Great Reno Balloon Races, 2006
Note: These pictures are about 320 x 240. I do have 1260 x 980 images of each of them.
If you'd like one, let me know. :-)
The races start out with the Eagle rising as they play the national anthem.
The below are several views from up in the balloon. It was a very hazy day due to
a forest fire over the hill -- all the smoke had settled in the valley.
There are two Bee balloons. They have some sort of purpose. I do not know what it is. Maybe they're supposed to try to show you where the targets are? But they went the other way. Stupid bees. Never trust a giant insect-shaped balloon, that's what I say, by golly.
I like the look of the balloon in front of the rising sun and the way it lights up.
This is how it starts out. A tarp on the ground.
Hey, man, those guys already have their balloons half inflated! You going to let them beat you or what?
Ahhh, the doomed chipmunk. That is, I think it's a chipmunk. Sadly, they suffered a blowout when they landed near a baseball field. Barbed wire + balloon = double-plus ungood.
Just another pic of a balloon about to eclipse the sun.
The Energizer Bunny balloon. It kept going, and going, and going, until, in a tragic turn of events, it was run over by the Wells Fargo Wagon balloon. Rest ye well, little Bunny, rest ye well!
Hey, look, it's Nemo! But he's a giant mutant head!
This balloon was sponsored by the Northern Nevada Dairymen. Need I say more?
Here are some pictures of the balloons inflating. You start out with a big giant fan that blows air into the envelope of the balloon until it's full enough to start the flames without catching the balloon on fire. It's a bit tricky, and yet, in three years of balloon races, I've never seen anyone catch their balloon on fire.
The inside of the balloon as it's being blown up is just one of the coolest sights to me. I don't know why, but something about the light is really nifty.
Our pilot, Bob Raper, gives instructions as we're getting the balloon ready to go.
The next few pictures are of the Mass Ascension. Tons of balloons getting ready and launching all at the same time.
Finally, we took off and looked down on some of the slower balloons.
Look, there's Jesus!
I had to color correct Humpty Dumpty here because the sky was so hazy, you couldn't really see his face.
While we were up, we caught a glimpse of Jesus over behind some other balloons. He appeared to be landing. "Jesus is going DOWN, man," said some wisecracker.
Noah's Ark was also a nifty balloon.
Here are some of our neighbors in the sky.
As we were landing, we came very close over the top of another already landed balloon. We yelled down at them, "Hey, do you mind if we land on your envelope?" Didn't hear their answer, so we opted for the ground instead.