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32.0 This Year’s Balloon Festival 2013

August 17, 2013

Last weekend I attended the early morning competition for the Great Midwest Balloon Festival.

I went to the mall parking lot where the competition was, and the balloons all went north of us. All of them.

But I got a few pictures of the tethered balloon that was up for about a half an hour or so.

tethered balloon rides

Well I got other pictures too, but the rest of them are pretty far away.

mosaic balloon 2013 gmballoonfest 1

1. rainbowballoonincenter, 2. rainbowbargello, 3. threecolorfulballoons, 4. southwestballoon2, 5. rainbowandgreenchevron, 6. orangeballoon, 7. onetwothreeballoons, 8. greenweaveballoonandarrows2, 9. yellowballoon, 10. wickedballoon2, 11. whitetigerballoon, 12. blueredwhiteballoon

I zoomed in on what I could, but the saturday was nice, nice day weather wise, but I wanted big up close pictures like last year.

Everyone was supposed to hit the target, and the winds had changed from when they had the preflight briefing until the actual launch time. So no one hit the target.

Part of the challenge, they said, was everyone had their own launch site, figuring out where to launch from to pass over the mall where we were all waiting.  As a result of variable launch distances & wind speeds, some balloons were closer than others.

Happy and pretty nonetheless.

The next day I decided not to do the same thing, but to head towards the west some.  The balloons had traveled west on Saturday and I sorta followed some of them out of town.

So Sunday, I went to a nature preserve that on Saturday would have been right in the path of the balloons.

balloonseenfromprairiecenter2

….If you look REALLY closely between the two trees you see the faint hint of  a hot air balloon WAY off in the distance….

But of course now I was farther away from the balloon action, they were heading north not west (as much). As much as I liked my prairie hike, I wanted another chance to walk & see the balloons not at the festival, so I went toward civilization, and the balloons, and headed towards another nature center.

balloonsoutonthetownfourpictures

1. rainbowballoonnaturecenter2, 2. blackwithrainbowdrops3, 3. rainbowballoonnaturecenter5, 4. balloonroadeclipse

I kinda got into the hot air balloon adventuring idea and that sustained me for a while. One of the above photos was taken from the Wally-World parking lot. Impromptu.

But the nature center was where I was high enough to see the balloons over the tops of the trees, but now I was a little too far east.

At this point, I decided to take some pictures, and walk the trails to see if I could get closer. I couldn’t, but it was a very fun & adventurous weekend. Patchwork of a different kind!

#GMballoonfest

3 comments

  1. We have the Colorado Balloon Classic here annually. All of the balloons inflate from Memorial park in two waves. The hare leaves first and drops a huge “X” somewhere following the air pattern that is prevalent. Then the others ascend in two waves, trying to hover over the “X” to drop their weight on it. The balloon that gets closest to the Hare’s “X” wins each day.

    People are permitted in the area where the balloons are inflating and taking off. Its crazy being there, I’m not sure how some of the balloon pilots make it out but it’s so much fun for the kids and us older kids.

    Because of Colorado Weather, it’s not uncommon for the race to be cancelled one, two or even three days during the Classic but most years they are able to take off at least two days.

    We love attending. I’ve been on a chase crew before and that was tons of fun. We would follow the balloon to wherever it landed, roll up the balloon and put it along with the basket in the trailer.

    Yours seems to be set up slightly different but with similar results in terms of photo ops and excitement.


  2. How beautiful these balloons are. Funny how they all remind me of “Around the World in 80 Days.” Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Beautiful photos. It looks like you had a great day for the balloon launch.



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