Up, up, and away

By Phil Plait | September 25, 2011 7:00 am

I was in my home office yesterday morning, sipping my coffee and trying to wake up while perusing the latest news from Twitter and Google+. It took a second, but the sound coming from outside worked its way into my head… a rushing, roaring sound. "GGGGggggggshhhhhh! GGGGggggggshhhhhh!"

I knew what it was right away: the flame from a hot air balloon, the pilot giving the bag some gas. We get a lot of balloons here in Boulder; the cool air in the summer mornings coupled with the spectacular view of the mountains makes them really popular. But this time was different; the sound was much louder than usual. Hmph, I thought, better grab the camera.

I ran outside, and yeah, it was close:

Wow! [Click to fifthdimensionate.]

It actually rose up from behind my house, so I ran down the street to get a good view. It flew past me (where I got this shot) then passed overhead where I got that shot.

How close was it? Close enough to wave at the passengers in the gondola, and have them wave back. That was cool.

It slipped out of sight, and landed in a field across from my neighborhood. I went back inside, but a few minutes later my wife called out, "We’ve got two more!" I went into my back yard, and one was landing in the field behind my house, too:

I have to say, this is a great way to wake up in the morning. It’s simply delightful. And I have a sneaky suspicion that sometime in the next year or so I’ll have to taker a ride like this myself with my family. I’d love to be able to take pictures like this from the other side.

Related posts:

Moon balloon
Making new anniversaries
Boulder fire damage seen from space
Ephemeral snow and ancient rock

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Pretty pictures

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