FYI – The way it is supposed to go each morning….Before sunrise about 7 or 8 balloons that have special lights launch performing Dawn Patrol. The rest of the pilots call them “wind dummies” as they are like crash dummies testing out the winds. Next is a chosen balloon of the day with the American Flag attached below to launch while the National Anthem is played. The 3rd launch is the “ride balloons”. Only one commercial company has permission to actually have paid riders that launches from the field. They have about ten balloons. Some are small and hold up to four riders. Some of them hold up to 14 riders. The riders have paid $325 each for the ride. The other pilots call them “cattle cars”. Then the other balloons launch in waves. On certain days it is 2 waves and other days 3 waves. There are officials on the field directing the balloonists. They are called “zebras”. They dress like crazy looking referees. Each zebra is responsible for about eight balloons. They tell the balloonist when they can “cold” inflate…that is start filling up with air using a fan. Then they tell the balloonist when they can “go hot” which means turn on the burners and lift up to a standing position. Then the balloonists must wait for their zebra to tell them when they can lift off. There are traffic rules for balloonists just like driving. Each balloonist is responsible for looking out for the balloons below them. They do not have to worry about the balloons above them.
It was 62 degrees at 7am this morning with no wind…..it was a perfect day for balloon flying except……….for the lightning and rain that came up…… I will say that the clouds looked like they were whipped topping laying on top of the Sandia Mountains and it was beautiful.
Morning event was cancelled and it was raining pretty hard as we drove out of the field and went to breakfast. Every hour or so today it would rain for 5 minutes or so. This afternoon winds gusted up to 25 miles per hour.
Evening glow was cancelled by early afternoon.
I was feeling pretty tired anyway. I went back to the trailer after breakfast and took a two hour nap. Then I went out and had the oil changed in my car, got a pedicure and then went to the laundromat. I spent some time trying to get ready to pull out on Sunday. I will hitch up tomorrow evening so I am ready to go after Sunday morning events.
Well it is 8:30pm and I need to start my generator to heat the water so I can take a shower and get to bed. I will be up again tomorrow and on the field by 6:30 or so. Weather forecast does not look very promising right now.