This past weekend one of my favorite events took place in
– The Great Reno Balloon Race. Held
every September, it is a festival of hot air so to speak. In this case, being
full of hot air is a good thing. A very good thing. Reno, NV
I have always been fascinated by hot air balloons. Maybe it
was the movie Around The World In 80 Days, but it always seemed to me that it
would be a positively awesome experience to fly through the air suspended from
a brightly colored balloon.
|Taking to the skies
I lived for a time just up the road from
Rancho San Rafael
where the Balloon Race is held. Being a mountainous area, I couldn’t see much
from my front door until the balloons were actually airborne. To take full
advantage of the fest, it’s best to get up before dawn, bundle up – high desert
is pretty chilly before the sun comes up - and head to the park with a
thermos of coffee and a folding chair and find a spot to wait for the ‘Glow
Show’ and the ‘Dawn Patrol’ to begin. Only a handful of pilots are qualified to
fly balloons in the dark and it is definitely worth getting up early for! It’s
a wondrous sight indeed to watch these balloons glowing brightly against the
black sky as they gently ascend. Reno, Nevada
|Trio of beauties
Seeing one in the sky as I sit in my backyard or drive down the road causes a stir of excitement, seeing 100 of them in the sky at once is a thrill.
|Early Morning Commute
Always fascinated by them, I of course always wanted to go up in one. Eventually, that dream came true, in
|Ballooning over Africa
The best way of travel, however, if you aren't in any hurry at
all, if you don't care where you are going, if you don't like to use your legs,
if you don't want to be annoyed at all by any choice of directions, is in a
balloon. In a balloon, you can decide only when to start, and usually when to
stop. The rest is left entirely to nature.
— William Pene du Bois, The Twenty-one Balloons.
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