Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 282: What Goes Up Must Come Down (not stock mart related)

Balloon Installment #6:

And this will be the last installment; hopefully I haven't bored you out of your wits! Now it was time to land, and it was almost going to be the Wallmart parking lot! Attention Wallmart Shoppers!

But Frank decided he didn't like the number of cars, took us back up, and looked for some place else without power lines.

He directed his ground crew to meet us in the parking lot of United Rentals.

A tarp gets spread out because the major cause of wear to balloons is as they're deflated and dragged along the ground, and get scraped up. The tarp helps protect them.
These guys were quite amused to have their lot taken over. Kids gathered at the fence to watch. I wonder how many calls they got this day for Balloon rentals?

Once we were safely on the ground, having a champaign breakfast, we told Frank that we'd prayed for his health and worried about sudden cardiac arrest (in him!)

He told us two amazing stories!

One of his first instructors had a daughter, who became a certified pilot as young as she possibly could, at the age of 18. She took up a group of Japanese businessmen, who didn't speak much English. They didn't hear/understand that they shouldn't all jump out at once at the end; it's a carefully orchestrated effort of first deflation and then exiting the basket. Four or 5 men jumped out and the balloon started to go back up. (Premature e. . . . Never mind!) The Japanese men shouted "Save the Little Girl!", grabbed her and pulled her out! Pulled out the only pilot in the balloon! And the balloon went up with 8 or 9 Japanese men who did not speak English. Fortunately, one of their cohorts on the ground was able to translate the instructions over the phone, and the pilot talked them down to a safe landing.

The second story actually did involve sudden cardiac death of the pilot. The passengers were talked down, and before the ground crew could reach them, they had very carefully, respectfully, lifted the pilot's body out of the basket. . . and the balloon and other passengers went right back up! Once again, the passengers found themselves becoming emergency pilots and landing the balloon safely.

If you ever go on a balloon ride, take cell phones with you!


Jeanne said...

You have definitely NOT bored me! I have loved coming along on your vacation. I'm so happy to know you had such an amazing time.

What incredible stories the pilot shared with you.

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!! I'm still awed that they took off and landed in populated areas!

Reds said...

Not bored at all - love your stories!! And those last two stories are real scary!! Yikes!! You can share your stories anytime - you are a great storyteller!! And love your shots!

jewels said...

WOW! :) I love your stories so much! What an adventure! I have never been up in a balloon, and would love to try it sometime!


Anonymous said...

I have loved your balloon shots and stories! I love that last shot of everyone! Those stories are scary!!!

pat said...

This has been almost as good as going up myself! Love these shots and the tour. Man, those stories....never would've thought of carrying a cell phone; at least, not for THAT reason!!

Emily said...

Visiting from 2peas! My husband always says he wants to go up in a balloon, and my response is,"Well you better liquor me up VERY well, or I will be freaking out!!" It always looks SO beautiful but I am such a chicken! Thanks for sharing!

Michelle said...

love these! what a fun adventure for you all. and the stories of the pilot! both scary. I'm not sure I could go up in a balloon so I'll live it thru your pics.

Mom2Drew said...

I'll never get tired of balloon pics, keep em' coming.

Stacey said...

Too cool!

Suzy said...

I'm not bored either, love these!

Mandy said...

How could you be board with these beautiful photos. I love all of the colors in the balloon. Pilots have amazing stories...my husband's dad was a pilot for several years and I could sit and listen to him all day.

Carol said...

Angela I have loved following your balloon adventure. It looks so amazing. I cannot believe the places they land the balloons. Your photos are wonderful.

I love your brothers t-shirt. I know a few grandparents who would suit that shirt lol.

It must be fantastic to have your son home with you atm. My DS is convinced he wants to be a jet fighter pilot (he is only 5 years old) and I am trying to talk him into something else, for my own selfish reasons.
And I also did notice that your son is a very good looking guy lol.

Jess said...

Wow, those are amazing stories! My cell is attached to my hip 24/7, thank goodness! And darling, I will NEVER tire of your balloon photos- they are AWESOME! :)

Bobbi said...

Those are some crazy stories! I love how they tried to save the pilot. I need to start going on these great adventures!

Cindi Koceich said...

Thank goodness you were safely on the ground when he told you those stories...I would have freaked a little hearing them up in the air! Wowzers!

Gypsy Girl said...

Love the shot of all the colors on the balloon. Now for your journaling LOL I can not stop laughing about the premature hahahah.