This weekend at Chatfield State Park join in on the fun at the 2007 Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival with a liftoff at 6:30 a.m. Friday - Sunday.
This morning the weather wasn't good enough for a safe lift off, but several balloons did inflate to the delight of the crowd. I overheard a pilot saying he's there more for a media event than anything else.
No kidding. Camera's were everywhere, pilots and crew were very relaxed and willing to let us shutterbugs crowd their spaces. I loved being able to get right next to the balloon as they were inflating. It is such a thrill to watch yards of flat fabric inflate into glorious kaleidocopes of color!
Overhead were the sounds of guys flying with parachutes and fans attached to their backsides. At first I thought these were called "ultralights" but now I really don't know what they are called. It certainly looked like a fun thing to do, assuming one wasn't afraid of heights!
The festivities will grow this weekend. Booths are set up at the park with demonstrations and food. Set the alarm for "Oh dark-30", grab your group and head over to Chatfield State Park. If you have a Colorado Park Pass you can park in the park for free. If not, you can park outside adjacent to the park, but be prepared to walk.
Some folks like to bring lawn chairs and sit on the west side of Wadsworth, watching the event. I prefer to be amongst the balloons as they grow into a colorful forest. That is were the action is!
Oh and if you decide to chase the balloons as they land, the field to the north is full of cactus. Don't make the same mistake I did last year by showing up in sandals! Protect your feet by wearing hiking boots and watch your step!
As I left this morning I said a silent "thank you" to the people who show up in the middle of the night with their beautiful balloons. They never know if they will get to fly that day until the sun shows up. Just the same they come and put on a show for us.
Thank you Balloon pilots and crew, for making me and so many others smile today. Yes, it's worth the trip.