Once a year a neighboring town has a Frontier's Day festival, complete with hot air balloon launches, contests, and a "glow" - lighting all the burners after dusk so the balloons are highlighted against the night sky. We were so excited to go to that event this year - it rained last year and the ballooning events were cancelled.So we drove over at the appointed time, hoping to see all 24 balloons launch, then staying for the "glow." The first two balloons were launched amidst applause and waves...then we waited. And the clouds rolled in. The other balloons waited to see which way the wind would blow, so to speak, and they waited, and waited - as did we. Then the launches were cancelled, but the "glow" was supposed to happen as usual. We went for a walk. Got coffee. Set up tripods. Checked camera settings. And waited. And waited.
The first sprinkle. The second. People were having a difficult time communicating, and deciding what to do. The balloonists finally called it off, packed it up, and headed out. Drat. Maybe next year. I absolutely love the site of those balloons floating through the air.
A number of years ago we had the opportunity to have a balloon ride in a ReMax balloon, when Daryl was a Realtor. I had a VERY rough night prior to the launch day. I was sure it was my "end." Did I have my paperwork in order? Would the children be furious at the state of the house and our belongings? You get the picture. Launch day dawned clear and calm. The tradition of a "last breakfast" didn't set well with me, but I sat through all the talk and joviality. Then it was time. There was the balloon, laid out on the grass, basket on its side. They fired up the burner, the balloon started to inflate, and my stomach was not still. In the basket I went. Saying prayers. And we lifted off.I was trying to find the photos someone took of us on lift off, and will post them when I find them. I had a fabulous experience - all good. How calm and peaceful a ride over our rural countryside. You could wave to those below. I also learned that a balloon pilot has to maintain a certain distance above ground, and is liable for any damage below caused by the noise or movement of the balloon, such as a horse who gets spooked and is injured.
Glorious. And yes, I'd go again:).