Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Wild Weather Day in Albuquerque

Pirate's Treasure coming in for a landing!(Jan) The clouds were threatening when we got up yesterday morning at 5:30 as we and our crewing partners Diane and Andy Hitzel headed over to the launch field.  At the pilots briefing it was announced that there was about a 2 hour flying window of opportunity. We reported to Jane, our pilot and for the third time were told that she had plenty of crew. Jane did send us over to a friend of hers, however, who was short on crew and we were greeted with ‘We’re so glad that you’re here.’ We crewed for Terrible Tom Schroeder’s balloon Pirate’s Treasure. TT and first mate & wife Jeanne welcomed us aboard with regular crew Gene, Bill & Monica. We had a ball being regular crew and getting to do everything it takes 10-04-11 B Mass A 02to inflate and fly the balloon. As well as unpacking and laying things out, I got to man the fan and Chuck held the throat of the balloon as it filled with air. After the balloon lifted off. We packed up the things left on the field and hopped in the chase vehicle. From down below in traffic we watched our balloon head south and eventually picked Tom and his passengers up in parking lot to the 010south. After they landed & deflated the balloon, we packed everything up and then had time to visit with them for awhile before heading back to the launch field. Above are Andy Hitzel, Tom and Jeanne Schroeder, Monica & Bill, Chuck & I and Gene. Diane Hitzel was our photographer.

When we arrived back home the sky and our landing field were still filled with balloons and we had a great time watching and talking to the crews and pilots.

It began raining at mid day and plans for our CARE Auction and Potluck were in doubt. There was a break in the weather by midafternoon and the decision was made to go with the auction around 3:00 or as soon as we could get everything set up. Terry & Vicky Webb were the chairs along with their faithful crew – Beth Miller, Carole Schneider, Ann Meileke, Joy Melton and Chuck & I.  Terry & Chuck auctioned through some sunshine and drizzle but just as the sprinkles grew heavier and we were deciding to try another day, the heavens opened up and the wind gusted! The awning that we were working under flew up and had to be brought in. We quickly covered the remaining items and our cashiers Joy and Ann with tarps. We loaded the auction items into Reinheimer’s rig as fast as we could & then everyone ran for cover. It all happened in minutes and we were thoroughly drenched by the time we were done!  We will continue the auction Sunday at 1:00.

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After everyone got home, out of our sopping clothes and showered, it was time to eat. And what a better way to do it than share our potluck entrees with several neighbors? We called the Millers, Schneiders, St. Croix/Thorntons and Webbs and we had a wonderful time with a great Boomer group; great food, shared stories and lots of laughter. Below in front are: Carole, Judie, Vicky & Terry; in back are: Dick, Chuck & Jan, Mark and Beth& Dick.012

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