Recent Flying News
CELINA BALLOON FESTIVAL
June 24-28, 2009
This shit of not flying is really getting old. Its saying something when you have to drive 700 miles to get in a flight or two, and that's exactly what we did June 24. We did the 11 hour drive from Denver to Dallas for the 2009 Celina Balloon Festival in Celina, TX. Because we have family in nearby McKinney, it was a good opportunity to mix some ballooning with a family visit, and enjoy some warm weather...a nice change from the unseasonably cool summer we've had in Colorado.
We left Wednesday night and drove directly from Denver to Wichita Falls, TX before stopping for a quick nap. We were in Dallas at 10am on Thursday, and after unloading and getting a little rest, we headed out to the field for our afternoon flight. Flying a summer afternoon in 90+ degrees is new for me, so I was interested in seeing how the balloon would perform. We did a short flight with a second-place drop and followed up with a few post-flight beers. While warm, the weather was awesome and we had a great flight.
Friday morning was cool and calm, with a 1:20 flight to the north. We were able to do a hop and get almost everyone in the air. We spent the afternoon on the boat, where the beers were cold and the tubing was a blast. Tailgate parties on the boat kick ass.
Saturday mornings flight was extremely fast, with 10 knot winds on takeoff, and most of the flight near 18 knots. We dropped but didn't place in the top 5, and had a fast landing just west of the launch site. We took time to relax and enjoy the warm weather before heading back for our evening flight. The PM conditions were breezy and the temperature was around 103 degrees, so we waited for the wind to calm. With a little slowing, we were able to have an uneventful launch and missed the target completely. Our landing was a little more eventful, as we dropped into a very tight spot in a must-land situation. Between the trees, 3' tall grass and an adjoining corn field, we didn't see a barbed wire fence in the field below, and it ended up giving a little love-tap to the bolster. Everyone was fine, the packup was normal and the bolster will need to be replaced.
We elected to not fly on Sunday, due to the forecast for wind to pick up early. Rather than pushing it we went directly to the awards ceremony where we won some cash for a couple second-place drops. Afterward, we joined our friends for an afternoon out on the lake with the boats. Lance Terry rented a jet ski and we had a great time partying and fooling around. Dinner with family and packup for a long-ass drive home was the agenda for the evening, and we were back on the road to Denver early Monday morning.
We haven't been getting much flying in here in CO, but the season is picking up and we're hoping that the trend will change for the second half of 2009. We are off to Steamboat Springs next weekend for some ballooning and fun, and hoping for some good flying and more Monkey updates!