August 23, 2008

Balloon Weekend

Spent last evening and this morning at the Plainville Balloon Festival.

Last night was a "glow" - balloons inflate but do not fly off, and after dark, they fire a special burner to get the balloons to light up. The Kirkwoods were the first to inflate, with an old balloon (affectionately known in the trade as a "rag bag") that they inflated and permitted folks to go inside of for a $1 (donation to the Plainville Fire Department)

Other balloon teams soon followed, including Bill Colyer's "Last Penny", who tethered (ascended a few dozen feet, with straps attached to the earth to keep them down). There were plenty of folks willing to plunk down a few bucks for a tethered ride, both Last Penny and Party Time were busily ascending and descending all evening.

Once it got dark, the balloons glowed. A handful of balloons participated, including Last Penny and the Barn (see below).

Finally, team Berkshire Balloons glowed, at the hands of pilot trainee Kristen, inflating Robert's small home built balloon. The winds were a bit tricky, and as the evening darkened we deflated and packed up, and settled down for the fireworks display.

This morning, the field started to fog in, with morning haze coming off the nearby Quinnipiac River. Balloonists flew, nevertheless, keeping low to the ground but occasionally popping up to the clearer skies above the cloudbank.

Robert took a brief flight from Norton park over to a nearby school, where we traded passengers and I went for a foggy ride down Rte. 10 to a nearby park where e got in with the help of a drop line. I was up long enough to grab this photo of the balloon shadow on a cloud (with a little brightness / contrast tweaking)

A pretty icky day to fly, and true to form, the skies cleared and turned beautiful as we were packing up.

We capped off the morning with breakfast at the Plainville Fire Department - quiche, bacon, sausage, and pancakes.....

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