Day 2: Flight

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Napa Valley Balloons website had warned to dress in layers. No wonder. We were initially bundled up against the dawn chill. However, in order to get height after lift up, the balloon operator fired up the engine with a blast of heat. I soon shed my jacket.

Since the other balloon companies had headed toward the same site, there became a bit of a competition among the operators, even those of the same company. They search for air currents. Man, when we finally floated into one, the speed picked up noticeably. I was interested to learn that the farmers don't mind the balloons landing in their fields, although the first to land normally goes up to the door. Can you imagine, cup of coffee in hand, looking at your window and seeing four balloons landing in your front yard? The operators do search for those sites where the farmers have recently mowed and/or have fallow fields. Once the balloon lands, they open up the top to let air escape and then literally squeeze out the remaining air and stuff the balloon in this smal basket.

Anyway, here's a few of the photos I took as I floated across the gorgeous countryside. Since the upload feature keeps reading an error, I could only upload a few. I shall try again tomorrow for the rest. :) Carol