Up, Up, and Away

(Originally posted September 3, 2013)

I just can’t get the song out of my head!  Up, up, and away… my beautiful, my beautiful balloon!  Dang that song by The 5th Dimension is catchy, even 45+ years after it came out!

Ok, it’s not a music blog today.  There is a reason that song is on endless repeat in my head, thanks to another new and fun discovery near where we live – there’s a hot air balloon company that launches across the street from our apartment complex every day!  So for anyone who’s counting, we have a good microbrewery, a lovely county park with 2 lakes for fun or exercise, and hot air balloons across the street from where we live.  Considering the hectic nature of how we came to find our apartment, it’s all very cool and we’ve been uber-fortunate to stumble on this great stuff!

My husband first saw the balloons not long after we arrived, during one of his morning walks around the lakes.  For the first couple of times, he thought it was just a coincidence.  Then we did some Googling and – lo and behold – the company launches from a small plot of land near the lakes!  It goes without saying that I had to see this for myself.

A few weeks ago, we were up early (thanks for letting us sleep in, dog!), so we popped over to watch them launch.  Naturally, I wanted to see what the photographic potential might be, so I took my phone for some test shots to avoid being overly obnoxious with my big “guns”.  When we got there, they had just laid out the balloons and were starting to fire them up.

Hot Air Balloons Inflating
Hot Air Balloons Inflating

I always thought you needed a fair bit of space to get these things filled up and off of the ground.  Apparently not because they launched 4 balloons on this particular morning on a chunk of land that’s probably no more than an acre or two!  The process is a little noisy, simply because of the burner heating up the air to fill the balloon.  (We also know from prior experience at our old house that when they come in too low, that burner may as well sound like a small jet engine!!  That’s a story for a different time though…)

The balloons took about 30 or 45 minutes to get completely inflated and upright.  Once the riders loaded in, they were off.

Balloon Lift Off
Balloon Lift Off

After seeing the lovely and colorful lift-off, we took the dog for a morning spin around one of the lakes for some exercise.  Lucky for us, the wind was taking the balloons that way and we caught this gorgeous site:

Balloons in Flight Over the Lake
Balloons in Flight Over the Lake

Not a bad way to start your day, especially so close to home!  Colorado certainly has been full of pleasant surprises since we arrived!!


– JC


PS – For those of you who may have never heard of “Up, Up, and Away” by The 5th Dimension, here’s a YouTube clip of the group performing it back in the late 1960s.  Prepare to be earwormed!!

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