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.