Our Location today is Lake Havasu, Arizona, U.S.A.
Even though 6:00 A.M. MST is way too early for us to be getting out of bed, that was the time we dragged ourselves into the kitchen this morning. Hot Coffee helped to take the chill out and sticking with our Cereal for Breakfast it was enough for us to be out the door by 6:30. Since this is our first time attending a Balloon Festival we didn’t know what to expect and with Forecasted Chances of Showers we planned for everything. I had some Water Bottles, our Gloves, Kathy’s Glass Case and a few things for the cameras all in a Backpack while we wore our Raincoats.
|Full Moon about to set behind a Cloud Bank.|
When we got to the Registration Desk at the front of the lot we were faced with the hard delima of which kind of Donut we wanted for a Quick Breakfast but the Coffee hadn’t arrived yet. (We could have stayed in bed longer.) We would wear the added sugar off without even trying.
|Balloon being unfolded.|
Standing by the assigned spot we waited for the Shuttle Bus to arrive to bring us to the Festival Grounds the line soon became a small Crowd. At exactly 6:45 the bus pulled in to our parking lot and quickly loaded up. The road we are on is a loop and for these kinds of events they are converted to One Way Highways that the traffic was just flying by on. Glad I didn’t have to drive it.
|Gentleman with blue jacket is using a gas-powered fan to fill the Balloon.|
The driver had us at the front gate of the Festival Grounds promptly by 7:00. There were people we’d heard say that they had attended before so we followed them to some small Bleachers that were set up along the Balloon Field. There were people on Mega-Phones saying it was fine to Interact with the Flying Teams but just “No Smoking”.
|Heat warms the air inside the Balloon.|
Kathy saved our spots on the Bleachers while I got shots of what would be the Lead Balloon that would also be used for the National Anthem at 7:20. With the National Anthem finished, again the crowds were encouraged to interact with the Balloon Crews. This time Kathy mingled with the crews while I shot pictures from higher in the stands.
|Balloon leaving the ground.|
At 7:45 many of the Balloons had yet to be inflated while six were ready to fly. When piloting Hot Air Balloons there is a lot of Science behind this Sport and the most important is the Weather. The winds suddenly started getting gusty, tossing some of the volunteers like they were toys. Now half the inflated Balloons were suddenly deflating. The announcement was made that the Mass Ascension would hopefully take place this afternoon.
Kathy and I were speaking with one of the Female Pilots who has been doing this for Thirty-Eight Years. She said the gusty winds would have put them out over the Lake and there was Rain coming across the Mountains.
|Five Hot Air Balloons just before the Mass Ascension|
was Cancelled this Morning.
|Balloons being deflated.|
It was 9:30 and our morning intake had left us feeling drained so we grabbed a Breakfast Sandwich before taking the Shuttle back to our Camping Lot. Once again I was glad that I wasn’t driving.
|Better view of the air in the Balloon being heated.|
By this time the Sun was shining in all its glory which I was happy to see because our Battery Status was improving by the time we got Home.
|Balloon being readied to put away.|
We took the Shuttle back to the Festival Grounds around 4:00 with the intention of being there for the Afternoon Mass Ascension of Hot Air Balloons. After arriving we were startled to looking up as Skydivers were barely clearing the tree-tops and landing only yards away from the park entrance.
|There is more than a dozen Skydivers visible in this picture.|
We made our way back to the Balloon Field where all the action was supposed to take place. There were Balloon Teams spread all around the field but no Balloons had been inflated as of that moment. Looking to the sky there were Hot Air Balloons way off in the distance that were headed in our direction. Some actually landed in front of us and were immediately deflated and packed away while others were blown to other areas of the Festival Grounds.
|This is referred to as a Glow.|
After sitting in the bleachers for nearly an hour with no visible signs of an Ascension taking place I suggested we find something to eat for supper. Kathy had a Greek Salad with Chicken while I had the Kabob and Salad.
|The field was aglow with Flame Outs.|
Back at the Balloon Field there were only four Balloons inflated while more crews were bringing their Balloons out to the field but everyone just seemed to be waiting. The inflated Balloons were having trouble staying on their marks because the wind was starting to pick up. Within minutes the announcement was made the Mass Ascension was once again Cancelled because it would be too dangerous.
|Waiting for the Lila McCann show to start.|
We’ll be up early again in the morning and can only hope that the weather is more cooperative for the Balloon Festival. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!
It’s about time.
Words of Inspiration
A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.