I didn't take a single picture today since I was busy registering and doing the administrativia for the first day of the Western Pyrotechnics Association conference I'm attending this week. Well, conference is probably too fussy a word for a bunch of child-like adults who gett together to shoot off fireworks for four days straight.
I volunteered this evening to work a stint (as I will every night) assisting with safety on the rocket line. The rocket line is hands down my favorite venue. The rocket line is where attendees come to shoot large rockets they've made during the event (think bottle rocket but way bigger, like Wylie Coyote size). The rocket line has a mad scientist identity that it rightfully deserves because there are a lot of experiments that get launched from a rocket rack.
Traffic on the range tonight was pretty light since it was the first night of the event and the wind was blowing an absolute gale. We did have several surprises to keep the evening interesting, though. After one fellow had lit his two rockets and begun to walk away, the fierce wind seized the rack the two rockets were in and dashed it to the ground. There wasn't a thing to do but sit and watch as one of the rockets shot like an arrow only a few feet above the ground, skimming the surface of the road and then heading deep into the distant brush. Which made ALL of us laugh, shake our heads and say, "That is exactly why we close the road!" The other rocket got loose and started looping madly like a Water Wiggle until the thrust gave out.
The very last rocket of the night was the one I'm always on the lookout for. It was the perfect finale! It lifted about 3 feet out of the shooting tube and burst. I could literally hear chunks of it fly past my hard hat/safety glasses/denim coat/close-toed shoes. It looks like you're standing in the middle of a 30 foot tall sparkler.