Chapter 4 -
New Years Day
After the day I had had, you'd think that I would have partied that night.
After all, it was New Year's Eve. . .
We had one balloon scheduled for the next day however, so I behaved.
I was supposed to ride with Sancho again as a passenger.
We get up in the morning, get picked up and taken to the launch site. The pibals were going the wrong
direction for where we were
(same direction we went the day before)
, so we moved our launch site to the
north by about a mile. Several other companies did as well. It's a bit foggy again this morning, but the
other day, when I first flew with Sancho it was similar conditions and eventually cleared up enough to fly.
While we wait for the sun to rise and the fog to clear, we stand around and "kick snow"... it's very cold
out.... probably around 5 above.... the boss wants to fly real bad, since all my passengers from yesterday
got their money refunded...... As we're standing there, watching pibals, kicking snow, some of the other
balloons are inflating.... are they really going to fly in this? Nah.... no one in their right mind would
fly when they couldn't see....
There is tremendous pressure to fly here
Something I'd never seen... flying in zero visibility
A closer shot shows how close they are to the rocks
In the valleys, it never did clear up. Only two companies cancelled that day and we were one of them.
Part of the problem was that when we moved launch sites, it put us lower in elevation
(thus stayed in the fog)
and the other thing about moving was it put us beside a mountain
(that you couldn't see because of the fog)
that we could have skirted had we stayed at our original site.
Well... we're up... we're not flying, so we have the whole day ahead. What to do?