Thursday, September 20, 2012

Snowmass balloon festival

Last weekend the town of Snowmass held its annual hot air balloon festival. They have been doing the festival for many years, I believe that this was the 37th time. Over several days, they hold a race up the valley, some target competitions, balloon rides, and an evening glow. Stephanie and the kids were able to go to some daytime activities and see some of the balloons up close. They were able to ride the bus up to Snowmass to meet up with me on Saturday evening once I got off of work so that we could head to the glow together. After a meal from Big Hoss BBQ, we were able to sit in the grass and watch many of the balloonists setup and inflate. It was a fun time to run around and then enjoy the glow from 12 balloons and 3 burners.
One of the balloons standing up. Very cool part to watch.
I think that Lydia liked the balloons inflating.
Fire! Fire! We found ways to stay warm on a cool evening.

The balloonists were very friendly. Some even let people in for photo ops. Not all of our crew wanted to get in.
Here is the wide shot. Very pretty.
If you ever get the chance to attend a festival, I strongly encourage it.  We had a blast!

Next up, the season is changing in Colorado and the Aspen trees are starting to turn a beautiful gold. It's exciting to look up at the side of the mountain and see it turning from green to gold. Fall is looking beautiful, but it is also a reminder that we will not be here much longer. The job is set to wrap soon, and we would like to pull out of the valley before winter sets in too much.


  1. Seeing so many hot air balloons at once -- awesome! The colors are so extravagant and the sunny sky looks so blue against them. Your pictures are the first time I have seen the balloons lit up with the night sky as background.

    If you ever get a chance to ride in one, you would love it. I went for a ride with my father for his 75th birthday. I practically had to pinch myself to believe I was really up there in the sky, floating over the Pennsylvania countryside, sometimes dipping low enough to pull leaves off the tree tops. There is no motor sound, just the whishing of the heater.

    Then we had a rare thing, we actually crash-landed I don't know why this happened, but we hit the ground in a farmer's field that was dotted with those huge round hay bales. The balloon was still almost fully inflated and we were on our side, with the wind pulling us across the field, the "basket" on its side and the 4 passengers plus operator piled on top of each other. The hay stubble whizzed by inches from our noses. We were dragged across the whole field before finally came to a stop. We had managed to dodge the hay bales. The poor basket was still on it's side. Why didn't I take a picture of THAT?

    I would take another ride if I had the opportunity to do so....for free. I figure a hot air balloon crash landing must be very rare. Not likely to happen twice to the same person.

  2. Looks like a good time. I got Dad a hot air balloon ride for his birthday one year and he loved it. I'm not brave enough to go up into the sky with only a basket around me.