Sixteenth Annual Colorado River Balloon Crossing
November 2006, Yuma Arizona
When we arrived at Cibola High school, many of the balloons had been already released from their cases:


Neatly spread out on the grounds, a balloon awaits rising...

Everyone is waiting on the word from the meteorological expert before they can make further preparations. Meanwhile, Julia and I have a closer look at the baskets:


I had no idea they were this small...


This one is a bit roomier...
(Full size version underneath, so you can examine the details)


Finally the expert gives his word:

It is not a definitive "Yes!", he is of mixed feelings, the winds aren't entirely favorable, but does not cancel the balloon lift. He advises each balloonist exercise caution.


The first balloon to have a try is the Yuma Insurance Eagle Balloon...


The Eagle gives it a good try...


But this is all the higher she flies...


Our friends went to Friday's flight at Quechan Paradise Casino and got a better eagle shot (© 'Ni7k')


Meanwhile, another balloon is having better success...


And away she goes...


Another team has a try...


Everyone waits expectantly...


Three other hopefuls that don't make it....


One that does...
(Full size version underneath)


And another, could its 'smart vent' have helped?
(Full size version underneath)


The last balloon that was able to rise, rises, while others prepare to put away one that couldn't...

Shortly after it rose, people gradually left the grounds, not entirely jubilant, but not disappointed, either. As the meterologist said, "It is better to be on the ground and wishing you were up in the sky, than to be up in the sky, wishing you were on the ground."

The winds were better on Friday, as 'Ni7k's' picture shows...
I count TEN...

See pictures from the Twelfth Annual Colorado River Balloon Crossing?
See pictures from the Eighteenth Annual Colorado River Balloon Crossing?
See pictures from the Nineteenth Annual Colorado River Balloon Crossing?
See pictures from the Twentieth Annual Colorado River Balloon Crossing?
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© Joan Lansberry
© 'Ni7k' (The '7' is silent.)