Saturday, July 16, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The field that we landed in was on an Amish family farm. The pilot laughed as we were coming down that the Amish woman was headed to the out house and looked up and saw this large balloon coming over her barn. We think it was an outside phone booth, not an out house. Once we landed the husband (who was in the process of milking the cows), wife and 6 kids came out to meet us and talk to us. They were all so nice and asked where we were from. We would have loved to take a picture of the family by the balloon, but that is a No NO for the Amish.
The video shows the balloon on the ground. The chase team met us there and brought the truck. They folded the balloon up, stuffed it in a bad, loaded the basket in the truck and off we went back to the launch site for orange juice and champagne.
There were 10 passengers in the balloon and during the flight we flew over a banner on the ground with a lot of people cheering. We wondered what was going on with all the cheering. As we passed over the banner it read "JOELLIE, WILL YOU MARRY ME?" One of the couples on the flight became engaged. How they were able to get that banner right in our path is a miracle since we had no idea where we were headed.
The flight lasted only an hour and it was over too soon. As the pilot looked for a safe place to land the winds picked up and he told us we would have a exciting landing. We weren't sure what he meant by that. I must say I never gave any thought to the landing part of this whole thing. He said the second rule of ballooning was "If it's brown, don't come down". When they cut down the crops they plow it and fertilize it and it's then brown. The pilot looks for an empty field where he can land the basket and large enough for the balloon. Landing in a corn field is not a good idea.
Prior to landing he warned us it would be a rough landing due to the winds. We were to go back into our take off position--crouching down in the bottom of the basket with feet braced, leaning against the middle bar away from the way we were headed and holding on to the straps. I must say it WAS a rough landing. We bounced along the ground 3 to 4 times before resting on our backs (or the basket side). We were told not to get out until he said to in case the balloon had not completely deflated and it tried to take off with us again (since nothing was holding it down on the ground). Once on the ground we were able to get out. WHAT A RIDE!
This is the second balloon taking off after we have left.
I took several videos, but most of them were too large to post on Blogger. I'll post as many as I can.
The landscape in this area of the country could not have been been for ballooning. We were so glad we ended up going in the early morning even though we had to get up at 4:30AM and call the balloon service to see if it would actually launch. The morning was much cooler except for the heat coming out of the propane heaters that kept the balloon up. It was so quiet and beautiful as we floated across the fields of corn, Amish farms and roads ways, We traveled about 18 miles SE from Bird in Hand, Paradise and Strasberg.
Since I'm not sure how much memory I can upload at one time, I'm going to do this blog post in sections.
It was so quiet and smooth, you would never guess we were moving or actually got up to 2500 feet. There was no sensation of moving or heights. You could hear the cows mooing, dogs barking and see people waving. It was much more fun than I had thought and not at all scary.
This is the portrait of Eisenhower that had hung in the White House. A little dark to see here.
This porch room looked familiar to me. I seem to remember pictures of Eisenhower taken in this room.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
This is the little office at the CG. They have flowers all around and a little garden where you can sit and overlook the farms. We are staying at Beacon Hill Campground which is about a mile from downtown Intercourse. This is our 3rd stay in this quaint little campground. The owners are so friendly and truly try to make you part of their family. They are very friendly with their Amish neighbors which have farms all around the CG. In August the Lapps bring over homemade ice cream for a free ice cream social. The cream content of their ice cream is very high which makes it extra delicious. Too bad it's not August.
On Saturday, horse drawn wagons came through the CG selling various homemade Amish goodies like Whoopie pies, shoo-fly pie, sticky buns, fresh milk from the farm and homemade root beer and more jams, and vegetables. Of course we couldn't resist the shoo-fly pie and sticky buns. Now I'll need to loose 50 lbs.
We also visited some of the quilt shops in the area, rode around the country side and paid a visit to Shady Maple our favorite grocery in the area. It's about the size of WalMart and has every thing you can think of and it is all fresh and delicious. The bakery, deli and produce section are tremendous. The fresh made Chicken Pot Pies are the best.
This is the view behind our motor home. Who wouldn't enjoy sitting outside with this view?