As I rose, my balloons began to catch the sunlight that was now angling across the mountaintops.

 

Reflected Light Photography

 

Kurt launched right after me, and the shadow of my balloons crossed his balloon as we floated off down the valley.

 

John Owen

 

Greg Winker

 

 

Michael Pruett

 

I flew along the Methow River, which meanders down the valley, and crossed fields still covered with the last of the snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Michael Pruett


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Greg Winker

 

Greg Winker

 

Greg Winker was flying his ingenious hot-air blimp, which is basically a hot-air balloon with a small fan mounted on it. He used his manueverability to good effect for photography, taking some excellent photos of the cluster balloon, and generally keeping me guessing as to where he would turn up next.

 

 

Greg Winker

 

The east side of the valley was still in shadow. I released some ballast and let my balloons carry me higher.

 

Greg Winker
Greg Winker

 

 

Greg Winker

 

 

Greg Winker

 

 

I continued down the valley, alternately high and low, enjoying the amazing scenery.

 

Greg Winker

 

Ed Stockard

 

Ed Stockard

 

After about an hour, I was flying low again. The winds had shifted a bit and were taking me toward the southeast, up into the hills on the left side of the valley. I went low, where the wind seemed a bit straighter down the valley, hoping to make it to the smokejumper airstrip where the balloons often landed. However, even down at 100 feet, the wind was still toward the hills.

 

Ed Stockard

 

 

Continued....