Archive for June, 2011

6/10 Hot Air Balloon Ride

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Friday was one of the nicest days we had this week, and we flew a couple from Selby, Ontario, who was in town for the Americade week motorcycle rally.

Gary and Susan helping with the balloon inflation


Trip to Stumpf Balloon

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

On Friday, wifey and I headed over to Weston VT to hook up with good friends Rick Pollock and Paul Stumpf. Paul had built an experimental balloon for Rick. Rick came down from Shelburne to pick-up his new balloon, and the two were heading off to the Experimental Balloon Meet over in Amherst MA for the weekend. Since it was a nice day and my afternoon flight didn’t meet until 6 PM, we decided to drive over just to see it and them, and have lunch before they left for the meet, and I had to do my afternoon flight.


Stumpf Balloons over on the Andover-Weston Rd

From a prior trip over to Paul's shop to help cut-out the panels for Rick's balloon. That's Rick on the left and Paul on the right.

Cuttin' the panels

The bottom end finished product, of Rick's 2-seater "Hang Balloon"

Then off to have lunch, the parking lot for the VT Country Store in Weston

The Bryant House is part of the Country Store complex, a good place to eat.

Decisions, decisions!!

It's lunch

The main drag of Weston

On the way back to NY, Bromley Mountain Ski area in the summertime.

The view to the southeast across from Bromley.

That’s it for this post!!


Weather Forecast Thru Early Next Week

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Well, for awhile it was looking like we could get at least 1/2 the weekend in, but now, the forecast is looking even worse than what the forecast discussion is saying. So, another round of strong storms from at least late morning, thru the afternoon ahead of a frontal passage later today. There will be clearing overnight and Friday. Clouds and increasing chances of rain come in overnight Friday, with best chance of rain Saturday afternoon into Sunday. Rain may linger into Monday, before improvement for Tuesday and Wednesday. Hopefully, we can get our schedule flights in on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. After that, it’s not looking very promising for any more flying until next week.

Samantha’s Cafe for Lunch

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Today, met wifey and sister-in-law Marie for lunch at Samantha’s Cafe at Union Square. Samantha’s is a funky kinda place that’s in an old, turn-of-the-last-century industrial building, that’s been redone and turned into a mix-use, commercial space building. There are around 5 or 6 different businesses housed within the building.

The inside entrance to Samantha's

I think it has a cool, old style industrial look to the space. Notice the high celing and the above wood plank floors. I don't know the history of the building, but coulda been a sewing operation, there were lots of those around back then.

Marie had a Pulled Pork samich, I had a Cuban Pannini, and wifey had salad-as usual.

Then I went up to the 3rd Floor to visit with Chris Archibee at Mannix Marketing for some updates to my web site.

6/6/AM Balloon Ride and Flying Weather for this Week

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Our morning started with a little fog, but it cleared nicely so we could fly Sandra and Philippe.

Fillin' the balloon with the help of Sandra and Philippe

We have lift-off

It is a very comfortable ride in our Peacock Hot Air Balloon

The view from on high looking north toward the plain east of Lake Champlain.

The flying weather for this week should be good for much of this week. While the afternoons probably will feature some pop-up storms until a front passes on Thursday, the mornings should be fine other than Thursday, and the weather currently looks to be good Friday into the coming weekend. If you are interested in flying, give me a call. I have space available.

Saturday trip up north to Paradox Lake, Ticonderoga and Crown Point

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Wifey and I decided to enjoy a nice Saturday afternoon, tripping up north for a picnic at the State Campsite on Paradox Lake up in the mountains.

Chillin' at Paradox Lake with a good book.

Someone with the "gone fishing" sign for the afternoon.

While we were in the neighborhood, decided to hop over to Fort Ti so wifey could check-out the posies at the Kings Gardens

Entrance to the Gardens

Next we decided to head to Crown Point and stopped at Frenchy's for some soft ice cream

The new Crown Point Bridge underconstruction and the temporary car ferry operation in use.

The Forts at Crown Point. The French Fort St Frederic marked by the white flag, and the British Fort at Crown Point marked by the Union Jack in the background.

