'Tis the balloon festival!
Three mornings we've been craning our heads skyward ... one more to go.
Three nights we've been watching balloon glows or a show in the opera house.
Three days we've had activities going on in the street or in Artisans of Mancos.
Two teenagers in their sixties are really beginning to feel the "sixties" part of that saying!
It's actually a great photographic opportunity ... bright balloons, green grass, blue skies, rustic barns, Mesa Verde and Ute Mountain in the distance ... how can one miss? But, we are getting bleary-eyed and the shots each morning are beginning to have a sameness to them. Still, there have been three beautiful mornings so far, allowing our 18-20 visiting balloon pilots to have pleasant morning flights and afternoons to enjoy the area.
Friday morning (bottom photo) the breezes took them all down Webber Canyon, with Mesa Verde's Point Lookout as a backdrop. That evening there was a "glow" in the town park and then a show featuring Juni Fisher in the historic Mancos Opera House. Fisher and local talent Lynne Lewis sang "The Same River" in a beautiful, haunting duet.
Saturday morning's breezes took folks westward; "Dreamcatcher" is shown heading toward Mesa Verde. The rest of the day was "Fall Into Mancos," an art-oriented event in the downtown area, with streets closed off, vendors, music, open galleries, horses and riders and people everywhere.
Sunday morning was a photographer's dream ... the light was rich and the balloons pretty much hung over the town; several landed back where they had lifted off. In the picture we took from Reservoir Hill, there are ten balloons catching the early sun along with the town. In the next picture up, a balloon cruises past a weathered barn on its descent.
And then there was the VFW car show, with sports cars and hot rods, music playing, buggy rides and "The Electric Horseman" ... an electric motorcycle with a beautifully tooled saddle! Multi-modal transportation in Mancos!
We're tired, and this is long, but I think you can see we've been busy. This is the fifth annual balloon festival in Mancos. I've been here for them all and this is the one that has worked best for the entire Mancos community! The festival coordinators moved a lot of the activity from the town park into the heart of Mancos, the Town was supportive with street closures, the chamber of commerce and the businesses did some advertising and we had people everywhere! Not only that, the downtown businesses (including Artisans of Mancos, where we show our cards and prints) started marketing Mancos regionally as an art center back in March and I think we saw that effort paying off this weekend. In 20 years in the Mancos Valley, I think this is the best pulling-together I've seen yet! And my eyelids are drooping! tv