The 9th Annual Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival
We were up at 4 AM and at the festival before dawn; there before many of the balloons arrived. Luckily for us... the kids were still energetic enough to dance the dawn into existence.
Just before the sun broke the horizon, the participants of the festival arrived and began their preparations for the launch.
The gondolas were laid down on their sides and the balloons were filled with heated air.
The inside of a balloon as it was being filled with air.
At daybreak many of the balloons were finally full and buoyant enough to rise gracefully into the sky.
Despite the early start the kids had fun, although Dee Dee thought it was a little loud.
It was amazing to be so close to these giants as they were filled with heated air and allowed to float off the ground.
As the sun rose in the sky so did all the balloons... decorating the sky like dangling Christmas ornaments.
This was a perfect and beautiful way to spend a crisp morning in the Rockies.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
John Gillespie Magee (1922-1941)