The French Fort St. Frederic built 1734.

The ruins of the Fort's ovens.

In 1759, the British under General Jeffrey Amherst captured what was left of Fort St Frederic and began construction of what was to become the largest fort built in North America by the British, Fort Crown Point.

Into the grounds of Fort Crown Point.

The Officers Quarters

A view into the common Soldiers Quarters. Notice the fireplaces, 2 story construction. They really packed them in, 3 to a bunk, yikes!

A view back toward Lake Champlain and the fort's ruins. At this end, there was a chimney fire that spread out of control, burning down the armory and blowing the gunpowder magazine, destroying the fort in 1773.

Another view of the ruins

The Pine Pollen is Flying, plus some weather gripes!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Right now is not my favorite time of year around here. The North-East is famous for it’s extensive pine forests, and I’m situated at the southeastern end of the Adirondack Park, one of the largest parks (Pine Forest) in the United States. The Adirondack Park has a land mass greater than the State of Vermont, and greater than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and the Great Smokey Mountains National Parks combined. So we have a lot of pine trees, and right now they are giving up their pollen, in great clouds of yellow pollen. I just came in from taking out the trash for the weekly neighborhood pick-up, and all I can taste is the gritty pollen. The wind is blowing pretty good this morning, and there is a haze outside that is all pine pollen. If you had a clear view of the horizon, you’d notice a hazy look to the sky, which is all the pollen. And when it’s at it’s peak (it ain’t there yet folks), you will see great yellow clouds blowing in the breeze. Hey, it’s part of living in the neighborhood. Just don’t expect your car to stay clean looking during pine pollen season. It turns a nice greenish/yellow if left outside.

Anyhow, this brings me to our weather of late and our forecast outlook. This has been an especially tough spring flying season for us. Other than a week-long dry spell around the 2nd week of May (most of the dry spell was too windy to fly), it has rained more than it hasn’t since April. We had record flooding on the Hudson River the end of April (I have a video posted on my facebook page of it). The water was so high, even the rafting companies couldn’t operate, which is some statement because they love high water and care less if it’s raining. Lake Champlain has been at flood stage since mid April and is expected to take until July to go below flood stage. While it’s not the extent of the Mississippi flood shown on the news  it feels the same to the folks who live along the lake and have been underwater since April. Last week featured 4 days of storms that tracked over the same ground and washed-out a bunch of roads to our north. There still are some folks who are stranded because of the wash-outs. Our flying area hasn’t escaped the rainy, wet conditions either. We rely on the generosity of a number of farmer friends out in beautiful Washington County, for the use of their fields for our hot air balloon activity. It’s been a struggle for them just to get access to their fields to plant corn and cut hay. Out of respect for their situation, I have canceled a number of flights this spring until they are able to get out and work their fields. We rely on their good will, and I want to respect that relationship. Fortunately, we are entering a relatively dry forecast period, with limited rain and good drying conditions. So, we should be good to go for flying when the conditions permit. For the extended forecast period, Friday morning looks good for a flight as should Saturday morning. The afternoons look a bit windy, but if the next system is delayed until Saturday evening, Saturday PM may be good for flying also. Sunday may be out due to showers that will linger into Monday and another weather disturbance on Tuesday with high pressure finally returning for mid next week. We have a number of spaces available for going on a balloon flight, so call if you would like to fly.

The road to the Shoreham Ferry across Lake Champlain. The Lake has been above flood stage since mid-April

This is the Shoreham Ferry dock that you would use to get your car across Lake Champlain from the New York side at Ticonderoga to Shoreham VT, Needless to say, the Ferry is not in operation currently.

Balloon Ride Flying Weather heading into the Weekend

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

After a few possible storms today with the passing of a cold front, we look forward to a mainly dry weather forecast right through the extended period. Thursday will be windy, but Friday and Saturday should be flyable, with some slight chances of rain showers and/or small storms on Sunday, due to cold air pooled aloft. It also appears at this time to be dry and sunny heading into the extended period, early next week. We have a number of spaces available for rides during this time-frame, so call or email me if you are interested in flying!