Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Life’s Little Ups and Downs

This caught my eye while I was lounging in the Defiant's Holodeck.

This caught my eye while I was lounging in the Defiant’s Holodeck.

There are many military aircraft buzzing around here, since there are a couple of airbases some miles away. I saw (and heard) a dark blue Navy fighter streak right overhead, perhaps 2,000 feet up, just a few days ago, throttles up. But yesterday, a hot air balloon took advantage of the no-wind rarity here and appeared to launch somewhere within camp. I thought it odd that it kept going up and then down, and did so more deliberately than I imagined such things doing. Well, I’ll let the pictures and captions tell the story…

It especially got my attention because it ascended and descended a couple of times, staying down for at least 20 minutes each time.

It especially got my attention because it ascended and descended a couple of times, staying down for at least 20 minutes each time.

Contact. And then the balloon slowly collapsed.

Contact. And then the balloon slowly collapsed.

But up it went, and I assumed they'd stay high as they went over more of the campground in the 2-3 MPH wind.

But up it went, and I assumed they’d stay high as they went over more of the campground in the 2-3 MPH wind.

Descending again, on a collision course with the Defiant!

Descending again, on a collision course with the Defiant!

The burner was actually only on now and then, in short bursts. I just liked shooting it more with the flame up.

The burner was actually only on now and then, in short bursts. I just liked shooting it more with the flame up.

Almost beside the Defiant. On this very warm day, the balloon seemed eager to descend once the burner was off for awhile.

Almost beside the Defiant. On this very warm day, the balloon seemed eager to descend once the burner was off for awhile.

Off the aft end of the trailer, they were close enough that I couldn't back off enough on my telescopic lens to get the whole thing in the frame.

Off the aft end of the trailer, they were close enough that I couldn’t back off enough on my telescopic lens to get the whole thing in the frame.

This area is ridges and deep valleys, and they slowly drifted a few feet over them.

This area is ridges and deep valleys, and they slowly drifted a few feet over them.

I kept figuring they'd stay at this height, but no.

I kept figuring they’d stay at this height, but no.

At one point a couple of campers shouted to them to see if they needed help of some kind, but they said nope, they were just fine.

At one point a couple of campers shouted to them to see if they needed help of some kind, but they said nope, they were just fine.

Nutzoid! But if that's how you get your kicks...

Nutzoid! They spent much of the time slowly skating just above the rocky ground like this. But if that’s how you get your kicks…

They lifted one last time to ensure that they would clear an RV.

They lifted one last time to ensure that they would clear an RV.

...And finally contacted the ground, with a couple of other people running up to grab the basket at sunset.

…And finally contacted the ground, with a couple of other people running up to grab the basket at sunset.

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8 thoughts on “Life’s Little Ups and Downs

  1. Linda Sand on said:

    Wow! I don’t know if that was fun or scary.

    • For me, it was all fun except for the few long moments that it looked like they might intercept the trailer. As things settled out, they missed. Them? They were having a grand old time.

  2. I read a thing on hang gliders a long time ago, “never go higher than you’re willing to fall”.
    Maybe someone was learning? Picking a spot to set down & dodging obstructions would probably be an important part of ballooning… once you get up past the power lines it’s not like you can dodge around quadracopters or other aerial vehicles.

  3. Maybe they were practicing. I saw a young person in the basket. Might have been manuvours?

    • Rob and Swank, that’s the only thing I can think, especially since the wind was nearly nonexistent, and all that they did seemed deliberate. Plus, that younger guy looked unalarmed, and while they stayed a half-foot above ground and the couple asked if they needed help, the pilot said, “Nah, we’re fine.”

  4. Strangely entertaining?

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