The Daily Post Photo Challenge for this week: CONNECTED
Setting: Early Morning at the International Balloon Fiesta
The sun is just beginning to peak out from behind the Sandia Mountains. We have been out at the Balloon Fiesta Park for about an hour or more with thousands of balloonists, crew members, tourists and fiesta goers. The excitement rivals that of…well, I’m not sure it rivals much of anything I’ve ever experienced.
The International Balloon Fiesta is an epicenter of connectedness with the vast intermingling of international balloonists on one large field in the desert. Looking out across through the darkness of the early morning, I could see the amazing flares and feel the warmth from the revving up of the furnaces which provide the “hot” in hot air balloons. It’s truly amazing to witness these monstrous beauties rise off the ground and into the sky!
Connecting with the Crew
Last year, I had the thrilling opportunity to help crew one of the balloons at the International Balloon Fiesta. I had no idea how to crew when I agreed to join the action and I hoped they would refrain from tasking me with anything critical that might cause harm to the crewing process!
So, here is a hot air ballon fact which blows my mind, even one year later: The tops of the balloons (I assume this to be true across the board) are quite simply attached by Velcro…you know, that connective fabric with two parts- a scratchy (hook) side and then a fuzzy (loop) side- that are connected to form a bonding agent…YES, the top of this balloon had to be Velcro’d on!
Now, it gets even more exciting! The balloon top is not Velcro’d on with care prior arriving to the field, nor prior the airing up process- it is velcro’d on AS the balloon is filing up with it’s hot air and beginning it’s upright position!
Somehow, I found myself (along with a very experienced crew member, Thank GOD) frantically piecing together the top of this gigantic mass of tent-like material- WITH VELCRO!!!
OK, so it wasn’t long before I realized I was amazingly talented at connecting the top of a hot air balloon while under extreme pressure! We finished the Velcro’ing madness and the balloon promptly floated away- passengers and pilot waving and smiling…they eventually landed to safety on solid ground.
Will I get to connect again this year? I pray so!
As the mornings become more and more crisp, my favorite time of year emerges. It is the only time of year when I feel connected to the early mornings- the only time when I actually wake up early on purpose so I can grab my large steaming cup of coffee and my precious camera as I run outside in my pajamas. I’m in search of the ever brilliant hot air balloons in the sky! It is a connection I cherish while here on this earth and I wonder…are there going to be hot air balloons in heaven? …I pray so!
Have a Blessed Weekend!
PS- I quickly researched the proper usage of the term “Velcro” and was unable to find a decisive answer as to the correct spellings of tenses. It seems to be a mystery since “Velcro” is actually a brand which defines a hook and loop closure product. Turns out, VELCRO is a writer’s foe! haha- just glad I’m not alone on this one!
Full Definition of CONNECTintransitive verb1: to become joined <the two rooms connect by a hallway> <ideas that connect easily to form a theory>2a : to meet for the transference of passengers <connecting flights>b : to transfer (as from one airplane to another) as a step in traveling to a final destination<passengers connecting with international flights>3: to make a successful hit, shot, or throw <connected for a home run> <connected on 60 percent of his shots — New York Times>4: to have or establish a rapport <tried to connect with the younger generation>5: to establish a communications connection <connect to the Internet>transitive verb1: to join or fasten together usually by something intervening2: to place or establish in relationship— con·nect·able also con·nect·ible –ˈnek-tə-bəl\adjective— con·nec·tor also con·nect·er–ˈnek-tər\noun— connect the dots: to link together logically related elements in order to draw a conclusion <trying to connect the dots in the investigation>“Connect.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 4 Sept. 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/connect>.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Connected.”