The first day of the Rodeo, Keystone Willy was one of the few balloons that made the target and scored, but wasn't so successful during the rest of the competition. The winds were not cooperative making it difficult to even launch. One day, Keystone was able to reach the target but the marker was not in place so the bean bag was not deployed.
Mornings start very early. These photos were take at 5:45 for the dawn patrol.
Up and away. This morning the sky was clear and the mass ascension was in full force!
Sitting down on the job? No, the guys are just squishing the air out to get the balloon packed down in the bag. It's called the the "Hiney Maneuver. "
Several evenings there were fireworks and laser show on the field, which were visible from our RV site. During the Glodeo we stayed and watched the fireworks and laser show on the field. I didn't have a tripod with me, so the photos are not as sharp, but you get the idea.
The crowds were huge, over 20,000 plus per day. I was told there were over 9,000 RVs parked in the RV park in and around the Balloon Fiesta area. There were 51 RVs just for the Boomers. What is amazing, is that traffic grid locks were far and few between and everything was very will organized. Bicycles were encouraged and a few time we rode the bikes to the launching area, where they were parked in a free, secure bike corral. Buses ran continuously, beginning at 4:00 A.M. (our alarm clock) and continued until 9:00 P.M.
I mentioned that there was over 100 Special Shape balloons. In my next post, I'll upload some of my favorites. On the last day of the fiesta, Keystone Willy was grounded, so instead of crewing, I had an opportunity to take photos and wander through the crowds, which was a treat. Almost all balloons were inflated, but not all launched.