October 1, 2000 - Pleasure flight
Carlos' ride[Click on thumbnails to see full size pictures]
Panthorn Park is the venue once again for this morning's flying. Carlos is flying with me in "Big Green" and Gaston is chasing us. Carlos is also the keeper of the camera today so he's responsible for all of the pictures on this page.
First is a picture taken by one of Robert's passengers as they take off.
Here are two views from our basket as we leave. First, Gaston smiles as we wave goodbye and begin to climb.
Then a view from directly above the "little white car that could." You can see the side of our basket at the right hand edge of the picture
|I don't usually like to include pictures of myself in these narratives, but I like the combination of the close-up and the balloon in the background here.
There's a lot of patchy ground fog in the valley this morning so we wait around almost an hour for it to clear. Erwin launches first and gives us a report that sounds good enough for the rest of us to start our inflations.
Shortly after we launch, in the middle of the pack, we all pass directly over Gene's, the diner where we usually congregate for breakfast after flying. This is Matt flying the Berkshire Balloons 105.
|We spend the entire flight tracking Robert and Matt, sometimes switching places as one ascends and the other descends into different wind currents. At about 1300 feet, we're doing 10 or 12 miles per hour.
Frank Bart is to our south on a parallel track, but he uses the wind currents closer to the ridge to slide north to join us.
In the next shot, we're looking over our shoulder to see that Frank has come north and is crossing the gap in the ridge at almost the same location we've just passed.
And in the final picture, the view from Robert's balloon as we follow him over the ridge.
|We look down on Robert from a little above as he tracks along Berlin Road (crossing left to right in the middle of the picture) toward the golf course, which is where we're all navigating.
|About this time we're very close to Matt, and we take this picture behind us of the shadows of the two balloons.
Now all three of us are close as we near our destination at the golf course.
Also here's a view of Matt and ourselves from Robert's basket.
Rob Metz, approaching a bit higher, has overtaken us, and descends, allowing us to get a nice picture of his balloon. This envelope is almost brand new, and has fewer than ten hours flying time so far.
At the right of the shot is the construction site where I landed on one of my solos. Although some of the homes are nearing completion, it's still a wonderful large field with a paved access road, and this is where Frank lands shortly after this picture is taken.
A few minutes later, we land at Timberland golf course, on a fairway a few yards from the parking lot. Robert lands a few seconds earlier, in the parking lot, while Matt and Rob land on the fairway a little to the right.
|This morning's GPS track. Our track was from left to right on the map. Notice that left turn about two thirds of the way through the flight as we rode the wind along the ridge before passing through the gap to Timberland.
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