These guys may be struggling with their twisty balloon, but they're sure fun to watch.
One of the utterly wild things about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
is that people are allowed anywhere on the field. You feel as though you could hop in the wicker gondolas if you wanted. But this crowd is so gentle and well-behaved, there are no worries.
This is the inside of the "envelope" that holds the hot air that
makes the balloon ascend into the sky. It's made of
rip stop nylon with fire resistant nomex at the mouth
to protect it from the propane fire that heats the air.
In the foreground is the gondola or basket lying on it's side
while the envelope is filling with air.
Here's my favorite purple balloon, filled with air, still
lying on the ground beside other filled balloons as their
pilots wait to hear the call,
"Go Vertical." Is that not adorable?
So now that she's vertical, she still has to wait for the "Thumbs Up" signal that
assures her pilot that the air space above is clear for "Lift Off!"
And, yep, there's, well, ...serious kitsch....