Up, Up, and Away

On an early, glorious, Saturday morning. Dan and I had made a trip to Erie, Colorado. There was a hot air balloon festival at Colorado National Golf Club. Erie is about 30 minutes from Denver, not bad drive in the morning for sure.

We arrived at the golf club at about 6 am, just as the sun was coming up. It was a cool morning, cloudless, and perfect. I couldn’t imagine a better day for launching colorful balloons into the clear blue sky. I was expecting more people to be there, however, I’m so glad that there weren’t, it was crowded enough, haha! The balloons were going to be on the green of the golf course, so they had plenty of room to do their balloon thing without bumping into each other.Erie Balloon Festival-9

There were seventeen balloons in total. Ranging from rainbow checkers, to intricate designs, to company logos. When the trucks towing small trailers came onto the green, I got a little curious how the balloons were going to be set up. I’ve never seen them deflated only up in the air. After a meeting in the middle of the golf course of the balloon teams, they all started opening the trailers and unloading their contents. I saw them unload their baskets that attach to the balloons, some smaller items, and then a ton of fabric.

There was one balloon that I was obsessed with. The balloon was gorgeous, yes, but it was the way the team worked together to get their balloon ready for take off, that made me stay. There was no yelling or frustrated tones, just clear communication and a little glee in their voices. They were here to have a good time, and they obviously loved their jobs. After laying out the full rainbow patterned balloon part, they had a rope pulled several feet from the top of the balloon, where it was attached. They would start to pull this rope when the inflation started. I was incredibly curious, so one of the gentlemen the let me hold the rope! I may have been more excited than some of the kids that went before me, but I don’t care! There was a little girl who’s birthday it was, who went before me. She was pretty nervous as you’ll see in the gallery. So precious. After seeing the balloon get just about fully inflated a couple of the team started pulling the rope together, it seemed quite a bit more difficult than when I was holding on. The balloon then lifted into the air to finish inflating.Erie Balloon Festival-16

Next to this balloon team, there was another team with a orange, yellow, red, and white checkered balloon that was almost done with inflating. This balloon was facing the opposite direction, so since I got to see the inflation from the top of the balloon at the previous team’s area, I now got to see from where the air is pushed into the balloon. ┬áIt was hot, and I could see the fire blowing into the balloon, so cool!

Erie Balloon Festival-3

 

After a few minutes being fixated on the fire, something caught my eye. The first balloon across the field was lifting off. Then I started to see several tops of balloons rise off the ground. I was in awe. It was just a beautiful sight. All these colorful hot air balloons just entering the crystal clear sky, and then the snow capped mountains in the back. Picture perfect I’d say ;). I walked to the very front of the field so I could get some nice wide pictures of all the balloons taking off. Dan was a real sport, because I was running all over the place to get good photos. Once all the balloons were on their way to Oz, we were on our way home. All the way there, we were talking about how much fun we had, and how lucky we were to get to go.

 

You can see the full gallery below.

 

Erie Balloon Festival 2016

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