Thursday, November 30, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
If I had the whole experience to do over I would have gotten a more diverse set of pictures. I love horizons, the houses didn't apeal to me at the time. Steve was disapointed I didn't get more ground shots with the golf course and the houses. The whole experience seemed so surreal that I couldn't decide on what I really wanted pictures of.
I was also scared to death I would loose the grip on my camera and have to watch helplessly as it plunged a 1000feet after I dared an over the edge shot. Most of the pictures were taken as I held my arm out and hit the shutter. I wound up with a ton of side angled horizon shots. This was one time I was wishing I had a neckstrap on the camera. Total count of shots taken; 258. Total pictures I was half way happy with and used; 30. Thank god for the delete button...
The pilot has to have a good knowledge of the area since you wind up wherever the wind takes you. When she decides on a suitable landing field the chase vehicle can easily get too, hopefully the landowner is home and aggreeable to hot air balloon landing in their yard. the procedure; The pilot yells down and asks permission to land... Thankfully the landowners were more than agreeableto us landing and watched with cameras. I of course had to ask if she had ever got a No for an answer; yes she had...then it's back up to find another landing field. I pushed out thoughts of what happens if you run out of fuel looking for that spot...
The tear down procedure was just as quick as the inflation; open the top vent and force the air out...
Of course we enjoyed a celebration landing toast and a lot more questions.We found out so much about ballooning. Like cooler weather is better because of the burners, despite the chilly mid 40 degree weather that day we were all toasty warm. Going for a ride after the leaves have fallen gives you a much better view of everything; otherwise all you see is treetops.
Am I glad I pushed down my fear, totally. Would I do it again despite my fear, yes I would. I would love to go for a sunrise ride with just a couple of people in the basket. Or a ride near the mountains. Steve is dying to go for a ride over the mountain and has told Lianna so. Apparently a ride over a mountain isn't easily done and doesn't happen very often. We both absolutely loved the entire experience. Everyone should try it at least once. Dad, thank you so much!!!! Fineto.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Our Pilot's new church.
Taking a chance leaning out over the edge of the basket... I wasn't brave enough to repeat that either...
yeah, my favorite part of the ride...to be continued...
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
There really was no graceful way to climb aboard... Dad wanted me take the video up in the ballon to, we both thought it was a great idea; however when everyone called and things started happening so fast that I totally forgot about the video camera. We didn't realize we had left it until later up int he balloon. I was upset.
I was so happy "our ground support crew" was there to enjoy it with us. I can't wait to see the video.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
When I started to relax I felt comfortable enough to look around, enjoy the view and use my camera. In these photo's we're over Lake Monticello, very beautiful.
About this time the pilot realized she had dog pooh on her shoe and wasn't pleased. Everyone noticed the balloon was slowly getting lower over the water. She wanted to skim the water for us...Then suddenly we were hitting the water and water came into the bottom of the basket... Of course everyone was shocked and preparing for a crash. But it only lasted seconds as suddenly the balloon rose very quickly and we were drifting away from the lake. She wanted to wash the dog pooh off her shoes of course...I thought it was hilarious but I don't think anyone else thought felt the same.
It didn't occur to me till much later that I should have been scared to death and possibly screaming. Honestly, as the the water entered the bottom of the basket the only thoughts that entered my head were get ready to swim girl and damn, my camera!....yeah, I'm a ditz...or possibly I'm just used to to many trips to the emergency room were complete panic is not recomended with little kids...I was a happy camper, enjoying myself until someone asked how high we were...1500 feet... a wave of panic hit me, my hands sudenly got sweaty and I had to look down into the basket and look at the pics I had already in the camera. Though we didn't stay that high too long; she knew the other female passenger and I both had height phobia's and I think she was trying to take it easy on us. I have to admit the view of the horizon at the altitude was amazing. It felt like the world went on for forever.Blogger is once again a poopyhead and I'm late for a very important date... to be continued
Monday, November 20, 2006
Our launching point was Crofton Plaze at Lake Monticello. As I watched the balloon begin to take shape I started to feel my stomach fill with some big butterflies...
There were three other passengers going for a ride too with the pilot so it was 6 of us all together, that basket didn't look nearly big enough, not by half. We stood there taking pictures and chatting, amazed at how quickly the balloon was filling up. Not even 15 minutes.
Then suddenly I realized everyone was calling for me, it was time to take off....
We each rushed to climb in the basket without falling on our backside in ungracefull manner. Then as the balloon began to inch off of the ground, all thoughts of taking any pictures were forgotten. The basket leaned sharply to the left, then to the right as the wind tried to lift balloon. It felt like the balloon was going to drag us sideways across the ground. Those were the most extreme nerve racking minutes of the entire experience, everyone in the basket was holding on for dear life just like me... then suddenly the leaning stopped and we were quickly rising up over the tree tops.
I have more to share but blogger refuses to cooperate with me so, to be continued....