Saturday, June 03, 2006

Up, Up and Away

For my father-in-laws 70th Birthday, all the kids and spouses got together and bought him a hot air balloon ride for 2.

Today was the big day.

They were to meet behind the Chili’s in Owasso at 6:45. As I was pulling up (to take photo’s), my in-laws (Linda and Vaughn) had just parked. Shortly after that, the man from Airgasmic Balloon Adventures pulled up. We had to wait for some more people to show up before we could get started. Plus, they had to figure out where they were starting from but that start was based on wind direction and speed and where they would put down later.

While waiting, they filled a black balloon up and let to float off and watched it to figure out the air currents. The balloon basically went straight up. (I thought that was smart, course that’s their job to know what they were doing). Anyway, once the last group of people got there, we headed to the 8th Grade center for launch.

We got to the 8th grade center, and they let off another balloon. This time, is slowly drifted to the south west. So, they decided to go to Freedom Baptist Church which was at 177th E Ave & 96th St N.

Off we went again.

We get there, and they started unloading and setting up the balloons.

There were 2 groups of people going (and 2 balloons). 3 people is all those baskets could hold!
At approximately 7:30, they lifted off.

They looked excited, but also a bit nervous (in my opinion anyway).

I called my wife several times cause she was extremely interested. After I told her they were up, it wasn’t long till she left work and started chasing them herself. She said the honked and waved, but when I asked Linda, she said she didn’t see her.

I enjoyed chasing them around in the car. The sun roof made it nice to be able to stop and take pictures without even getting out of the car.

During this, I had gone to QT for breakfast and a Dr. Pepper. When I got out, I started chasing them again. I almost missed the landing, but luckily I knew the area enough that I could get to where they were at without much hassle.

As they were coming down, from where I was out, it looked like they were going to land in the trees. But once I got to a better location, I could tell that their pilot knew what he was doing and was aiming for a small (very small from my point of view) clearing. At approximately 8:15 they had a very soft landed.

The ride wasn’t quite an hour. It would have been a bit longer, and they would have traveled father, but because of light winds, and locations to land they were only up for about 45 minutes, and traveled about 1.5 miles or so.

When they landed, the whole neighborhood came out and watched. Everyone grabbed cameras and took pictures and watched. It was even one couples 50th wedding anniversary. The woman said that they made their day! (Man below in green shirt and his wife is in the blue pants and white blouse).

I gave Linda a hard time cause the took a disposable camera with her instead of her digital camera. Hopefully I'll get some pictures from her camera scanned in and add them later. I'm sure they were beautiful, if the pictures come out.

Linda and Vaughn both had a really good time.

(Click on the images for larger versions.)
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