I was up at 5:00 AM for the “Dawn Patrol” where the balloons launch in mass just after sunrise. I was on the launch field by 5:45 the scheduled launch time. I grabbed a coffee and breakfast burrito (with green chili’s) and sat down on a picnic table with a couple of Russians from San Diego to await the launch. The wind was blowing at a pretty good clip and there was a thunderstorm off to the west. About 6:00 I could see some of the balloon crews packing up and begin to drive off the launch field. Others stayed and there was an announcement that there would be a static display because of the weather. One balloon got inflated and up by the time the rain started. Then the thunder and lightning started and the event was called off. I found myself standing in the middle of the balloon launch field with a steel tripod in one hand and lightning flashing all around. I was feeling uncomfortable being the tallest object in an open field with a steel stick in my hand so I headed for the sidelines to find shelter. By the time I got to the tents along the midway, most were full. I was able to squeeze under a 10x10 canopy with about 20 other people and a TV crew with equipment. Since one side of me was getting wet anyway, I decided to head back to Winnie, a good half-mile. By the time I got back, I was soaked to the skin. It’s a good thing the temperature was in the 60’s or it would have been really cold. You noticed I didn’t mention Sue’s name in this adventure. She decided to stay in bed based on the weather forecast. A wise decision on her part.
With the forecast for high winds most of today we decided to go shopping at Wal-Mart again and lunch at a DDD, Sophia's Place, a Mexican restaurant. We went to the early show at the movies to see the premier of Atlas Shrugged II. The movie was pretty good. We got back to Winnie just in time for the evening’s fireworks. Again another spectacular show.
We’ll make another attempt at the “Dawn Patrol” tomorrow morning, but wind forecast don’t sound too promising. Stay tuned.