Life on the Open Road (April 2006 - May 2008)

The continuing saga of a single fulltime RVer who travels the western US. This is part one of my journey, from April 2006, when the blog started, to May 2008, when the blog continues at

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I have been a full-time RVer for 18 years, primarily "boondocking," camping free without hookups, in the Western US. I am connected electronically with the world via satellite TV, phone and internet. My batteries are charged solely by solar panels. I welcome your comments and emails.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival

At a rest area, Randy met some nice folks enroute to Yuma's balloon festival, who gave him a balloon cookie. Later at the festival, they invited him to join the chase team. This sign by a neighboring balloonist hints at the drama of chasing.

But first, the balloon must be inflated. That pretty lady with Randy is Sally Heinrich, the flight commander; diminutive, but unequivocal.

Randy and Philip spreading out the balloon. Philip and Sally, husband and wife, alternate piloting.

Inflation in minutes!

A mighty blast of fire stands the balloon upright. Randy helps Mary and Mike, the regular crew.

Holding down, holding down, and then----

Up, up and away! A wonder just shy of a miracle. Randy took off with the chase crew. At the landing ritual, Sally briefly explained the history of hot air ballooning. Benjamin Franklin watched the first ones fly!

Randy was moved to poetry.

Balloons at Yuma

Paper thin, hummingbird light
Huge, ungainly, sunburst bright,
Colorful pod of whales in flight.


Anonymous Linda (cousin) said...

You didn't go on a balloon ride????

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Corrie Clay said...

I think to be a balloonist you have to have a lot of money and friends. The equipement is lots of $ and you need people to help set up and chase. I used to be part of a chase team occasionally in Illinois.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Bob Parker & Donna Huffer said...

Now that you have had a taste of ballooning you will have to go to the granddaddy at Albuquerque. We won't be there next year, want to take our place on the Strawberry team

8:03 PM  
Anonymous roamingbarbara said...

Very interesting series of pictures. That must have been fun for Randy. The sign on the chase vehicle made me laugh. Whales, huh?

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poem really caught it for me. Thanks.

8:49 AM  

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