Monday, October 11, 2010

Take Down...and pack up

Click any image for larger version

Once the balloon is on the ground, it's time to fold it up and take it home.

The Bembel Has Landed
The Bembel Has Landed

Starting to deflate
Starting to deflate,
basket being
tipped over.

Everyone helps tip the basket over.

Lots of neighbors getting into the act!

Still deflating, still tipping over.

And down it comes!

Balloon on its side

Balloon neatly down, and the pilot crawls out.

Squeezing the life...I mean air,
out of the balloon so it can be packed.

Air being forced out.

Balloon mostly deflated
Squeezed and bundled up.
Everyone gets
into the act.

Folding and tying
Walter, on the left
in the "Balloon Team" vest,
gets into the act.

Balloon tied up, ready for packing

This is why, immediately after, I went out to buy a real camera. I couldn't download the pics from my itty bitty cellphone camera fast enough to clear space for the next pic in this sequence. It was the utterly adorable collection of neighborhood kids, holding up the balloon and stuffing it into its travel sack. And then leaping enthusiastically on the sack to force out the last of the air.


Next day, another chance to catch
a balloon getting stuffed.
Balloon starting to deflateBalloon starting to deflate.

Balloon starting to collapse

Deflating and coming down.

More collapsing balloon

You can see the handle of the bembel (wine pitcher),
about to get flattened under the rest of the balloon.

Balloon down, ready to fold up

Balloon down, basket tipped over.

Balloon about to be stuffedBalloon folded up,
ready to be stuffed in its travel sack.

Balloon getting stuffed

The travel sack is far sturdier than the fabric of the balloon, so the sack is dragged to the next segment of the balloon to be stuffed. It's a rather energetic process.

Packing Balloon If you're not careful, you'll get
stuffed into the sack along with the balloon.

Why yes, I almost got stuffed in with the balloon. About all the sympathy you'll get is the team telling you when the balloon will be unpacked next. If you're "packed" on the last day of flight, they cheerily tell you that the next time will be back in Germany.

Balloon all stuffed

Balloon all stuffed in its sack,
ready to be laced up and sat on. Sat on?

Sit On It!

Yup. Sat on.
Squeezing the last of the air out.

Getting ready to hoist basket

Getting ready to hoist the basket into the truck.
Having a few strong backs around helps the process!

Basket hoisted into truck

Basket's in the truck! Yay!

Securing the basket, attaching the flag

Securing the basket, securing the team flag!

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