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Hot air balloons graced the skies of the Methow Valley this past weekend. They launched in Winthrop, surrounded by spectators and photographers on three picture perfect mornings. Each day their flights were a little bit different. Friday morning, they drifted quickly down valley to the airport. Saturday was a little slower with some balloons landing before they got as far as the airport. And Sunday was very different. Most balloons seemed to linger above Winthrop for a while and some never did go down valley and two later ones went up valley and then down valley on our side and both went right over us, with one landing on our neighbors’ place! It was all very colorful and fun. Even after fourteen years, I do not get tired of the Winthrop Balloon Roundup.

The annual Balloon Roundup in Winthrop happened last weekend. In 2020, it may have been the last big event that happened in the valley. So maybe it’s fitting that it’s the first big event as we begin to see the end of the pandemic. Masks were required to enter the viewing area and attendance was limited to 200 viewers. The weather was not the most cooperative. Friday morning, the balloons hovered over Winthrop and never really got out of town. Saturday morning, they did drift down valley to the airport as usual but the sky was not blue. And Sunday they didn’t go up at all with a threat of snow showers.

The hot air balloons came to town this weekend. Yesterday, while the skies weren’t perfectly clear, the balloons got off to a 7 am start and soon filled the sky with their colors and patterns. Unfortunately, the air was not moving down valley very well and only a few got as far as our house. Still, it was a pretty sight and fun to watch them get ready and lift off. Today’s weather was worse and we didn’t see any balloons go airborne. Maybe tomorrow. The forecast looks pretty nice.

Last weekend was the Hot Air Balloon Roundup in Winthrop – always one of my favorite festivals in this area. The weather did not cooperate so the balloons didn’t have as many opportunities to fly. I got to see them on Friday and I heard that the ‘balloon glow’ in town Saturday night was glorious. I always enjoy being around the staging area, watching the balloons slowly inflate, tipping the baskets upright and getting ready to fly. It really is a lot of fun. Bring your kids and your mom and everyone else but it’s probably best to leave your dog at home.

From black and white to so much color it could make your head spin!

Ken and I received a gift of a hot air balloon ride for a wedding present. Three years ago. We tried to schedule it but the weather would not cooperate or Ken’s job didn’t cooperate or something or other. This year, it all fell into place. On the day following our third anniversary, Kurt and Melinda of Morning Glory Balloon Tours took us on a beautiful airborne tour of the Methow Valley; this place we call home. It was peaceful and stunning. The weather was perfect. Blue skies, green hills, snow-capped mountains. Exactly what we had hoped for.

Many thanks to our dear friends and this wonderful gift!

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