The other day I tried to explain to someway why it is that I love the Balloon Classic in Boise so much. I don't think I quite got my point across in that quick conversation, but writing my thoughts here might have better results.
Friday morning I woke up early to an anxious pup whining, wanting to be let outside. I decided, since I was already up, to take him for a quick morning walk in the hills behind our apartment. I was sleepy and grumpy and lonely (Will had been gone for work for two weeks), trudging up the trail quickly. But as I made my way to the top of the ridge my spirits were instantly lifted as I took in the view of colorful hot air balloons floating above the valley (pictures from that morning here and here). I breathed in deeply, breathed out slowly, sat down on top of the hill and watched dozens more balloons launch from the park across town as the sunrise warmed me up.
Sunday, Will was home and Pip and I were happy. We all woke extra early to put on warm clothes and make a pot of coffee before heading down to Ann Morrison park to watch the final launch of the weekend. On this final day, all of the pilots will launch in a three minute window, weather permitting, and the result is particularly magical. On a cool morning, that feels particularly like autumn, with mist hovering above the damp dewy ground, dozens (I think there were 50 balloons this year) of hot air balloons inflate into life before your eyes. The park transforms into a whimsical garden of color. Perhaps it's the happy nostalgia surrounding all my memories of the River Festival (an event that occurred yearly when I was a kid), but watching the Sprit of Boise Balloon Classic every year fills me with a childlike sense of wonder, if for only a few days.
This year, after watching them launch and hover above the city in the park, we decided to then get back in the car with our packed thermos of coffee and drove high up into the foothills to watch the remaining balloons float across the valley. What a magical morning. And what a perfect transition into a new season.