Jerry did not get to launch until 8:20am this morning and by that time the winds had picked up. He had a great takeoff but then the winds were so strong he flew very, very fast and had a hard but safe landing in a dirt lot behind a Ford dealership. Several other balloons had landed in the same lot.
The change in winds caused a problem for many balloon pilots this morning. One ended up in power line that caused 2200 people to be without power for 30 minutes. Another ended up in a telephone pole, and another in a tree. No major injuries were reported, several minor were.
I will say being on the field this morning was so, so beautiful.
Karen gave me an official “Eagleview” shirt today so I will look like a real crew member the rest of the week.
After we found Jerry and packed everything back up they dropped me at the RV park.
I went to the Botanic Gardens and Aquarium. They were not the most impressive I have ever seen but they were a nice way to spend a couple of hours.
After that I went to a mall for a short time. I saw one thing I have never seen before. A vending machine selling only jerky. Several different varieties for $2 each.
After the mall, I went to check out the Indian Casino across the interstate from the Balloon Fiesta site. It is called “Sandia Casino and Resort”. It is very tasteful. It was pretty smoky. I stayed about 90 minutes playing various slot machines. The machines are more complicated than ever, you really can’t even tell how to win. You just put your money in and you know you won if you get some credits. I actually had the best luck on the penny machines. One of my favorites was the Dean Martin machine. If you got the bonus, Dean sang to you… I left the casino with $50 more than I went in with. That is pretty good for 90 minutes.