Jen's Balloon Ride, Part Six

He sees a mostly-empty housing addition up ahead, and we start to descend. Our compartment is in the back now, so I'm facing the back of the basket as we land. I've put my camera away, bent my knees, and am gripping the leather padding on the edge of the basket.

Check out C's Elbow in the side mirror!

Bounce. Bounce, bounce. Drag for a little, then stop. Yay!

Waitaminnit - we're tilting. The wind is gusting, and the balloon is still partially inflated - and we're tipping over! There's lots of "Woah!" and "Ohmigosh" until the basket comes to rest on its side.

The people closest to the ground crawl out on their hands and knees, and the couple in my compartment get out. I realize I'm small enough I can turn around, dangle my legs off of what is now the 'edge' of our compartment, and hop out. Before I do, the woman in my compartment makes me stop so she can take a picture of me sitting in the upended basket!

Everyone is in one piece, so now it's time to deflate the balloon.

The chase vehicle has arrived, and I see C getting out of the Beetle and taking pictures. I give him a thumbs-up. :) It takes most of us to pack up the balloon, and then I get into the car with C and go back to the hangar. The chase van is just behind us, and we're invited into the office for a certificate, a pin, and a glass of champagne.

The flight was about 7 miles, and lasted an hour from liftoff to touchdown. We were home by 10am, tired, hungry, and me a little tiddly from cheap champagne.


[Chris: To see more of Jen's photos from the balloon ride, check out her Flickr Stream ]

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