Sunday, October 28, 2007

Balloon Rally

This weekend was the 25th annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally. These photos are from this morning's Mass Ascension, about 8:00 a.m.

We didn't have to go into town to see the ballons; they came to us, one in particular.

It landed down the road from our house. I could hear the pilot firing up the burner (these balloons use propane burners, not helium), apparently trying to get the balloon to rise, but to no avial. It wasn't an ideal landing spot; it was very close to a semi-busy road, the one that our dirt road leads to. I think they landed on a patch of grass near the intersection. The "chase crew" arrived soon after to help deflate the balloon and haul away the balloon, gondola, and passengers.

The firing up of the burners makes a strange sound, kind of like the sound of Darth Vader exhaling. I heard other balloons fire up their burners, too, as they drifted nearby (none as near as that first one). It was the only sound on an otherwise quiet morning.


Elle said...

Wow that is so cool! We took a hot air balloon ride for Charlie's 50th birthday and it was so interesting to float along quietly, then to hear the burners whooooosh...much louder than Darth up close. I love your photo with so many balloons rising.
Too bad for the guys who landed down the road. The air currents were not with them that morning :)

Beth said...

When Marian and Brendan were here the summer before last, they took a hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque and loved it. Marian said how quiet it is up there. I'd love to do that someday.