'Tis morning, with the sun still struggling to rise above the mountains to the east and kind of a gray, hazy look to the valley. The sky was brilliant with stars when Scooby Doo and I did our morning patrol at 5, listening to an owl in the distance. She's stretched alongside me in the recliner now, waiting to jump up and greet Sandy when she comes through the bedroom door.
The last week has been one of balloons, as the pictures show. It was the annual (6th, I think) Mancos Valley-Mesa Verde Country Balloon & Arts Festival and it was probably the best ever ... it's the only one I can remember in which the pilots were able to fly EVERY morning of the three-day event, and one even flew on Monday morning as well.
Sandy covered the launches from Boyle Park in town, and I hope she'll post some of her pictures from that angle. I went out to Humiston's hayfield on the south edge of Mancos and watched from there, then chased selected balloons.
The bottom picture is from Friday morning's inflation. That's Point Lookout, the northern prow of Mesa Verde, in the distance.
Next up is the Friday evening glow in Boyle Park, showing the eerie light around the basket when the burner is flared. Like a witches coven.
Saturday morning the Jack in the Box flew ... first time I've seen it fly. They dropped in on a neighbor to change passengers. I don't think Dick and Pat were expecting them for breakfast! ;-}
Last year, a pilot from England flew a balloon with two seats suspended below the bag ... no basket. This year, the Barnoskys from Cedaredge, CO, came down with a single-seater and the picture is of their teen-aged son Michael's first flight in it. Quite an experience! One implication of this is that it makes ballooning an accessible sport for wheelchair-bound folks. Jim Barnosky says there is a wheelchair pilot already flying.
"Fly Me to the Moon" just had to be the caption for the shot of Colin Graham's Heart balloon with the harvest moon in the background on Sunday.
And finally, at the top, it's just always a colorful event, with the green grass, blue sky and colorful balloons.
We were feeling the effects of three days of being out at 7 for inflations, followed by long, busy days and evening programs. Gettin' old! Still, it was a good weekend for Mancos and for all involved.
As we move our focus southward, we've agreed that the Four Corners is only an easy day's drive from Silver City; we enjoy the balloon festivals in Mancos and Bluff, Utah, so much, we'll probably be back for them.
Speaking of which, things are moving along for a closing around October 20 on the house in Silver City. We'll go down for that, probably taking the Casita and one of the vehicles down to leave there. Packing up is beginning, plus thinking about the logistics, sequencing, utilities, etc.
'Twould be nice to have this house under contract before the agreement with the realtor ends at the end of October, but it would be unwise to hold my breath for that. Guess I'll rent it after we've cleaned it out.
In the meantime, the fall color is reaching its peak in our area; we're hoping to get out and enjoy it tomorrow, maybe driving up to Silverton and back. tv