The event has both a facebook page and a phone app to keep you updated. This morning the app was showing that the balloons were on hold due to some upper winds. I hung out in the trailer waiting to see if they were going to fly.
At 7:57am they put out the green flag. It took me 10 minutes to get ready and walk out the door. When I did, I was amazed to already see dozens of balloons drifting over the RV park. I took the following photos while still in the park:
I decided to walk towards the park.
The strange looking building you see in the distance is the Balloon Museum. The closer I got to the museum the more amusing it became. The balloon field is below the museum so it just looked like a jack in the box…..balloon after balloon just appeared to pop up.
I arrived at the museum grounds and stopped.
As I was sitting and enjoying the experience, I hear someone blowing a whistle over and over and realize it is coming from the basket below this giant Christ the Redeemer balloon. Then they start yelling “Help us stop, Help us stop”. This is common for people on the ground to help catch the baskets and slow/stop them. So people started piling on and got it stopped. It was the most amazing landing I have seen considering the size of the balloon and the small, small space they had to land. They stayed inflated with people holding on to them until their chase crew arrived and put down a giant tarp and then they deflated. It was textbook. They could have filmed a how to video on deflating a balloon. I heard two different employees from the museum come out and tell them that was the best landing on the lawn they have ever had. The balloon height is equal to a 15 story building. The pilot and his balloon are from Brazil.
I walked back to the RV park to see balloons still flying over the RV’s.
Back at the trailer at 10:00am.
More photos to be added later.