I had a friend offer to me his truck and hot air balloon equipment for a weekend competition in Iowa in late September.  It was an opportunity I could not pass up, so I took the Greyhound back to Des Moines, met up with friends and family, and spent the weekend in a small Iowa town.  Here is a write-up of the weekend that I did for a ballooning website:

Saturday morning brought shifting winds and very little steerage out of the South, and a 2 part task .  There was a traditional Fly In to an X, and a Maximum Distance Double Drop utilizing the paved and grass runways.  The paved runway runs SE to NW, so the best score would have been the first MAX baggie on the southern tip of the runway, a good score at the X, and the other baggie somewhere on the SW to NE grass runway. 

Sunday morning brought more steerage, winds out of the SW with a right turn and speed above, and another 2-part task.  The first was a Fly In to the airport, measuring either 300’ from the X or anywhere on the paved runway, giving pilots a chance to get a result even if they missed the X.  But there were a lot of great scores, including several scores with 1 meter.  The 2nd task was a target at the Cemetery NE of the airport.  It required a relatively-low approach, and it was just north of a line of trees, but several pilots were able to navigate their way to put a baggie within the legs of the X.


I took the greyhound back to Denver on Sunday night.  It was cheap taking the bus, but not exactly fun.  The weather worked out and I was glad I went, but next time, I'm taking a car!

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