Colorado Springs Classic 2009
Friday, 29 July 2011
September 02, 2009 

This is the first time I've been to the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic in a few years.  It's the largest Balloon Rally in the State of Colorado.  Skip Howes, Pilot of Wildfire and Crew Cheif Debbie Howes indicated to me that they were in need of Crew, so I drove down to Colorado Springs for the Rally to help them out.  Of course they had a Crew that was anything but few in number.  So I spectated and visited with those attending.  Sometimes when you have a large Crew, it's nice to just be able to take in the event and be rather lazy when it comes to ballooning tasks, as long as you're not the Crew Chief.  The website of the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic is : www.balloonclassic.com and the even takes place over every Labor Day Weekend in Memorial Park at the intersection of Pikes Peak Avenue and Union Boulevard.

            
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Celebration of Honor Fly 2009
Friday, 29 July 2011

July 25, 2009

This has become one of my favorite events, in that we fly approximately 175-200 Ft. Carson soldiers over two days in South Park, between Hartsel, Colorado and Wilkerson Pass.  Pilots and Crew from Breckenridge, Colorado Springs, Denver and Albuquerque, and for the most part at their own expense, gather the final weeked in July to fly the soldiers and their families.  This was the second year of this event.  To learn more of the history of this event, go to www.CelebrationOfHonorFly.com.  While the event is about the soldiers and no one else, it's always a challenge to find adequate funds to keep this successful and enjoyable.  If you like to contribute to this event, it will be put to great use and will be greatly appreciated.

All of the photographs below are by Paul deBerjeois and can also be seen at his website along with a lot of his other work at www.ColorBandit.com

         

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Valley of the Gods 2009
Friday, 29 July 2011

April 28, 2009

We returned to Valley of the Gods, which is between Bluff and Mexican Hat in southern Utah to fly in this stunning setting.  It's the Utah version of Monument Valley in northern Arizona, some 20-30 miles south of this location on the Navajo lands.  This year we were weathered out 2 of the 3 days due to winds, including a sandstorm, which was a first for me and I put the hotel towels to good use one evening as we were cooking outside.  We had hoped to fly one of my General Contractors, David Koons (www.kodiak-inc.com) and his wife Christine but couldn't because of the winds.  The following day they were starting their raft journey with friends for one week on the San Juan River, launching out of Bluff. 

Karl (Pilot), Maria (Crew Chief) and I went and hiked in the Natural Bridges National Park and that was enjoyable.  On the way there we drove near to where we landed the year before, because we wanted to see where we would have gone had we flown out of the canyon and beyond.  On the one day we flew, it was Maria's turn to fly as she didn't the year before.  We also picked up a Crew Member to help us and she got to fly along with me on the second hop.  It's been one of my favorite places to fly - an amazing place to be when the sun rises.

        

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Steamboat Springs 2009
Thursday, 28 July 2011

July 10, 2009

I got to play Crew Chief this year for my Pilot, Doug Lenberg of Farmington, New Mexico.  The Denver Bronco Cheerleaders had their annual calendar photo shot going on at the same time, with some of it staged at the launch field.  Our Sponsor, as has been for many years is the Twentymile Coal Mine, owned by Peabody Energy and they've been great Sponsors over the years.  Typically we get to fly their Summer Interns who come from colleges all over the Country where they are studying to be Mining Engineers.  We fly Media Day on Friday, and that's where we take a member of the Media be it a radio or the local TV station for a balloon ride, and on that day the Bronco Cheerleader photo shoot for a few of them was taking place.

The Steamboat Springs Balloon Festival organized by the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce is one of my favorite ballooning events.  I really enjoy the tight launch site quarters of the new location.  It's more challenging as Crew, but at the same time the interaction with the Public is great!  That weekend is known as the Rainbow Weekend and there are lot of events taking place all over the area.  Some of them are the Arts Festival, Rodeo, various sporting events and of course the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo.  It's always fun to float the Yampa River through Town, and I can never pass up a visit to the Lyon's Corner Drug and Soda Fountain at 840 Lincoln Avenue (the main drag) for a malt or shake. 

             

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Hot Air Balloon Photos
Thursday, 28 July 2011

This blog wouldn't exist without all the photos that you've seen in previous postings and those to come.  Typically I'm too busy with the assembly of the balloon, the launch, getting the chase vehicle ready after launch, driving, etc. that I don't have the time to take photos of the event.  So I often rely on fellow crew members, passengers, as well as other Pilots and Crew to provide me with photos. 

One who allows me access to using his photographs, including editing is Paul deBerjeois, who is probably the best balloon Photographer that I've come across to date.  If you want to check out his work, go to
www.ColorBandit.com and www.HotAirPhotos.com, or go to my Links section and click on his logo.  With the next blog entry, I start using his photographs.  Again, my thanks to Paul for allowing me to use his photographs.  Go and check out his work, both ballooning and many other subject matter.  His work is for sale, and you can contact him through his website.

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Recent Post
Snowdown 2010
Snowmass Balloon Festival 2009
Elephant Butte Balloon Rally 2009
Colorado Springs Classic 2009
Celebration of Honor Fly 2009
Valley of the Gods 2009
Steamboat Springs 2009
Hot Air Balloon Photos
 
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