Alabama (cont'd)


I was tense as we drove back onto the field at 5 AM the next morning, wondering what had happened overnight. To my delight, I found all my balloons intact and waiting for me. They seemed to have retained most of their lift, although there was no way to tell exactly. Our volunteers began to straggle in, and we finished the job of inflating my balloons as the sun rose.




The "Georgia boys" at the Jubilee, many of whom I'd met the previous weekend during my flight in Reynolds, decided to skip the possible competition flight that morning to fly along with me. Crew walked me over next to them. I made final adjustments to my ballast.




I had crew release me. My balloons pulled me lightly off my feet, carrying me up into the air while the huge hot-air balloons rose up all around.







A light wind pushed us to the north, out of the park and over the outskirts of Decatur.









And we headed out over the Tennessee River....