Sunday, December 5, 2010

Balloon Ride Near the Nevada Test Site

While driving to the Pahrump Nugget to cash in my winning parlay card (I had USC -6, Nevada -9, Washington -6, and Oregon -16), I noticed a very rare sight. In fact, this was the first time I had noticed a hot air balloon floating into the Pahrump Valley. It appeared to me that the balloon originated somewhere in the Armagosa Valley near Crystal. The thing that caught my eye was the extremely high altitude of the balloon. I usually see 2-3 balloons per morning on the way to work in Las Vegas. The balloons do low Las Vegas view tours. The balloons are quite low and that really made this sight stick out. I could not believe how high the balloon was. I am guessing that the balloon was high to get over the mountain range that is to the North of Pahrump between the NTS and Pahrump. With the balloon being that high, with the right equipment and even with the naked eye, the NTS and well beyond Mercury would be easily seen. I have read many times and thought about hot air ballooning near the NTS, Range or even Area 51, but I have never seen on this close to the Nellis Range. The photo is almost impossible to see the balloon. It was extremely high up and far away from downtown Pahrump. I guess there could be tours of the Armagosa or Pahrump Valley, but there is not doubt they could get a great view if they knew where to look! I continued the drive further North to see where the balloon was landing. It started to descend shortly after I took the photo. I landed inside the Pahrump Valley in front of the mountain range that separates Crystal from Pahrump. It landed approximately 20 miles from the restricted area of the Nellis Range! Interesting to me...

1 comment:

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