Monday, August 2, 2010

Great Texas Balloon Race

This is probably my favorite photo from the Great Texas Balloon Race which began early last Friday morning. The balloons launch at an undisclosed location and have to fly over a target and drop a flag. The one closest to the pole is the winner. This year the target was at a park just a couple blocks from Annie, so I was able to be very close to the balloons--they were flying right over me.
I love the variety of balloons--colors, color patterns, shapes, and advertising.

On Saturday Annie, Paisley and I woke at 5:30 so we could be at the airport by 6:30. The balloonists study the wind, then launch at least two miles away and try to fly over a complicated target at the airport. This is the sight as the balloons starting coming in.
They drop two (?) flags over a baseball field shaped target and try to drop a ring over a pole at the home plate location. If they're the first balloonist to drop their ring over the pole, they receive $500 plus a share in the $5,000 that is divided among all balloonists who ring the pole Saturday and Sunday. I'm not sure who won, but this balloon was a contender. You can barely see the red flag dropping, but you can see the pole.
The last balloons to arrive are usually the shape balloons. I don't know if they're last because they're bigger or harder to maneuver, or just more careful about bumping into other balloons. They are always the kids' favorites. This one is the purple people eater, which is always at the race in Longview, and the bee is one of two bees that were new this year. Both were fun!

Before leaving for Brian's on Sunday after church, I got to go to Paisley's Sunday School class with her because Annie was subbing for the regular teacher that morning. Their lesson was "God is Strong," and was about Moses and how God used him to rescue the Israelites and destroy the Egyptians.
Have a great day!


Odie Langley said...

Awesome pictures Margaret. I love balloons too and my sister Linda went all the way to New Mexico to see a lot of balloons in a competition. That's a long way from NC. The colors were beautiful and I really like the Purple People Eater.

totallyTUBAular said...

I love hot air balloons. My grandpa used to pilot one, and I was a part of the chase crew. My favorite part was the balloon rallies. He took part in a balloon race once, but he forgot to drop his flag. He just flew right on past the target. And I think the shaped balloons may get there last because they are usually the last ones of the ground. It takes longer to fill them up with air because of their awkward shape.

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