October 6 2013 - Balloon morning!

We wake up early the next morning and head to the Balloon Fiesta Fairgrounds. Conveniently, the time change works in our favor as it only feels like 6am.

There are a few thousand people here already. Man, this must be something special.

We head to the check-in tent and see the ballons that are flying today.
We were hoping for the upper M10, but ended with the lower one.

After check-in, we see the Morning Glow.
About 10 ballons light up the darkness, then take off to report back wind conditions at various altitudes.

We're getting excited!

We pass by baskets and think some are so cute.

One of the early ballons fires-up again.

This is ours. This 1000lb basket is going to hold an even dozen people.

The team stretches out the 1000lb envelope, which will hold 210,000 cubic feet of hot air.

Loud, gas-powered fans fill up the balloon.

They generate amazing wind speed, which translates into good pressure for the balloon.

After 15 minutes or so, the ballon starts to really fill up.

Nearby, over a hundred other balloons are doing the same thing.

Finally, it is time for the burners, which generate a million BTUs of heat.

It is loud, but it warms up the absolutely frigid air.

The ballon rises and rights the basket.

We all climb in and watch as the burners keep heating the air in the envelope.

It is full. Almost time to lift off.

Poor Ella is frozen, but we're about to go anyway.
Stay tuned for the flight...