Ye Olde Hot Air Balloon Adventure

This past father’s day weekend my mom and I participated in the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival. When my mom called me up a few weeks ago to see if I would go up in a hot air balloon with her (because my dad opted out), I decided that I had to do it. Not because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but more as a pre-emptive bucket list crossing off. It’s defiantly one of those things that I could see myself adding to my “do in my lifetime list.” Since it hadn’t occurred to me, I figured I could cross it off before I got that internal hunger later in life… and why not! I mean it was clearly on my mom’s list. Who’s to say I can’t inherit the desire to fly over the earth in a wicker basket tied to a giant blowtorch and balloon?

[simage=289,288,n,left,] We took off, and cheering fair goers cheered. In a blink of an eye we were flying high over Quechee, VT and the famous gorge. Our pilot/captain/basket-master? was a short Richard Dreyfuss like guy. Apparently he drives all over the country with his balloon like a gypsy following balloon festival all summer long. Am I the only one who thinks that’s kind of odd? I guess he’s found a way to make a living doing what he loves, but who grows up thinking of that a viable option for a career and lifestyle? Apparently there is a whole sub culture of hot air balloon fanatics out there walking among us.

We flew over houses and roads. people came out of their homes and cars to look and wave at us. Dogs barked and cows mooed at the weird basket of people tied to a balloon floating in the wind overhead. There is something peculiar about looking down into back yards to see people looking up in wonder and waving. It’s like we just walked through their yards said hi and just walked away. [See all of the photos]

We landed with the aid of the flight crew in some guy’s back yard, as his wife stared in awe from the window as we floated in gently next to her flower patch. Random cars with families stopped and helped us pack up the balloon… and like that we were gone. Like we just played some practical joke on the world. I’m still not sure what the punchline was.