Cave Creek AZ Fireworks

Hot Air

Balloons and Fireworks

The Memorial Day Celebration at the Rancho Mañana Golf Club in Cave Creek, AZ.

A group of friends, organized by Kent Schweiss, enjoyed the late afternoon and evening at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and Fireworks. We enjoyed our observation point from a grassy knoll, overlooking the scene below as the daylight faded and nightfall emerged in its’ stead. 

From our vantage point upon the hill we were far enough from the band stage to enjoy the music and not be deafened while enabling us to people watch out over the golf course area slowly filling with throngs of Memorial Day Fiesta celebrants.  Food and beverages were enjoyed, children romped and danced to the music, everyone was in a relaxed and happy mood.

As the skies darkened into evening, 7 large hot air balloons were spread out upon the lawn in preparation for inflation. As burners flared fire into the balloons, the hot air slowly expanded them and the flat cloth swelled to colorful, and majestic shapes floating before and above the crowds. People were allowed surprisingly close to watch the balloons fill and lift from the ground, displaying their designs, colors and brilliant glow as burner fires within each glowed brightly against the night sky.

At 9:00 p.m. fireworks capped off the evening. And much to our surprise, the exploding light show was directly behind our grassy observation place and nearly directly overhead. This was one of the best (if not THE best) displays I have ever seen. It was like a grand finale from beginning to end.

This was an awesome way to start the Memorial Day weekend. Totally enjoyed the event!

Watch the short video below of part of the fireworks.

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Third time a charm?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Call me crazy - or not.

If you have followed my blog and past adventures, you then know that I “attempted” two cross country drives from Phoenix, AZ to Gibsonburg, Ohio (my hometown) in the above pictured 1934 Pontiac (Phiona). Those two drives TO Ohio failed. After rebuilding the engine twice in Ohio, Phiona returned to Phoenix without incident. 

After the return in November 2011, Phiona met with an nearly disastrous collision, that led to her restoration and re-birth as shown above. 

Gone was the original unrestored all black patina with expected wear and tear, to be replaced with her new two tone attire, rechromed parts and new interior.  

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As attractive as the “old” Phiona was, the “new” Phiona has turned even more heads and has since been awarded accordingly at several car shows.

After much thought and discussion with my brother Tom in Ohio, I have decided to try one more time to return to Ohio with Phiona. To help ease my understandable anxiety about this third attempt, Tom has offered to come to Phoenix with his pickup truck, rent an auto transport trailer, load up the car and trailer the car to Ohio this time. He,  daughter Jen and granddaughter Arissa and her boyfriend Zak will arrive in Phoenix by June 8. The girls and Zak will join me as we do some touring and exploring the state before heading back to Ohio. This will help eliminate most of the concerns I have about breakdowns on that 2000+ mile drive. 

However, before actually returning to Gibsonburg, we will stop in Canal Winchester, Ohio, just south of Columbus, unload Phiona and have an overdrive installed by Lloyd Young, who is an acclaimed expert in providing this transmission/drivetrain device on vintage vehicles. The overdrive will, in effect, add an additional gear that will lower the rpm’s, thus reducing the stress and strain on the engine, which should also help improve mileage and help preserve the engine as it more efficiently carries us over the roadways. Once that installation is completed, I will retrieve the car and complete the 132 mile drive up to Northwest Ohio to the family farm.

My stay in Ohio will probably last well into July before returning to Arizona. While there I look forward to helping great nephew Wes graduate from high school, visiting family and friends, taking some driving tours, maybe attend some car shows, join in the Porath Family Reunion (mother’s side of the family), and cap it off attending my 50th High School Reunion (whaaaaat - 50 YEARS?? - how did that happen?). Seriously though, I do look forward to seeing and catching up with my classmates, reliving old adventures (MIS-adventures?), remembering our ‘good ole’ days’ and enjoying hearing what we all have done over the last half century. 

Hummm...Half Century - that sounds so ancient, like we are antiques or should be read about in the history books.                        Well, after all, we ARE from a different century, and the world HAS certainly blasted us all into an age of technology that, as youth, we had not yet realized or even thought possible. 

Some of that technology is helping me with Phiona, preserving her and her place in history, writing about and sharing via my blog and me enjoying the ride.

Stay tuned for more of this summer’s adventures.