Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Balloons Have Arrived

The 27th annual Pittsfield Balloon Festival is in town this weekend. One of my favorite parts of the weekend is the morning flights of the hot air balloons. The town is quieter and usually the balloons just pop up on the horizon silently. When I saw that the sky looked dark this morning, I assumed there wouldn't be any hot air balloons lifting off. But just before 8:00 am, I noticed a police cruiser parked in the middle of the road in front of the house. When I got to the window to see what the commotion was, I saw this: Apparently the Equinox balloon was having trouble making it up and over the trees behind the neighbors' house across the street. This would be the same bank of trees that are growing so high that they block some of our view of the town fire works as well. After a few tries, the balloon made it over and off the tree tops, cleared the neighbors' house, and landed in the road in front of our yard.
It didn't take long for the balloon to be deflated and pulled down in the middle of the road. I could smell all of the hot gas being pushed out of the balloon top during the deflation process. They wanted to keep the balloon on the dry road rather than letting the material get wet on the lawn. One man grabbed ropes from the top of the balloon and was able to start pulling it down to the pavement using his body weight. A group of people chasing the balloon, as well as some neighbors, and Michael stood along the road side and pushed the balloon fabric away from the lawn so it would stay in the road way. Once the balloon was semi-deflated and laying in a straight line down the road, the balloon team used a metal bar that was bent in a circle to expel the last of the air out the top of the balloon. Finally, everyone grabbed onto the deflated snake of balloon fabric and stuffed it back into the bag.The balloon and the basket were loaded back into the trailer in less than 20 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very cool! - Karen