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September 9th, 2004


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05:05 pm - Wouldn't you like to ride?
in my Beautiful Balloon?



Today was a strange day. Oh sure, many of my days are strange days just by virtue of the fact that I am, for all intents and purposes, somewhat of a strange person. Today, was different in its strangeness, though. Today, I got to be part of a hot-air balloon crew.

I got to help take out the gondola (that basket thingy), lay out the balloon, and watch as it inflated, even catching a peek inside the balloon as it got bigger and bigger and putting the final touches on the preparation for liftoff.

As we rose into the air, the ground got very far away very fast. We sailed along through the mountain desert landscape, catching a glimpse of our shadow in a sea of sagebrush and laughing as the local coyotes and jackrabbits darted off out of our way and drivers pulled over to the side of the road to watch us.

Looking up was a cathedral of color and light and flame. Looking out across the city was indescribable. The silence was broken only by the periodic roar of the burners as we floated peacefully, drifting with the wind currents and thermals, across the hills.

The landing was a bit bumpy, and dragging a fully-inflated balloon against the wind to the grassy landing site was interesting, but any landing you can walk away from, as they say, is a good landing. We disassembled the balloon, and packed it into its small bag. Amazing that such a huge thing can fit in that tiny little container.

Finally, it was time to go. The crew and pilot posed for a final group picture near the trailer that carried the balloon and supplies. The name of the balloon?

Mid-Life Crisis.

I believe it's more apt than anyone can ever imagine.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:passion_nymph
Date:September 9th, 2004 06:50 pm (UTC)
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SO COOL!!!!

Those pictures of the inside of the balloon... gorgeous! Make one an avatar!
[User Picture]
From:cookiegirlie
Date:September 9th, 2004 07:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Is it wrong that I was looking for the hottie in all those piccies??


That looks like so much fun.

Piccies loaded pretty well on my dial-up, btw. ;)
[User Picture]
From:ktkatrina
Date:September 9th, 2004 08:21 pm (UTC)
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wow. very awesome pictures.

*lives vicariously*

and thats about the closest I'll get, thanks. *deathly scared of falling/heights*
but they are beautiful from the ground... The stables I used to ride at backed up to a polo field that they would take weekly outings from... its amazing to watch a dozen or more baloons taking flight.
[User Picture]
From:sushirob
Date:September 9th, 2004 08:50 pm (UTC)
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So who conned you into crewing for the balloon races? That bruce I see next to you? his doing?

Shree's planning on getting up for the dawn patrol on Saturday. I may just stay awake.. I kinda wnat to try taking pictures. Or I may just miss it entirely like all the other years. Well, except for the year we moved into our house and they landed in front of our house of all places.



[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:September 10th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
It was "Media Day" and I'm kind of the media person so I got to ride. Crewing is sort of part of the fun, as I understand it.

As for landing, well, you don't necessarily entirely have a choice of where you land as I found out. The pilot has control over up/down, but not over the horizontal axis. Best you can do is try and go up and down until you find a wind current that's going the direction you want to go.

Landing was interesting.

We hit the ground, like, WHAM! and the pilot says, "Okay, there's gonna be a bump." I'm like, "Thanks for letting us know." hehehehe

It was kind of like jumping out of an airplane in a wicker basket. "You should know there's only one parachute, and it's that one right over your head."
[User Picture]
From:otterprincess
Date:September 10th, 2004 06:34 am (UTC)
(Link)
My first thought was... ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!! 0.o It's REALLY HIGH up there and you are not strapped in or anything!! *passes out*


Then I was like WHOA. That's cool. :D It looks fun teh setup and all that. You really are beautiful, btw. Your arms are fantastic. *L* And of course the smile. 8)

I got the sagebrush shadow piccie as my current desktop background. That is really neat.

I love how you are living life, sweetie.

*OtterHuggles*
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:September 10th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hahaha! You can't really fall out, though. The sides are too high and it's too crowded. You would really have to try very very hard to fall out of the basket. Actually, I think you'd have to jump intentionally.

Meanwhile, the pilot is regaling us with stories of what happens when you fall from certain heights. E.g. "Twenty-five feet and you break both your legs, easy. Or at least, you'll screw up your ankles pretty bad, but you'll probably break your legs." When he got to a hundred feet, that was the "LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" time. heh.
From:ipuhlot
Date:September 10th, 2004 11:01 am (UTC)
(Link)
:::cowers in corner:::
Never ever ever ever ever
Those things go up too high...

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