As you may recall, we are at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and had an unforgettable experience watching the hot air balloons rise in to the morning sky.
We return to our rental house to relax and we see, through the trees, BALLOONS!
There is a large field behind our house and the balloons are slowly descending towards it. We grab our camera and race out for a closer look.
The Pink Elephant is drifting closer to us. What luck!
The balloon crew expertly aims for the field. They have more control that I thought possible. Perhaps the ears and nose really do help control it.
One of the passengers hangs casually over the side. Is that approved by the FAA?
When Pink Elephant is very near the ground, the fellow hanging on the side jumps to the ground and guides the balloon as it continues to descend.
The groundsman lends his weight to the effort and slowly pulls the balloon towards a dirt road.
The groundsman continues to pull and the balloon noticeably deflates.
The balloonists are unconcerned by my proximity to the balloon. This is really cool.
I can’t tell if the white fabric on the nose is just for design or is a repair. Note the Belgium flag.
To our surprise, they deflate the balloon and let the fabric rest on the pokey plants in the field. The fabric must be very puncture resistant.
It takes some minutes to vent all the hot air. The crew is very methodical.
Despite its size, the balloon is light enough to be dragged by three men. Again, we are surprised that the prickly grasses are not an issue.
Note the dozens of balloons in the background descending to other fields, where this landing and deflating will be replayed.
A truck with a trailer pulls up, and the crew packs the balloon for its next flight. Note the black square in the basket; that is a foothold to enter and leave the basket.
The balloons continue to land, and we walk through the field, mindful to stay out of the way, Lilliputians lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
We will return next week to explore Albuquerque and the surrounding mountains and desert. Until then!