Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today was the Fourth Annual Worldwide Day of Play, as if I needed a legitimate excuse to go hot air ballooning. Really, any excuse will do when it comes to crewing.
Crewing was a bit different this morning. The dark sky was calm and clear at six this morning so I knew the flight would be good. Two balloons launched with passengers at sunrise in the northwest corner of Waukesha County and headed northwest through Washington County. The balloon we were chasing had pretty good speed, (we clocked it at 40 mph when it was overhead,) and it wasn't long before it entered Dodge County.
Without a Dodge County map, we relied on the pilot for directions over the two-way. The terrain is hilly, wooded or planted with few roads criss-crossing so, over an hour into the flight, we were all looking for a place to land. The later it got the windier it became, and they're almost to Horicon! Geese are surrounding the balloon! I'm starting to imagine what it would be like to take it down in the marsh when, luckily, the pilot found an accessible cut field by the road to land in.
Worldwide Day of Play is designed to get kids motivated. I had all the motivation I could stand when that basket came down about 10 mph, bouncing along the field with three people inside, me chasing behind trying to slow it down. Pretty exciting for me and everyone else.
We had plenty of time to get to know the passengers on the long trip home in the van, made even longer by a trailer tire blowout. Very nice, friendly couple were celebrating his 60th birthday. He just arrived home from a 22 hour car trip from NC the night before and must have been exhausted at 5:00 a.m. when the phone rang to go ballooning. I'm sure he'll remember this birthday for years to come.