Saturday, October 8, 2016

Disappointing Day for Balloon Flights!

 When we arrived at the CG it smelled like someone was
baking and it smelled yummy!  We were quickly told that 
this is a General Mills plant and it was located almost across
from us. They must have been making Cookie Crisp Cereal!!

Ken was up very early in anticipation of the mass balloon ascension today and to do some reading.  We had decided last night that we would stay at the CG to watch the balloons instead of going into the field area where they would launch. We knew it would be so crowded with it being a Saturday and people not working.  Well, that is an understatement.  At 5:30 the midway was jammed with people and by 7:30 the news anchors told people not to try to drive to the Balloon Fiesta Area because all of the off site parking lots were full!  Throughout this Fiesta over 800,000 people attend the event.

The local TV station was on the air from very, very early and until the balloons took flight with up to the minute reports on the wind conditions, etc.  The balloon ascension was to start at 6:00 with the patrol balloons going up first to check out the weather conditions.  They were unable to leave the ground.  A yellow flag was posted to let everyone know that they were hopeful that the wind conditions would change when the sun came up and flying would be possible. The mass flights were to start at 7:00 but that didn't happen.  It was so cloudy and the sun never did appear. 

But, by 8:45 the winds had diminished enough for them to put up the green flag, but it was at the pilot's discretion.  By 9 there were about 50 balloons flying over the CG but they were the only ones who attempted the flight. 

This is the 1st balloon we saw this morning and
Ken took this photo from Waldo!

Here they come!

This one got very close to us!

Some of them had very short flights and that was probably
a good plan!

As you can see they are very close to the RV's!

Right at the fence across from Waldo!

This shape balloon is used a lot for racing!

I wonder if they were handing out donuts?????

Most of the balloons were getting ready to descend!
So disappointing for the 1,000's of folks who came to see the mass ascension. One of the balloons got low enough over the CG that campers were able to throw some wrapped pastries to the pilot and passengers and they actually caught them.  

By 9:45 it started to rain followed by some lightning and thunder!  It was good that only a few balloons decided to fly!

Ken and I came back to Waldo where I did some phone calls and worked on the blog.  Ken took a nap for he had been up since 4:00 AM - crazy!

After a long chat with my sister who is about 3 hours inland from Jekyll Island and safe, Ken and I walked to the Balloon Museum and enjoyed the 4D movie and all of the displays.

This is the front of  the museum and it looks like a balloon
on its side!

.....and this is the back!

A replica of the 1st balloon flight across
the English Channel.  The base was shaped
like a boat and even had oars!

Ken is ready for take-up, he just needs a balloon!

The 1st balloon flight across the Pacific!

Some of the balloon flights in Europe were like party
balloons with food and wine!

1st transatlantic balloon capsule

All ready for the 4 D movie!  It made me a bit dizzy!

We also put on virtual reality headphones and glasses and I got to take a ride with the Blue Angels.  Ken was part of a volcano eruption and rode on a dragon.  Very interesting!

All ready for my ride with the Blue Angels!

We went to the midway area where there were 1,000's of folks very early this morning, but now there was hardly anyone there and most of the vendors were closed for the afternoon.  We bought our souvenir pin and then went back to Waldo.  

We met with our HOPS Escapee Group for a delicious dinner - a fish fry of catfish, butterfly shrimp and hush puppies.  There were other goodies too including the yummy blueberry bread pudding.

It was cool and breezy when we returned to Waldo.  We watched some football and downloaded more photos while working on the blog.  Can't believe we leave here tomorrow.

We are hopeful that the weather will be good in the morning for the final mass Balloon Ascension.  New friends, new sites, new area......a fantastic time in Albuquerque!

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