Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ballooning 101

How it begins...
There are big fans blowing air into the balloons and people holding the opening.
There are sections that are open, to make adjustments if necessary.
What started out as a huge space, became very close quarters!
Here's how they get them the rest of the way up.
A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is capable of containing heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule), which carries passengers and (usually) a source of heat, in most cases an open flame. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air outside the envelope. As with all aircraft, hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom since the air near the bottom of the envelope is at the same pressure as the surrounding air. In today's sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the mouth of the balloon (closest to the burner flame) is made from fire resistant material such as Nomex. Beginning in the mid-1970s, balloon envelopes have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as hot dogs, rocket ships, and the shapes of commercial products, though the traditional shape remains popular for most non-commercial, and many commercial, applications.
This fellow seemed to have trouble getting off the ground.
I was worried for him, but I later learned that he was purposely skidding along the ground to get in the correct wind lane that would take him easily to the big X where he eventually wants to land.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Favorite Place So Far

Definitely, Birch Bay, WA. 
Granted, the weather has been perfect; 80*, sunny, and I'm sure if this was the middle of winter, my opinion would be quite different.
One of the special things about this bay is the tides. The tide comes in and goes out twice every day.
Low tide goes out about a half mile, leaving tidepools amongst the grassy sand. The tidepools hold tiny fishes and some kind of larger creature that streaks across the pool & buries itself in the mud. I also found this guy that got left behind.
The other things that get left behind by low tide are these:
I've also been enchanted by all of the Canada geese. While Hubby & Shasta went for their power walk, I mosied out to the edge of the water and just listened to them squawk among themselves while they ate. It filled me up! The seagulls would dig up shellfish then fly in to the rocky area of the shorline, drop the shells to break them, then sweep in to eat! Clever, eh?
Clamming, digging for muscles and oysters is allowed on this bay as long as you have a license. The oysters, however, must be shucked on the beach, leaving the shells there since the babies are attached to the shell.
The Thousand Trails park in Birch Bay is well run, and the spaces are wide. When we arrived, the place was packed, mostly by RVs from British Columbia. As the days rolled by, and people moved on ahead of the weather, we felt like we almost had the place tou ourselves.
I've been excited about the idea of being so far north (again, weather has played a huge part),so close to Canada. Maybe next year we can make it in to Canada, just won't be on the west coast.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where have I been?

Oh my gosh, what a busy few weeks!  We had moved to Seattle for 10 days, visited with some of Hubby's old radio buddies.  One is now a financial planner, and the other is an airline pilot.  It was so fun to meet these people that still love Hubby to this day.  All of the DJ's that I've met over the years have all told me how much he helped them, and have such fond memories of those wild and crazy days they spent together in radio.
These three happened to work together at KPOI in Hawaii.
Another friend graciously hauled us around to Pike's Market, the famous market where the guys behind the fish counter throw fish, and various other sights.
We've been talking about coming here for years.
Really, Hubby and I could have spent allll day in this place. Our friend, not so much.
Then a little walking tour down Pike St.
Supposedly, the very first Starbucks. This place was packed!
The shipyards behind Pike St.
Then for me, it was off to San Diego for four days for my daughter's baby shower! Hubby stayed in Seattle with Shasta.
Isn't she a gorgeous mamma-to-be?  She was only drinking the lemonade :)
I had a wonderful time down there with her and all of her generous and loving friends.
Once back in Seattle, the next day we moved the motorhome to Birch Bay, WA. It's about as close as you can get to Canada without going across the border. (which we will NOT be doing, since we don't have passports. A little oversight.)
The entrance in to Canada
Canada Geese gathering here to meet up before their journey south.
We've also been working hard on Hubby's book, reading through a final time to correct any spelling errors & punctuation before it goes off to the editor and publisher! WooHoo! Finished it today. It's sent off, and we went down to a little cafe across the street from the bay for a celebratory glass of wine. We toasted the book, as well as our blessings. It's been a warm, sparkling kind of day.