Every January, a hot air balloon festival is held at Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland. Each year, the Corkscrew Balloon fleet attends.
Initially, this meant a single balloon showed up, with perhaps four of us. Corkscrew Balloon II was completed in 1996, so since then I have had two balloons participating each year with double the number of passengers.
In September, in Bristol, England, construction was completed on Corkscrew Balloon III. The implication: In January 2000, at the 22nd Annual Swiss Hot Air Balloon Festival in Chateau d'Oex, I will need to fill three baskets with passengers.
Finding passengers isn't really all that difficult, and several were quickly lined up.
My daughter Annie will be along, as will my friends Linda, Paul, Susan, Hermann, and Robin. If you read the trip journals that appear on this site, you might already be familiar with some of these characters.
Read about prior years:
I also invited Denise and Christen, who were the models for the design that will appear on the new balloon. Christen will be joining us, but through events that remain mysterious and unclear, Denise disappeared and will not be able to make it. This presented our group with a crisis:
We needed to find a Denise "look-alike" to come with us on this trip.
The search began on August 7, when a solicitation of applications was prominently made at the corkscrew-balloon.com web site. From among those who responded, one person would be selected and awarded an all-expenses paid vacation to Switzerland! Included in the prize:
- Round-trip airfare between the winner's airport and Geneva
- Ground transportation wherever we go in Switzerland
- Daily balloon flights, weather permitting
- Lodging at the cozy Hermitage in Chateau d'Oex
- All meals
- All admission costs for sightseeing or whatever
In connection with the application process, we provided some questions and answers to applicants.
Applications closed on October 31, and the announcement of the winner will be made on November 21. Check back here for developments!