Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

'Angel' Craft Call N.M. Home.

Byline: Donna Redman For the Journal

* Hardy balloons' design includes unique deflating mechanism

New Mexico has its very own flock of angels, and nearly half of them are in Valencia County.

They aren't the kind with wings, though. They're hot air balloons.

Mike Adams of Georgia manufactured hot air balloons for nearly two decades before his death in the late 1980s.

They were made to be extremely durable and flyable, and many of them have a unique deflating mechanism. Of the 200 or so balloons Adams built, 190 are still flying. Of the 18 in New Mexico, eight belong to balloonists in Valencia County.

"Instead of the usual parachute top, the pop top is a tight gathering of all the fabric at the top of the envelope held together by a rope and metal device," said Suzanne Williams of the Valencia Flying and Retrieval Society. …

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