Wednesday, 10 October 2007
If you have never been to Albuquerque during the International Balloon Fiesta you are missing out. This morning I woke up around 4:45am to crew for a balloon and before I got to the park I had no idea what I was in for. Pre-dawn the balloons started to glow and the first few were launched into the air. Their flight would help other pilots see which way the wind was moving at different altitudes.
We waited as the international pilots began to set up and take off in rows. Around 7:00am we started to get our balloon in position for inflation. I was in charge of holding on to the fan as it blew air into the balloon so the pilot would be able to start the heat. Once the basket was ready to stand up we all had to hold on to the side so it wouldn't take off to o soon. A referee would walk down the line of balloons and signal when it was clear to take off.Around 8:00am our balloon started to fly! It was so cool to see it take off and know that it took a whole crew to make it happen. We loaded in the trucks and followed it up to Rio Rancho where it landed at 9:30am. The balloon came down in a field and luckily there were other people there who could catch it for us since we had some trouble getting to the spot on time. There are no exact measurements or timing, it's all guess work and luck.
I'll be going back on Friday and Saturday with my video camera. It is something that is truly amazing to experience. It's times like these that I wonder how something so beautiful can exist when so many ugly things overpower our world.