Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Balloon Fiesta: Wake Up Call

Mornings came early at the RV park during the balloon fiesta. Most mornings we were awakened by either the helicopters, or the buses... or both. Our RV was parked next to the perimeter road and shuttle buses began running from the camping area to the launch field at 4:30 AM. They came by every 10 to 15 minutes. Around the same time we'd become aware of (hard not to) the helicopters that were circling overhead. Three competing news stations had their traffic crews up before dawn to get pictures of the traffic and whatever was happening on the launch field. The plus side to this is that we could watch the action on the field from our TV, and know when balloons were launching.

The "Dawn Patrol" was first to launch each morning. The patrol consists of a dozen balloons that launch around 5:30 AM to test the winds. Looking out the RV window we could see the first balloons rising from the launch field.

With just a step out the door we could greet the dawn and the Dawn Patrol, with coffee, cameras and dogs in hand. Yes, it was quite a juggling routine and provided comic relief to other early risers in RV land!

Notice how the balloon glows when the burner is fired.

One morning we managed to sleep in, only to be awakened by the sound of a hot air balloon burner right over our heads. What an unforgettable sound and an unforgettable experience!


  1. Sounds like fun! Hot air balloons are something else. Many years ago we were asked by a ground crew if their balloon could make an emergency landing in our yard. Of course we said yes. Our dogs went ballistic. Did yours too? The sound the balloons make is unreal. Never knew how big they were until I saw one right next to our house. Made it look so tiny.

  2. years ago they used to go right above our home to a landing field north of the town we lived in then. I loved hearing that sound of the burners and seeing them just above the trees. I am scared of heights..did you go for a ride? :)


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