May 31, 2009

First Flight of the Season

As we were meeting up at 5:15 am yesterday, Intrepid Balloonist RZ noted "One year, I did not get out until Memorial Day weekend". I reminded him gently that we were one week later, and that he had set a new standard. But between the economy, the April weather (rainy / foggy weekends), and his own life, he can be forgiven. We got our first commercial flight (with passengers) in before June 1, so that's something.

A beautiful morning to fly; with winds aloft up near 30 knots, and the typical southerly flow that took us more or less down Rte. 10, from Spring Street in Southington to Richard Dr. in Cheshire. Calm winds at the surface made for a gentle touchdown in a neighborhood backyard.

Departure from Spring Street with Christopher and his mother Grace aboard.

Was kind of bummed to drive by Outdoor World Outfitters and see a STORE CLOSING sign - I've come to rely on this shop for my annual Falcon Ridge camping purchases - heavy-duty tent poles, stakes, water bottles, etc. Sorry to see it go! (although the website remains mum on the subject)

RZ joked on the radio that he planned to make the first official landing at the old Southington Drive In, soon to be an extension of Recreation Park. I've run through the drive-in giving chase before, so it will be interesting to have this additional open space available for landing!

Pack-up was aided by the local kids (and parents) who swarmed outside to watch the balloon land and deflate.

RZ landed in a backyard off Richard Drive in Cheshire, and the wonderful woman of the house (Linda, I think) made a pot of coffee and brought it out to us. In her bathrobe! BEST LANDOWNERS EVER!

My Flicker Photos for today's flight here

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