Quick Balloon Update

I’ll have a more complete writeup later when I can slow down and wrap my head around things, but for the moment here’s a quick update. Our first balloon lost tracking about about 20k feet. Not to be deterred, we quickly put together a second balloon from spare parts and sent it up. It landed a few hours later in Rocky Mount and we spent 4 hours getting it out of the tree where it landed about 65 feet off the ground! Once we did, it turned out to be well worth it as we found some great pictures!

Also, we ended up on the front page of the News and Observer today! Here’s the article.

Media coverage

I just spoke briefly on the phone with Josh Shaffer from the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper. It looks like there will be an article about our balloon launch in tomorrow’s paper. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to pick one up unless I can find one in the evening. If anyone local can grab one for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Near Space Launch

I’ll write more about this when I get a chance, but this Sunday morning, myself and a group of people will be launching a balloon to “near space” in an attempt to get a picture of black sky and the curvature of the earth. You can read the press release about it here: http://tinyurl.com/33wxxww

It’s been a crazy month, but a lot of fun!

More Biking

I was on vacation for the first part of June and near the end of that I managed to get a ride in with my friend Armand near his place close to Chattanooga, TN. We rode the Booker T. Washington State Park Trails.

Then this past weekend, I met my friend Lee at the Little River Park trails and we rode them:

I’m hoping to get some more riding in, perhaps this weekend so we’ll see how that goes. And, eventually, I’ll have a post on what I did for vacation, but until then you can read my wife’s blog about our trip.

Mountain Biking

My older GPS receiver, a Garmin GPSMap 60C, has had a problem the last couple of years in that it’s almost impossible to turn on. For a while I could sometimes get it to turn on by random pressing of the power button but a lot of the time it just wouldn’t turn on and over the last 9 months or so it just wouldn’t turn on. So, in May I cashed in an REI dividend and got a new Garmin Oregon 450. I had been considering trying to save for a Garmin Edge (a GPS receiver designed to be a bike computer) but after some investigation I decided that the Oregon would be better since I could use it as a bike computer and I could also use it in the car or out geocaching.

And, not too long after I got the GPS receiver, I’ve been able to find more time to go out mountain biking. My first trip out with the GPSr on my bike was at the trails right next to work:

A bit later, I managed to get the entire family out to investigate a new “gateway trail” at a small park in Durham (Solite Park):

Then, this past weekend I managed to get 9 people, several of whom had never ridden singletrack, to come out to Harris Lake for a short ride:

Finally, we had a somewhat smaller group head out and bike at Lake Crabtree County Park last night:

All my recent rides have been fairly short but I’m having a lot of fun getting out on the bike more and getting more people into mountain biking. So, we’ll see how things go. Hopefully I’ll have some more rides to post soon.