Going Up in a Hot Air Balloon in Snowmass and seeing the peaks and valleys of the landscape confirmed that there is absolutely no place like home.
As the tips of the leaves turn from a deep and luscious green to a bright yellow that in the sun’s light set the trees aflame in golds and reds, we throw ourselves into fall in Colorado with a fervor, knowing that all too soon there will be no more dirt single tracks to play on, that bodies will no longer be exposed to the warm Colorado sun but instead wrapped in layers, and that getting ready to play will entail more planning and equipment gathering.
This is the time where every second is lived outdoors as much as possible and real life tends to get cast aside – work can wait. Living up here in the mountains we have no choice, the mountains beckon.
Hot Air Ballooning in Snowmass
So…what have we been doing? Everything that our partners over at the Golden Key Concierge Guide have suggested, beginning with launching up in a hot air balloon at the Snowmass 41st Balloon Festival.
With Baddy’s cousin, Colleen Johnson, as the Official Balloonmeister, this year we finally coerced at least one of our boys to arise at 5am and head out into the cool and dark autumnal morning for a new experience in sky travel.
Gathering together in The Snowmass Golf Course Clubhouse we drank coffee and had a breakfast of fruit and muffins as Colleen gave the morning report speaking in balloon code about weather conditions and mishaps that occurred in the race the day before…including who got disqualified for rule disruptors such as; taking off before sunrise or floating a bit too high (balloonists are not allowed to go over 17,999 so as not to get in the flight path of planes). “If you find yourself heading towards Independence Pass….land,” she advised.
We enjoyed being witness to the rogue and the wiry with mischievous questions being asked like, “Are we allowed to splash and dash?” and playful responses like, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.”
Ballooning and Champagne
What was clear to see is that these balloonists like the sense of the unknown that the wind brings, and are proud of the history that brought forth the culture of ballooning with champagne blessings at the end.
The Balloonist Prayer
The winds have welcome you with softness
The sun has blessed you with it’s warm rays
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in laughter
And set you gently back again
Into the loving arms of Mother Earth
It was a pretty wonderful and peaceful feeling floating up in the air in a tiny basket with my Tuck Tuck and the pilot Rich Lawhorn, and nothing more than a large “Humpty Dumpty” balloon, a little bit of wind, and about 30 gallons of fuel to keep us afloat. And what was absolutely as clear as this cloudless, windless day, was that indeed there is absolutely no place like home, and no better place to see the peaks and valleys of our home than from a tiny basket up high in a balloon.