On Wednesday, we awoke at 4:30am to board an early morning balloon ride through Napa Valley. Well, kind of Napa Valley. We were actually chased out of Napa Valley by thick fog so instead took our flight in nearby Central Valley, where lots of the country’s food is grown.
First the “inflation.” We were all careful not to call it a “blow up.”
My guy, Ryan.
“Gregory the Great”
Our balloon, “Victory.”
I was obsessed with these cannons and the fire. 315,000 cubic feet of air.
The balloon (empty) weighs 700lbs, the basket and tanks add 1300lbs, and the 20 passengers about 3,000lbs to total 2.5 tons.
After takeoff, the balloon flies up and away. The pilot can ONLY direct the balloon UP or DOWN, so the “steering” is at the mercy of the wind. The crew drives around on the ground following the balloon and picks it up when it lands. They are definitely working hard.
Planes are buzzing around, showing off for us.
I don’t know why the white haze surrounds the shadow of the balloon.
On the ground, the crew releases a small, black helium balloon so the incoming balloon can determine which way the wind currents are blowing.
We had a great time!