Tri-Stater wins balloon ride at G&T-sponsored festival

Angela Poe, her partner, Shawnalea, and Chris, their hot air balloon pilot, prepare to take off.

Angela Poe, her partner, Shawnalea, and Chris, their hot air balloon pilot, prepare to take off.

Earlier this month, Tri-Stater Angela Poe and her partner, Shawnalea, were offered a rare opportunity to soar into the early morning sky in a hot air balloon, courtesy of Tri-State, which was awarded tickets for two people aboard one of the airships participating in the Moffat County Balloon Festival held Aug. 2-3 at Loudy Simpson Park in Craig, Colo.

Tri-State and Craig Station, in particular, are supporters and sponsors of this annual summer event.

Poe, who is a plant operator at Craig Station, wrote about her experience noting that she felt like she had “won the lotto,” when she learned that she had been selected for this unique aerial excursion. Originally, the free balloon ride was awarded to Tri-Stater, Janice Nicoletto, but she was unable to attend the event.

Tri-State was a sponsor of the 4th annual Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival held Aug. 2-3.

Tri-State was a sponsor of the 4th annual Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival held Aug. 2-3.

Poe wrote that Chris, their balloon pilot, took his two passengers and the balloon through a series of maneuvers that are part of a “balloon rodeo.”  One of those activities was to carefully descend over the Yampa River, where the balloon hovers while skimming the surface of the water. “It seemed as if we were floating on the top of the water for a good 10 to 15 minutes,” Poe recalled.

The Tri-State plant operator recapped the most exciting and somewhat unpredictable part of her ballooning experience – the landing.

Bird’s eye view of a balloon near the banks of the Yampa River from Angela Poe’s lofty vantage point.

Bird’s eye view of a balloon near the banks of the Yampa River from Angela Poe’s lofty vantage point.

“Prior to touching down we were told to hang on and do not for any reason get out of the basket until the balloon is down because it will cause the balloon to rise again,” she explained. “As we descended into a hay field, avoiding the rolls of hay and aiming for a spot close to the road, we came to a rough and quick stop – definitely nothing like the smooth takeoff!”

“Thanks to Tri-State and Janice Nicoletto, I’ve got one more lifetime experience scratched off my bucket list,” she added.

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