Monday, June 20, 2016

Hot Air Balloon Crew is a Great Summer Job

We can all remember our first job.  These jobs serve two purposes.  It is a way for a young person to earn some extra money either to save for further education or to save for a special item.  The other purpose is to reinforce what you DON'T want to do for the rest of your life.  I worked in the hot kitchen of an A & W root beer stand.  I didn't have the fun car hop job, but instead worked in a small area with a grill and warmers with barbecue and hot beef.  It is probably the reason I don't like confined spaces or being hot.  At the same time I worked as a cleaning lady in a nursing home.  I had to wear a uniform which was a yellow dress with sensible shoes, and I had to wear my hair in a bun. Quite the look for a 18 year old.   Cleaning in a nursing home has some challenges which I won't go into, but needless to say I can still remember the smell of the toilet bowl cleaner.  Wait!!!  Summer jobs are training for what you don't want to do for the rest of your life, but that is exactly what it was.  I was training to be a wife and mother and didn't even know it.

My husband washed dishes during his high school years and became very proficient at it.  I am always so happy when he practices his skills in our kitchen.

Our two oldest grandchildren are going to be sophomores in high school.  They each have their first summer job.  Our granddaughter is doing filing at a local car dealership.  She is enjoying it, but I am quite sure filling hamburger buns or chasing turd balls under beds wouldn't be for her.

Our grandson has the best job of all.  He obtained a job on the crew of a hot air balloon company.  Last week we observed the process.  He will never forget this experience.

The trolley picks up the riders and the workers.

They proceed to the launch site.

The equipment is unloaded and set up.



With a big powerful fan the inflation process begins.

The propane flame heats the air.

Pretty soon the balloon is inflated.

The riders get into the basket.

Then it's Up, Up and Away.

At this point, as the hot air balloon disappeared into the horizon, the balloon crew packed the equipment into the trolley.  We waited to follow them.  The trolley tracks the balloon, and I imagine they are in communication at all times.

We spotted the balloon across the lake.

Then the landing begins.  This time it was in a field.

The crew had to pull the balloon into the proper position.

Deflating the balloon.

It is amazing to me how quickly they can pack up the balloon and put it away until the next flight.  I don't know the technicalities of the flight, but I imagine it is complicated and mostly depends on the wind and weather.  I did notice that they put up small test balloons to see the wind direction and probably other things.

I noticed the flight we witnessed seemed to fly really low.  I don't know if that was by design or was dictated by the winds.  I am just glad I witnessed from the ground and not from that basket. I have never claimed to be brave.  I agree with the motto of the balloon company, but I just want both of my feet on the ground.

The motto of the balloon company.

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