|Gathering time at the drop zone. It was a crisp and clear |
morning; the conditions were perfect!
|After meeting up at the Perris Valley drop zone, it was |
off to the Winchester take off area just a few miles
|That's Phil in the blue shirt, our pilot and captain.|
|Lindsay's dad, Frank...the birthday boy.|
|Lindsay took more pictures with her phone than we did|
with our cameras!
|Some "wild and crazy girls." Kim, Cassie Hero, daughter|
Lindsay and Amanda Burgess.
|I guess this kissing thing is some sort of pre flight |
|They call this a "Prom Picture."|
|Frank said that all the attention didn't bother him too much.|
|There aren't many things that are more colorful than|
hot air balloons. You don't realize just how big they are
until you're standing next to them.
|Captain Phil checking lines during the inflation process. Air|
is blown into the balloon using large fans. Then the propane
burners are lit and the hot air is directed into the balloon
to finish inflation process.
|That's Cassie and Lindsay standing between two of the|
balloons. This gives you a better idea of just how big
these things are!
|...ready for take off.|
|Here's the gang that gets to have all the fun. Left to right, |
Cassie, Paul, Lindsay, Nick, "Lil' Kiuh", and Bart.
|Nick watching Captain Phil direct the hot air into the |
balloon. Those burners put out a lot of heat!
|Here's Dawn, owner of Above the Rest, giving everyone a |
"high five" before take off.
|The burners are just a couple of feet away so when Captain|
Phil "put the coals to 'er", it was pretty warm on the top
of your head!
|It could not have been a more beautiful morning for |
flying. It was so crisp and clear that we could see
Catalina Island off in the distance.
|The basket holds 10 people and there were 9 of us; 6 had|
rigs and cameras so we were pretty cozy.
|Check out Nick's camera rig...not his first rodeo!|
|"Lil' Kiuh and Bark"|
|How's this for a camera rig? Lindsay is one of the best|
photographers at Perris.
|As I said, it's pretty tight in the basket..but it's even tighter|
OUTSIDE the basket on the 12" step. Here Bart is on the
step while Kim is standing on the edge of the basket
to make her exit.
|And there they go!|
|As we said, you're never really sure where you are going to|
end up so picking out a landing area can be a little
tricky. Fortunately Kim and Bart had jumped in this
area before so they knew where it was safe to land.
|Lindsay on the step; Cassie up top....|
|Captain Phil talking to the ground crew. They chase the|
balloon as it flies so that they can be in position to secure
it when we land.
|A photo op...Frank and Amanda.|
|There's the chase crew...I don't think we were too hard to |
|Check it out! That open field in between all those houses |
and streets is where we're going to land. You gotta'
be kidding me!
|We were coming in so low over these houses that we|
could talk to the people on that second story balcony. They
invited us in for bacon and eggs!
|Touch down...and there's Dawn and the boys!|
|Lindsay, her sister and niece came out to meet dad when|
|Captain Phil not only flew the balloon, but he brought|
out the birthday cake and led us all in singing
Happy 78th Birthday, Frank. We hope it's one you'll