Saturday, 06 August 2011
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Saturday, 06 August 2011
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Snowdown 2010
Tuesday, 02 August 2011

January 29, 2010

                                                                                                

We're back in Durango for arguably our favorite Balloon Rally with the theme this year being "Life's a Beach"!  It was also a year of a whole bunch of snow in the Durango area.  Once again, tc3 sponsored a competition for the Pilots, and we had to use snowshoes to get to the target area this time around. Judy and MC joined me again for a lot of fun in the sun, snow and target area.   

Everyone returned from the previous year and we rented the same house again as the location was great as was the house, albeit with a lot more snow around it this time.  The Parade was great especially the Jazzercise ladies who put on a great routine every year, and this year it was to the song, "Itsy Bitsty Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot  Bikini"!  Their foam beehive hairdos were over the top great, let alone their flashing bikini tops!  Props and accessories were easy with this year's theme and for everyone in Durango participating.

Thursday evening saw us hanging out at the house with Skip and Debbie Howes who own and fly the Wildfire balloon joining us for appetizers and libations.  Friday evening had us attending the Parade and going to Steamworks Brewing Company (www.SteamworksBrewing.com) for dinner.  Saturday night is a traditional dinner at Ken & Sues - our Sponsor - for a great dinner.  Durango has quite a few breweries to check out if you're visiting.  When in Durango, definitely go to Ken & Sues (www.KenandSues.com) for a great restaurant, meal and Staff!  We usually show up with 10-15 people that Saturday night.  Another great brewery to check out when in Durango is the Ska Brewing Company (www.SkaBrewing.com).  


          

         

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Snowmass Balloon Festival 2009
Friday, 29 July 2011

September 18, 2009

Back in Snowmass Village for the Snowmass Balloon Festival, and staying at the Crewtwood Condominiums again, as are all of the Pilots and most of the Crew.  Friday was the Down Valley Long Distance Race and we came in third.  We flew a grand total of 71'!  Everyone flew further than we did, but they didn't turn in their score sheets and as a result had a no result.  We flew up the valley a little bit and circled the golf course and landed almost at the spot from where we launched!  We seem to either do that or land on the 16th fairway every year.  It's a great event to attend and if you want more information, go to www.snowmassballoon.com and check out what goes on in addition to this event. 

         

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Elephant Butte Balloon Rally 2009
Friday, 29 July 2011

September 09, 2009

This is one fun event at the Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico, about a 2 plus hour drive south of Albuquerque!  The competition concept is for the balloon Pilots to launch from shore in the State Park, and get over the lake, take a baton from their Water Chase Crew, make a right turn and fly to the Marina to and toss on to the target.  Mind you . . . concept!  Well many made that right turn and my Pilot, Doug Lenberg of Farmington, New Mexico flying the Route 66 Again balloon (red with big center white stripe) decided that flying across the lake is much more enjoyable.  So off he went, and off I went chasing him.  The Water Chase Crew are there in case the balloon stalls over the water and it's their task to slowly tow them back to shore.  As the weekend went on, that was a definite challenge for most.  I was the Land Chase Crew driving by myself and in an area I had never been before.  Thankfully there were only two roads from which to choose.  As it was, I could not get close to him and the Water Chase Crew along with a second boat had to load up his basket and balloon envelope and take it back across the lake to the boat ramp where I was waiting along with quite a few other vehicles launching and picking up boats.  Except I didn't have a trailer which amused many after I told them I wasn't giving up my space as I was waiting for my craft. 

Doug's Dad took us back out later on the lake as I wanted to go swimming and had not done that in years.  What I like about New Mexico State Parks is that you can - at least in this instance - set up camp at the water's edge.  So balloons were flying in, over and about the camp sites, and seeing it was early in the morning, waking them up to the sounds of the burners.  I was told that the lake is 45 miles long and quite the Mecca for Lake Trout fishing in the Spring.  Elephant Butte is next door to Truth or Consequences and there are many motels that have natural hot springs and is quite the eclectic community.  And if the Space Port does become a reality, that area and down to Las Cruces should grow rapidly.

       

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