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Monday, October 5, 2015

Eric & Kermie the Frog Have an Intimate Relationship at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Another day, another Kermie the Frog inflation...

Kermie is "eyeballing" his
neighboring balloon.

Eric, what are you doing
to Kermie?

Eric is caught fondling

Eric and Kermie are getting VERY close.

Kermie's interest in
Eric grows.

Eric, will I ever see
you again?

The flame warms the air
inside Kermie....

Lift off!

The crowd cheers.

Kermie flies off....

Eric reappears in the back
of the chase truck.

I wonder if the Eric and Kermie will continue their close relationship tomorrow.

Balloons! @ The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Balloons fill with air
before dawn.

The balloons glow
in the pre-dawn

The balloons lift off
as dawn breaks.

is played....

Opening day of the
officially started.

Many, many balloons are
inflating & getting ready
for take off.

Two balloons get ready
to lift off.

Master Yoda Balloon

Bystanders feel 
the Force.

What about my assigned balloon?

Kermie the Frog is fully

Balloons dot the sky
past his splayed toes.

Kermie has taken flight.

Squirt the Fire Hydrant

The crowd roars each 
time a balloon launches.

This picture looks like
a poster for a balloon

Lottie Dottie Chicken
& Kermie the Frog

It's SpyderPig!

There's a lot more balloons to see each day at the Fiesta.  More pics later....

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Walking Around the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Grounds

The Sid Cutter Pilots'

Sid is the pilot in the
balloon basket.

The Media Information

Monahan Airways
Special Shapes

Eric & Kermie the Frog's
pilot, Todd Monahan

Sections of the launch field
are designated with markers.

The band shell from the
launch field.

One of several Wayfinder
Towers to assist Fiesta

truck is set up &
ready to broadcast.

The Dos Equis Cantina
is ready to host
Fiesta goers.

Darth Vader is propping
up the wall at

ATM anyone?

Eyewitness News 4 has
a stage set up for its
Fiesta broadcasts.

Thousands and thousands of Fiesta goers will fill the grounds from October 3 to October 11.  I'm up for some serious people watching.

Crewing Kermie the Frog at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Eric & I arrive at the
lamch field at 5:30 am.

Eric and I were assigned to crew Kermie the Frog.  Kermie's pilot, Todd Monahan, was interviewed by Albuquerque Journal.  Crewing and flying a special shaped balloon is different from flying a standard hot air balloon.

Kermie the Frog is
laid out

The basket is laid on its

Kermie's pilot, Todd, is
 wearing a green tee shirt.

Dave & Kathy are holding
the throat (opening of the
balloon) while the fan
pushes cold air inside.

Kermie is fully inflated.

Balloons dot the sky
behind his splayed toes.

The crowd roars as
Kermie ascends
into the sky.

The pilot and chase crew are in contact by radio.  Landmarks are shared.  As the truck with trailer heads towards Kermie's landing area, the drive comes across dead end streets, traffic that is re-routed away from the landing site.  The police help guide the driver as the truck gets closer...

Kermie landed in a landing
field off of San Mateo

It's time to detach the balloon from the basket, fold up Kermie and get everything stowed in the truck.

The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Anderson-Abruzzo
International Balloon
Museum is close to
where Eric & I are

I love this globe with Native
American shaped balloons
floating above the local

Friday is "free admission day."  The museum was very busy with visitors.

A pic of Eric & in a hot
air balloon basket.

This is a very popular
stop in the museum.

Eric & I start our tour of
the museum reading
about the history of

was piloted by Jacques A.C.
Charles on December 1, 1783
& flew it 25 miles.

flew all over the world.

Zeppelins were used for long distance passenger flight from Europe to America.  Those who flew on the lighter than air ship had deluxe accommodations, with comfortable staterooms, a first class dining room.

The Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937 and 35 passengers were killed.  Flying lighter than air passenger ships came to an end on that day.

The Japanese used Fugo
during World War II to send
 incendiary bombs across the
 Coast of  the U.S.

A few made it to the United States.  On May 5, 1945, a Fugo Balloon killed six in near Klamath Falls, Oregon.

This Fugo Balloon shell
 was found in Utah.

There was no evidence
of damage found.

All kinds of records have been set with balloons.

the Pacific Ocean with its
two man crew in 1981.

Garfield went along for
the 5,208 mile trip.

 I visited the Mary Pat Abruzzo-Kearney Memorial Library.  It is new and growing.

A display of children's
books on ballooning.

I now have great ideas for ballooning books for my grandson, Sean.

Books on ballooning for
adults to explore.

 The view from the second floor of the
 museum is beautiful.

The field past the row of white tents is where balloons will be taking off tomorrow morning.  I can hardly wait!