Last Chance

Friday was too windy, Saturday was a wash out with heavy rains. Only one more chance to get those hot air balloons in the air. I am starting to feel like Goldilocks…one was too hot, one was too cold…will Sunday be “just right?

Two launches are scheduled, a dawn launch at the Warren County Airport billed as “Walter’s Mass Ascension”, a simultaneous flight of 100+ balloons including “The World’s Largest Inflated Petting Zoo” and The closing ceremony at Crandall Park , Glens Falls with a launch of 20+ balloons.

Certainly I wanted the 100+ balloons. Sandy and I headed to bed Saturday with our fingers crossed.

It was early. It was dark. I listened closely. I didn’t hear the pitter pat of rain. I didn’t hear any sounds of wind blowing. A gentle tap on my door let me know that Sandy was up and it was time to rise and shine if we were going to make it to the airport.

Once again the parking pass  allowed us to slip right into the airport and into a parking slot. We joined the throngs of people making their way through the damp, dew covered grass to the airport entrance.

Vendors were open already and breakfast was being served near the hangar. There’s something about the pre-dawn hours that seems to magnify everything from sights to sounds to smells.

We made our way to the same area we’d visited on Friday. There were more balloons spread out now and we could walk among them. There are no restraints or barriers.

The air was cool , skies clear and wonder of wonders…no wind! It wasn’t long before we heard the whoosh of hot gasses and balloons that had been lying flat began to rise from the ground like sleeping giants.

The filling process takes quite a few minutes but then one brightly colored balloon was off and in the air, soon another followed and then they were taking off in bunches.

We saw baskets beneath the balloons and some with only a chair for the operator.

There was a monster/alien balloon and a “United Nations” balloon covered with flags from around the world.

Over near the vendors the “Petting Zoo” was taking shape..a butterfly

a crab…

a rabbit…

and that elusive  birthday cake I wanted to get a picture of but wait…it’s T Rex and it looks like he’s making short work of that cake.

As dawn broke on the eastern horizon the untethered balloons filled the air.

I can see the allure of this sport.

Your spirits soar right along with the balloons.

I wanted to clap my hands and cheer but I had the camera in my hands.

As we walked back to the car we wound through the tethered balloons, up close and personal. And then they began to deflate. The chasers were on the way to catch the untethered balloons and collect them when they land.

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Time for breakfast. We headed to the Golden Corral where we were joined by George and Kelly and the Kids. Patrick and Catherine seemed to be wide awake for such an early hour.

My only plans for the rest of the day? Take a nap! 🙂

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