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Today was picture perfect weather for the last day of the hot air balloon get-together in the Methow Valley. Clear cold skies got the balloonists up early and fanning air into their enormous nylon envelopes. Parking lots were full and balloons popped up all over the outskirts of Winthrop. The air conditions must have been perfect as most of the balloons stayed up for a long time and passengers seemed to be enjoying themselves. Everywhere people were photographing the sights with all manner of cameras. The colorful balloons are a wonderful foil to the snow-covered landscapes we’ve had for months now. I think that’s why I enjoy this event so much.

Last night there was a ‘balloon glow’ in downtown Winthrop. The striped balloon is from our local balloon company, Morning Glory Balloon Tours.

Nice moon too.

Balloons in the morning mist

Filling a balloon is a time consuming practice

This balloon had a new pilot and they were trying to land the basket in the river and let the current take them downstream. It’s a delicate balance to keep the balloon inflated and upright and let the water move them along.

That just didn’t look good

Someone else got their balloon in the main channel of the river and set down easily

They had to lift the balloon over the log and still figure out how to get to the other side of the channel

Cameras everywhere

Nope, still not moving downstream

Hmmm, what are they looking at?

Well now they are moving again.

They got down the little riffle

What’s the next obstacle?

More trees to clear

Up, up and away they go!

 

5 Comments

  1. Nice shots. How did people get out of the river?

    • They fired up the propane burner to put more hot air into the balloon.

        • ns
        • Posted March 5, 2012 at 6:56 am
        • Permalink

        that’s a relief…I envisioned having to jump out into what looks like very cold water…!

  2. Fabulous photos!

  3. Awesome!


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