Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 15 - Lake Havasu City, AZ - Balloon Festival

Today we woke up to a beautiful windless day.  Beautiful blue skies and temperatures into the 70’s.  A far cry from what we had been accustomed to.  It was a great day for the start of the Lake Havasu Balloon Festival.   We were able to walk out onto the field among the crews setting up their individual balloons.  There were many different shapes and sizes.  The one that really caught our eye was the Old Woman in a Shoe.  It was about the largest balloon in the festival and had a Ground Crew of about 20 individuals.  Most of the balloons only had a crew of 4 to 6.  We were even able to almost walk inside the different shaped balloons as they lay on their sides while fans blew air to inflate them.  While they did not have a mass ascension like in Albuquerque, they did have a several lift off at a time. 

The nice thing about this festival is that there were many different events to keep us occupied.  We watched a demonstration put on by the Sheriffs Canine unit.  Their dogs are well trained and expensive.  Cost about $10,000 each.  The dogs are trained in sniffing out drugs as well as missing people.  They are a one-person dog and trained to attack anyone who makes an aggressive move towards their handler.  Would be a great dog to own but the only one who can own a retired dog is the handler.  There is way too much liability for giving or selling the dog to anyone else.  After watching the Police dog demo went over and watched dogs in a Frisbee catching demonstration.  While that was fun, I really think That Joe Risley’s dog, Emmy, a member of our caravan, would have done a better job.

We also watched Sky Divers and a Biplane flyover.  There were about 200 different vendors where you could purchase the many different Trash and trinkets that are offered at any festival of this type.  They had a large selection of food offered by the many different vendors from all over the country. I had a Chicken Bar B Que sandwich. That was delicious.

After the days festivities Joe and Donna Risley hosted a great social at their Motorhome.  They fixed Pizza and your choice of either Apple or Cherry pie prepared over their campfire.  Everyone went home tired and ready to rest up for tomorrow’s activities.

Submitted by:
#16 Bill and Carole Sistek

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