|As is customary the day began with a dawn patrol. This balloon is named "Peanuts Encore" from Littleton, MA.
Foreground: Polar Sun and Gloria Caeli laid out waiting to be filled.
Background - left to right: Glory, Ad-Venture, Featherlight (behind), and Wayne's Air Toys.
Balloons in back - from left to right: Angel Wings, Nightfire II, Sunrise Angel, and Archangel (interesting how these 3 angel name balloons wound up in the same shot, I didn't plan that really! Just the luck of the draw.)
|As the balloon is filling with air a team at the top has to secure the vent flap with velcro straps. Otherwise the balloon won't fill properly which means it'll probably never get off the ground! Very important job!|
That's Becca on the left and Roland on the right.
|Another important job for the balloon crew is to have someone hold the crown line which prevents the balloon from standing up before it's completely filled. These guys were having a tough time holding on! The guy in back was getting swallowed by the other balloons, they finally got another member of their crew to help.|
Around in front, two people are responsible for holding open the "skirt" of the balloon as another person operates the fan. It isn't as easy as it looks! Your arms start to feel like jelly long before the envelope is full, and then the pilot turns on the burners to heat the air and you swear your skin is blistering (it isn't, but it sure gets hot!). Picture above is of Gloria Caeli and her crew, to the right is Polar Son and her crew. See the guy leaning on the basket taking a picture? Scroll down to the next photo to see what he's getting a shot of.
(that's Melanie and Steve holding the skirt, Becca running the fan and Rick, the pilot, in the blue jacket.)
|And away they go!!|
|Up goes Gloria, that's Jonathan Wolfe, her pilot, waving at me. "Bye Jonathan!"|
|A good shot of Gloria Caeli, such a striking balloon! And would you believe it was all done by hand? Yep, Jonathan tie-dyed it himself and sewed it together in his living room on an antique sewing machine!! Check out his website for the whole story:
|And there's Polar Sun again. (*Yes sun with a "u", depends on how you're viewing the balloon whether the name is son or sun!)|
The balloon below it is the "Lisa Frank" balloon, it was really pretty when the light hit it, the "stickers" just shimmered!
Since there were plenty of people in the crew today, my step-dad and I elected to stay on the field and let the rest of them chase the balloon. We both wanted to take more pictures and I wanted to do the touristy stuff that I didn't get to do yesterday. So next is a whole slew of pictures of lots of different balloons, go get a refill of whatever you're drinking so you can settle in for a real feast for the eyes!
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