Monday, February 12, 2007
Giraffe Height and Higher
Today I visited the San Diego Wild Animal Park with our group of international visitors, and it was a great experience, especially the "Photo Caravan" truck tour on which we got to feed the giraffes. Another highlight was a 15 minute tethered helium balloon ride to 400 feet - great views and my first experience flying in a balloon of any kind. Since it's tethered, you might think it's "just a ride," but I spoke to the young pilot, and it still requires a commercial lighter-than-air pilot rating from the FAA to operate. Makes sense when you consider that there are takeoffs and landings involved, and that these require some special handling especially when there's appreciable wind as there was today (note the tether in the picture above - it seemed to reach an angle of maybe 25 degrees from vertical at times).