Monday, September 3, 2012

Balloon Rides and the Gravity Derby

The weather was perfect and I arrived in time to help get the balloon up before getting my ride.  Yes, I did get to ride in the balloon I crewed the day before, the Lokopelli, owned and piloted by Pell Wadleigh and his wife Stacy as the Crew Chief.  
Laying out the balloon, getting ready to start giving it some air.

The next step is attaching it to the basket.  Then the big fan is started to give the balloon some air.

As the air fills the balloon, it starts filling out, taking on its shape.  This beautiful yellow and blue balloon was designed by Pell and custom made.  

Here I am, in the basket and ready to go.

Here is a better shot of Pell's balloon, the Lokopelli.  It's the blue and yellow balloon in front.  Notice each balloon has it's own design and colors.

Looking down on the balloons which haven't launched yet.

We just keep going higher.  I believe we only went up about 1500 feet, not as high as he did yesterday, but it was still wonderful.

Here I am looking at some of the other balloons up in the air with us now.

The ground looks so different from up in the air.  It is quiet and slow, almost surreal.  I can't wait until I have another opportunity to do this again.

We made a perfect landing and we have let the air out of the balloon and are now folding it back up into it's bag.

Everything is packed up and stowed in the trailer.  Now it's back to the airport for the champaign tailgate.

The balloon festival is held as a fundraiser for the purpose of rebuilding this church.   It was at the church location where the balloon glow was held.

After I left the tailgate party I headed towards town and the gravity derby.

The race was already in progress, but I got there in time for this next heat.

The only requirements for the entries were:  they could have no motor or pedals; they had to be steerable; and they had to have brakes.

You saw all types of contraptions.

This is the final for the adult division.

This is the kids division, the final race.

I could never see who crossed the finish line since I was at the start.  I guess I'll see who is posted as the winner tomorrow.


TexCyn said...

What a fun filled day - whew. I'm exhausted! How cool to go up in that balloon like that!

Diana said...

Wow, what an experience. I guess I should have stayed in Creede...

PS you need to get rid of the unreadable spam protection... I'm on my 5th try and still can't read it.