It was a great day at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta today. This is the balloon we crewed for, Zipper.
The pilot Luc Goethals, his wife and crew chief Loren Goethals, and her cousin Yvonne flew in the basket today.
At the end of the flight, with Don driving the chase vehicle, we packed up the balloon and celebrated the completion of a safe flight with champagne, orange juice and other beverages, snacks and hugs all around. This is our third year crewing for Luc and Loren, and many of us feel like part of their extended family.
Here are a few more balloons we saw flying today. The hummingbird is new to the Fiesta this year, and comes from Brazil.
I love the black and vivid colors on this unique balloon.
This tie-dyed balloon was hand-made by the pilot.
We launched near the clock.
You can see why it's called a "mass ascension."
Our Boomers group has grown. Remember the picture of the 4 motorhomes I took on Monday when we first arrived?
And the two 5th wheels?
On Wednesday, the others started rolling in.
The line-up of RVs parked in our group is a lot longer now, with motorhomes on one end.
And 5th wheels on the other, plus a few more motorhomes because of some confusion on the part of the Fiesta parking crew. Our group totals 29 RVs and 61 people.
We’ve enjoyed announcement sessions followed by happy hour every afternoon.
Many members of our group are first-timers at the Balloon Fiesta, so we all attended a crew safety briefing on Friday morning.
Then we signed up as volunteers on balloon crews.
We checked the launch field to find the spot on the grid, marked by short white posts, where our assigned balloons would be launched.
And some of us did a little shopping.
All that worked up an appetite, so we had dinner at a Chinese buffet with the group.
There will be more balloons and more food events during the next several days. As long as the weather allows for it, we’ll be there helping launch balloons every morning, getting up very early to get to the launch field before dawn.