul and I's pilot and through the whole flight she had to field my constant ballooning questions... So how do you land? (look for an empty space) So this is totally dependent on the wind, right? (yes - where it goes - we go) Where do you land (fields, peoples back yards - avoid cow pastures, trees and the farmers with shotguns) Where do you take classes to learn how to pilot? (airports) How long are they? (about a weekend) How often do you give it the flame? (every minute or so - 4 second burst) How much air is in the balloon? (1400lbs) Where do you buy them? (in GA) etc etc etc...

Ruth's husband, Dan works with Paul, we went to a work party of sorts last Fri evening and got to talking about their hot air balloon and then they suggested a time to see one fly if we helped set it up and maybe take a ride. Of course I was like " Are you kidding? HECK YEAH!" So we went to Hamfest and an India Festival at the VBC in the morning and met Dan, Ruth, and two other friends of ours Jasna and Jason out in a great big wide open field in Harvest, AL. Next thing Paul and I knew the balloon was up and ready to go and Ruth was saying jump on in. So we did! The rest is best told in pictures.

Paul had his GPS with him, so ths is the actual track of the balloon flight.

Right here we are just letting a huge fan inflate the balloon.

Now Dan is giving it the gas and warming up all the air, you can see its slowling lifting off the ground.

Jasna and Jason took this picture of Paul Ruth and I taking off.

Here's a short video clip of the view!

A view from above. See the itty-bitty cows? Hot air balloons are a really great way to check for clean pools too.

Here's out altitude - 1583. We reached 1600+. The temperature sensor isn't hooked up, so it really isn't -435.

Here we are packing it all up in its huge stuff sack.

Thank you Dan and Ruth for the awesome time!


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Laura said...

oh beanie, you are so stinking CUTE, and hearing your voice on the video made me miss you soooo! (i couldnt SEE anything on the video . . .ummmm, i don't know.) You never cease to stop finding fabulously interesting things to do!!!


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