A Phoenix Burning

So Far, So Beautiful

This weekend marks our area’s 36th Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival.  Around here we look forward to this weekend with the same excitement and anticipation of Christmas!  It is a weekend wrought with tradition and no Balloon Festival is complete without a pre-dawn trek to the launch site, wrapped in coats and blankets against the cold, with donuts and coffees in hand—and no Balloon Festival is complete without a balloon chase around the countryside in our PJ’s, eating out of cereal boxes as the sun rises. 

This morning was our pre-dawn trek to the launch site.  It was a perfect morning despite the thermometer reading 44 degrees.  We were very well bundled against the cold and arrived as the first balloon was inflating…

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

We continued to watch, as balloons began popping up around us, the hum of the fans whirring, and the glow of the torches lighting up the morning.

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

As the sun began to rise, balloons sprang up before our eyes, so quickly it was hard to know where to look.  In front of us…

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

Or behind us…

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

Or above us…

Balloon Festival 9-19-08 by you.

Balloon Festival 9-19-08 by you.

Once most of the balloons lifted off and our toes were thoroughly numb, we left to go “on the chase.”  (We’ll do “the real” chase in our PJ’s tomorrow morning.)  We followed some country roads, keeping our eyes to the skies, and I was guided by a seven year old shouting, “TURN LEFT MOM!!!  I SEE THEM!  TURN LEFT!!!!”  So turn left I did, and we were treated to this site…

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

Balloons land anywhere there is room, and if you’re lucky enough to have one land on your property, the balloonist gives you a bottle of champagne and maybe even a tether ride or two.  I sure hope someone was home at this house this morning.

Balloon Festival 9-20-08 by you.

We’re hoping the winds blow toward our house tonight when they lift-off again.  But for now I’ll leave you with a couple of favorite shots from the Friday evening lift off.

Balloon Festival 9-19-08 by you.

Balloon Festival 9-19-08 by you.

Balloon Festival 9-19-08 by you.

More on Flickr if you’re interested!

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One response

  1. Love these pictures!!! Our area’s balloon festival is this week-end, too, but unfortunately we have to miss it.

    September 21, 2008 at 7:27 am

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