July 15, 2008
Welcome to the Aerpog Balloon Blog !!
This blog was the idea of my Website Designer, James Lee of Summit Creations, who thought it would be fun and entertaining if I chronicled my adventures in ballooning. The goal of this blog is share with other the joys of ballooning, and to be a clearing house of sorts with Pilots, Crews and friends of ballooning. This blog will post write ups of the various places I go to with different Pilots, and to post photos of the events, both of balloons and those participating. It will also have some stories and travel tips regarding the various places that we visit. I will also have balloon links in the Links Section of this website, so check in there once in a while as well. If you want to submit photos, and let me know of events, including any links to those events, go ahead and submit them. Be patient . . . this is my first foray into blogs and it's a blog that will evolve in content and in design.
I like most got into ballooning by chance. When my friend Jeanie Blucher of Colorado Springs learned that I was going to be in Albuquerque, she told me that I needed to Crew for her husband Stephen at Fiesta. All I knew about crewing was that it had something to do with rowing, and that a Fiesta was a party. Part of it I got right. I learned all too soon that crewing meant setting up the balloon, chasing the balloon in a vehicle, catching the balloon, breaking down the balloon and then returning to the launch site. Then came the party. Fiesta turned out to be a complete sensory overload, let alone an bsolutely fun event that involves 700 plus hot air balloons at the annual Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October. That first morning was in 1995, and I've been going ever since to that event and many others throughout the region, and still ... the party rages on.
I've had the pleasure in designing a balloon for, and with, my great friends Karl and Maria Peterson of Salt Lake City. I did not want to design the balloon, but instead wanted them to have that pleasure of thinking in 3-D, color and texture to create a graphic or story that relects their personalities. Nothing like creating a design on a six story envelope ! I tried talking them into downloading a template, getting out their crayons and coloring away. But I was losing that argument quickly, regardless of my delaying tactics. So one weekend, I grabbed my markers from the office, and with libations befitting of most balloon events, created five designs for them to consider. I think I used every fabric color that the manufacturer had with the exception of brown, black and silver. The name of the balloon is Aerpography. It's a combination of the word Aerostat, which is what a hot air balloon is, and the word topography, which is what part of the balloon design represents. There is a story line to go with the design, so have a little bit of fun in figuring it out, and if you can't . . . just ask us when you see us at ballooning events.
Below are some photographs of Aerpography. The first on the left, during its inaugural flight in Aztec, New Mexico in 2006. The second, also in 2006, is in an absolutely stunning area, called Valley of the Gods, just north of Mexican Hat, Utah. I got to fly on one of the days that we were there, and the view above of the canyons is phenomenal. The third photograph is obviously taken from below, and during its first appearance in the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in 2006.