Splash & Dash

Rise and shine the balloons are coming!

Splash and Dash are when pilots land their balloons in the Rio Grande and then take off again. The river is low enough right now that the gondolas can sit on the bottom of the river since there are only a few inches of water in most places. When the river is running higher, they truly “splash and dash”, or they risk getting carried away by the current if they linger in a higher, fast-flowing current. In 2015 one balloonist hit the water like a Kamikaze. You can see the post at https://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2015/10/splash-down. Today the pilots mostly sat their gondolas in the swallows for a few minutes before taking off again. Several balloons splashed in more than one location. The 5-minute video below shows balloons floating in for their splashes and dashes.

46 thoughts on “Splash & Dash

  1. Love all of it. I’m going to share the YouTube. Of course I liked the bird riding in the morning mist!

    • Thanks, Michele. The river has to be running low to get that perspective. In 2015 I waded out to the middle of the river and stood on a tiny sand bar and in ankle deep water to get those picks. The river is usually running much higher than those two years.

    • Hi Resa. A lot of creativity going into making the balloons. The Wells Fargo stagecoach balloon was not here this year. My sister said she was talking to the pilot who used to fly the Wells Fargo Stagecoach balloon. Wells Fargo ended its ballooning program, and they destroyed the balloon because it’s a trademark. Really sad. You can see the balloon in the fourth photo at https://wp.me/p1yQyy-hC.

    • Thanks. Julie. I really don’t have a favorite balloon, but I am partial to the giant cow balloon, which did fly where I could see it this year.

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