Thursday, October 25, 2012

Balloon Fiesta 2012

This year we made it out to Balloon Fiesta twice. Once in the evening hoping to see a glow, which did not happen and for one beautiful morning with perfect conditions. I towed Dylan in the trailer both times. 

For the evening session we headed out and met Linda at the field as she was riding home from work. Dylan and I arrived earlier than Linda and just ended up hanging out in front of the Intel tent where we would eat dinner once Linda arrived. Here we are waiting,
 Even though the "glow", where they light up the balloons but don't fly, was canceled because of gusty winds, the view was still really cool, there was this strange looking cloud hanging over the Sandias that of course glowed in the sunset.
and of course, there are fireworks every night,
 In the morning I got a flat tire and had to change it on the trail as the "Dawn Patrol", the dawn patrol launched while it is still dark and look like floating lightbulbs where they burn to gain altitude, the must fly until it is light to be able to see obstacles and landing sites, balloons flew over us. 

Once we made the field, the first balloon we saw left little doubt as to where we were,
 Balloons bumping,
 There were lots of shapes out since it was calm enough for them to fly, like this zebra,
The you have the human zebras that clear a down wind path so the balloons can take off without knocking people over, though it was so calm that they only moved a few feet before they were well above head height.
 Family shot in front of a row of balloons,
 The spiral pattern of many of the balloons looks pretty cool as they fly overhead,
 This is the first time I've seen the "Darth Vader" balloon out,
 And he was off chasing the rebels,
 Smokey the Bear for Mom,
 The balloons launch in rows from the down wind edge so that they don't have to clear each other, so you get these long rows of balloons waiting for the OK from a human zebra for take off. 
 Linda and Dylan below the "Airibel" Creamland dairy balloon.
 Airibel framing some balloons,
 And again, "Airibel" is huge and they were hoping to fly her on this day but the wind shifted and if they had flown there would not have been anywhere large enough to land her. We have yet to see the whole cow fly, but they can detach the front and back and it leaves a normal balloon, I think, that We've seen flying.
 Noah's arc,
 Looking into the Wells Fargo stage coach balloon,
 A tribute balloon,
 The three bumble bees, with baby leaving the parents behind, I think the hands of the parents were actually attached,
 Linda and Dylan on the field again after the sun came up,
 Balloons, balloons and more balloons,
 I always like these shots, looking through the balloon as it is layer out and getting blown up with shadows of people watching. A couple of parents holding children and someone working on straightening the balloon out.
 Linda using her enormous weight to help hold the Intel balloon down. The intel balloon actually flew as part of the "Dawn Patrol", landed, was packed up and drove back to the field to re-inflate and tether in front of the Intel tent.
 At the end of the morning it was just the Intel balloon and this one sitting tethered to the field for people to mingle around as they headed back to their cars or bikes.

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