Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Spectacular

Aaah, fall. After 90 plus summer days of temperatures above 90 degrees, this is a long awaited time of year. This is my favorite time of the year – it’s brisk, cool and with that comes more energy and a desire to be outdoors.

I had a short time this weekend to experience up close and personal – a different kind of sport - Hot Air Balloons.

The first Hot Air Balloon flight was on June 5th, 1783 in Annonay, France by the Montgolfier brothers. (Did they play golf too?)

Fast forward 227 years . . . . . . .

My hometown hosted the 37th Annual Carolina Balloon Fest on Oct. 22 – 24, 2010. The National Balloon Rally got its start in 1974 at Aerial Ascensions in Statesville, NC. The owner at that time - invited Balloon Works customers from across the US to come to Statesville for a week of camping, flying and telling ballooning tales.

In 1978, the facility moved near Love Valley, NC – and thus began the week-long gathering of balloon enthusiasts, and local spectators. Curious about love Valley? Take a peek:

Anyway, late Friday afternoon I took a short ride up I-40 West, and like all the other cars around, in front, and in back of me – I had to pull over. There were 37 of the most awesome, and beautiful balloons – drifting right over the Interstate. More were coming! Some were low enough you could talk to Balloonist in the basket. What a color spectacular!!! What a breath taking experience.

If you’ve ever been to a Balloon Rally, you know what I mean – and it can’t really be described in words. It’s an experience. If you’ve never been to one – you just have no idea what you are missing. (Don’t think because you’ve seen “a” hot air balloon in the distance somewhere that you have an idea of what it’s all about. You don’t)

The next few Rally’s will be the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally 10/29 – 10/31 in Taos, New Mexico; Ballunar Liftoff Festival 10/29 – 10/31 Houston Texas; and Balloons Over Anderson 11/5 – 11/7 in Anderson, SC.

If these aren’t close to you, you can check the following site, and look up the schedule to hopefully find one near you:

You never know – you might find a new sport to watch.

Debbie Smith

No comments: