Sunday, September 5, 2010

Balloon Launch

This is the year I completed a half century milestone and made up my mind it was time to fulfill some of those 'bucket list' items.

Watching a hot air balloon would not have been one of the most significant items but still a selection. We've been fortunate over the years to see balloons fly over the valley. And what luck! This year Boise brought the hot air balloons back to the city in celebration of the 100th anniversary of flight.

On my day off, Mike and I were up with the alarms before dawn. Did I mention it was my day off? We loaded our coffee thermos mugs and headed downtown for the park in the dark early morning.

As the sun rose over the horizon, and the foothills, the speakers began sharing the history behind the balloon launch.

We were treated to a National Guard A-10 fly over. The engines reverberated in my chest cavity as a patriotic song played over the PA system.

And Governor Otter told the group "Ladies and Gentlemen, launch your balloons!".

We had access on the same ground with the balloons. The teams pulled the balloon tops out of the containers like a fly strip out of its case. The large fans began filling the balloons with air. Once the balloons became upright the baskets were set up and loaded with the very fortunate passengers while the propane gas flames heated the balloons, preparing them for flight.

I was giddy with excitement, hurrying to get the colors of each of the 28 balloons. It was a beautiful explosion of color! A site to behold. Truly worth the early morning.

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