Monday, October 13, 2008

Of Balloons and Devils

The weekend started a little early when I had the opportunity to assist with launching of a hot air balloon. There was camping and a hunt for the Jersey Devil. Not too a shabby a weekend I’d say.

I had the distinct pleasure of assisting with the Dream Works Hot Air Balloon Team last week as they lifted a group of students into the friendly skies of Southern New Jersey. I was really impressed with the whole thing. If you have not had the experience you should give it a try. I did not hop in but I sure did hold on. Each time that the balloon descended and there was a passenger switch, yours truly was there. Hey, it’s about time that all those super-sized extra value meals paid off – if it all falls down at least I know I make great ballast. Being under and holding onto the gondola of this great balloon towering above your head is an amazing experience. My muscles are still sore but it was so worth it. The Dream Works Hot Air Balloon Team were a wonderful group of people and if you are in need of ballooning services you should look them up. They are out of Forked River, NJ (609-693-0044). Their commercial pilot, Captain Emelia Bernava has ballooned across Portugal and I highly recommend you ask her about it. Her card does not have a web address, but it does have a quote from Leonardo da Vinci that I really like that says, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

One of these days Capt. Bernava, one of these days.

Moving forward through the past… And then there was camping. We are part of SJG (South Jersey Geocachers – see: and, from time to time, we participate in some pretty neat organized craziness. This past weekend happened to be our 5th annual Jersey Devil Hunt (“5 Years and Still Looking). We camped the whole weekend and had a blast. Old friends and new friends – I can’t believe that this was the fifth time in search of the legendary beast! Well, HE found us, once again – and he wasn’t alone! Let’s just say that Mother Leeds 13th Child is a very resourceful creature, lest there be no doubt! I’d say there were about 75 people there for the hunt. Before we left I manned the grill making Old Bay and cracked pepper burgers (which rock out loud, BTW). It was a charcoal grill that I got for $17.00 from Wal-Mart. It was once red but the weather has faded it to a shade of pink. The one design flaw is that the lid, when folded back, channels smoke to the person cooking (i.e. the Chef) in a billowing and merciless fashion, causing redness of skin, bloodshot eyes and streams of tears. Tears, however, go wonderful on burgers creating a wonderful flavor so all was not lost.

Too much fun. I can’t wait until the next batch of craziness stirs it’s way into reality.

No comments: