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.
Was glad to hear I might be crewing this weekend. Weather's been less than ideal lately. Summer's half over and I've only helped a few times. First possibility was Saturday morning, but was too windy. Saturday night was better, but still iffy.
While waiting for the breeze to calm, I asked the other crew members if they knew which balloon landed and stopped traffic on Hwy. 16 in Hartland Wednesday night. I read an In Brief article in the Freeman regarding it and had cut it out. Talking with someone who went out Wednesday, and talking with other crew on the field, came to find out it was one of the three balloons waiting, like me, for the wind to die down. They told of the police coming, a nurse offering help. While it's fairly common to take down the envelope on or near quiet residential streets it's an FAA violation to land on Hwy. 16. The pilot in question actually landed a distance from 16 on a frontage road... and no one was hurt.
All hot air balloons have names. It just makes it easier to communicate by radio. Names are usually descriptive of the color or shape, have something to do with freedom, floating... things like that. I have no idea where the name came from for the balloon I was crewing for, but I crewed for Gilbert... twice. Early this morning and last night.
We waited for the last possible minute to fly last night and still get a decent flight in. Flights last about an hour, and they have to be down by sunset. The wind just wouldn't die down. The three balloons finally took off and the passengers in Gilbert had a good flight. Father and daughter were both born on the same date and were given the flight for their birthday.
Gilbert landed at the driving range of a golf course northwest of here after 8:00 p.m. A nice slow decent after a rather fast-moving flight. A few people around thinking it was pretty cool we were there. The envelope was down and the air squeezed out when all Caddyshack broke loose. The sprinklers turned on! You've never seen us move so fast or get so wet. It's not nice to ride Gilbert hard and put him away wet.
So the passengers had a good flight, crew got a funny story to tell, and because Gilbert was taken out again this morning, he's all dry now.