BrammoBlog: Sunday was a GREAT day for Balloons in New Mexico

16 10 2012

Blog 53: A mostly non-Brammo blog today. But Sunday was just too lovely not to share.

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So Sunday was the last day of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  And the weather was perfect for ballooning. Low winds, cool air and clear skies. AND it was the same down in Roswell, New Mexico where Felix Baumgartner was attempting to take a balloon up high enough to see the curvature of the Earth. And then jump out of that balloon. Crazy stuff.

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Linkage:

http://www.balloonfiesta.com

The World’s Premiere Balloon Event…it says so right on the web page…and is true. Crazy number and styles of balloons.

and

http://www.redbullstratos.com/the-team/felix-baumgartner/

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I love this image

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And of course I did poke a bit of fun about his upcoming jump in a blog last week…

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And while I don’t usually take requests, Brammofan sent me an image of Mr Baumgartner making his historic landing (and landed it perfectly! the only time I sky dived I was in a tandem and still ended up on my arse). He said I should “Brammo it up”…and how could I resist.

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I find it rather impressive that Brammo just happened to have an Empulse near enough to the landing site that Mr Baumgartner could aim for it and make a perfect “land, sit and GO!” 🙂

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But that’s all I have that is Brammo related today. The rest is Balloon Fiesta time, baby. And what a nice time it was. I went with my wife, my eldest daughter, her husband and their amazing and lovely daughter. And we met my mom, my youngest brother, his wife and their lovely and amazing son. My youngest daughter wasn’t there as she in charge of the mobile and online coverage of the Fiesta for the Albuquerque Journal and had been doing insane hours and was taking the day to sleep and sleep and then sleep some more.

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First things first. To celebrate a man taking a balloon to the edges of space and then stepping free and hurtling back to Earth like Icarus, here is my wife and I looking like idiots. Well at least me. My wife looks amazing doing anything.

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That photo was taken at the Balloon Fiesta, but a bit later in the morning. Ballooning is an early morning event and we arrived at 5 am to see the Dawn Patrol set up and take off. And to beat the crowds as 10’s of thousands of people go on the weekends.

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Arrival.

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more people arrive

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I always forget to ask why the launch officials dress as Zebras.

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In the early, pre-dawn AM of the high desert, the best place to stand it near the balloons as they inflate. Those propane tanks put out a lot of heat.

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The first few balloons inflate just before the Sun rises. This is the Dawn Patrol. Usually 6-10 balloons that take off before all the other balloons to see what the wind speeds are and which direction the balloons will go.

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More of the Dawn Patrol

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I liked the combo of the faces lit up by a balloon inflating just out of the photo…and the mountain silhouette lit up by a soon to be rising Sun.

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Ready to go.

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And off they go. I really fell in love with the look of the Mountain and the slowly lightening sky that outlined it. It was hypnotically beautiful.

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After the Dawn Patrol is when the many Many MANY other balloonist start to inflate.

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A panorama of some of the first wave of post dawn balloons inflating.

The Dawn Patrol is always “normal” shaped balloons. The first wave after the Dawn Patrol is also all “normal’ shaped balloons.

Special Shapes never fly with them for 2 reasons.

1. Special Shapes are much harder to fly and more sensitive to the winds. So making sure the other balloons ride easily is very important.

2. The people love them some Special Shapes. So it’s best to have them later in the morning when the bigger crowd has arrived.

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3 of the 4 most important women in my life. 3 of 5 as I should include Becki too.

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The crazy thing is just how close everybody can, and do, get to the balloons. Kids touching them, me poking my head inside one as it inflates.

Surprisingly you never hear of injuries on the ground. You would like one person (me) would get too close and have his hair set on fire…well I guess I’m kinda safe on that part. 🙂

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“Balloon, I am your Owner.” Dark Father was there.

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A nice panorama of a lazy Darth kinda chilling.

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And a few take off. It was a good amount of balloons. Not a great amount, but good. It was the last day and many of the balloonist go home before the last day. I was at a Fiesta one year that had over 700 balloons take off in one morning session…just wave after wave of balloons. It was “memorable”.

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Creamland: It’s Legen…Wait for it….Dairy.

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POW balloon (barbed wire balloon on far edge), SpiderPig (love it) and Simba (he’s new this year). The Baby Bumble Bee (Jolie) has her back to us.

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And probably my favorite balloons…The Bumble Bee family. And the baby is named after my youngest daughter.

When they take off the handlers on the ground spin the Mom and Dad to rotate and “kiss” as they rise…and they, if the winds are low, hold hands the whole time they are in the air. The “baby” usually flies off by herself. She is interesting as the pilot doesn’t ride in a basket. There is a two seat chair similar to what you use as a ski-lift at the mountains for skiing and snowboarding. So two people hang down below the balloon very exposed. Kinda cool.

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More balloons…and the beer garden was taunting me. No alcohol sales in New Mexico till after Noon on Sundays. Though I do wonder how much beer they sell at 7 am. On bitter cold mornings. But probably more than one would expect.

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More balloons….I admit that I didn’t get a lot of images of the mass ascension. I forgot to charge my iPhone the night before and it died…and that is a long story as I also got separated from the family (I have the attention span of a gnat drinking red bull and constantly wander off at events like this) and had to borrow a phone from the Lost Parents security station. Twice. Sigh.

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So that’s it for Photos. I am putting up two short videos of the Dawn Patrol.

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The Propane tanks are quite noisy. Most years we have a balloon or two fly right over our house (usually less than 50 feet above the house) and the dogs go CRAZY. They hate the balloons. And fear them.

The Crowd yells happily with every balloon that launches.

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Short.

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That’s it. Take care and bee safe 🙂 Till next time.

Gavin

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus Photo

The daughter and granddaughter getting a photo with one of Darth Vader’s henchmen. I love the look on her face.

“….What the @#$% is that…and why aren’t we running away from it?”

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Bonus 2—Stolen from my daughter’s Facebook

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2 responses

16 10 2012
protomech

Balloon Fiesta is amazing. Mom’s husband had some fantastic stories (and photos) from the several times he managed to wiggle out a work trip that way coinciding with the fiesta.

16 10 2012
Gavin

yes…i have a few stories too…especially from the first time we went and i was wearing shorts and it was 30 degrees out…lesson learned.
30 can actually be nice here…but not in the pre dawn time…the sun makes it very warm here…but the nights are cold.

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