The Balloon

Posted on June 24th

Well, you never know who will drop in on you out at the farm. Literally! One morning, we received a call from the neighbor saying that a hot air balloon was landing over in our field. We threw our clothes on and dashed out to see what was up (or down). As it turned out, the balloon had actually landed in the field just beside our place. When we actually got there, the chase crew (people who follow the balloon in a car with a trailer for carrying the deflated dirigible) was in the process of moving the balloon from the adjacent field over towards the road between that field and our field. The balloon was hovering just above the ground as the ground crew pushed it towards the edge of the field. As they came up to a fence, they simply made the balloon go up just long enough to hop the fence.

Once at the edge of the field, they deflated the balloon (which only took about 15 seconds!) and began folding it up. We learned that the pilot's name was Socrates (just like the Greek philosopher), and that he did this on the weekends for fun. As is customary to all landings, he broke out a bottle of Champaign and we all had a few sips. As it turns out, the lady who was a passenger was also a member of the chase team. It was her first flight! In the second picture, a crew member, Socrates and Steff are seen taking the balloon apart for transport.