Hudson Valley Balloon Festival…

The name of the event that I spotted months ago and knew that I would make sure to attend is the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, but that’s false advertising.  Because it’s not in a valley, it’s on top of the world.  Or so I thought as I drove the hour and a half from my son’s house yesterday afternoon heading north, and up hill.  I had constant vistas of scenery below me, and I was looking across the valleys to mountains just beyond.  It was just beautiful, and also impossible to stop for photos.  I hoped for a scenic overlook area, but I haven’t seen them at all on this trip, which is a shame because they were quite plentiful when we traveled out west years ago.  I crossed the Rhinecliff bridge over the Hudson, and again admired the view, but I was almost there and there was no where to stop, so I contented myself with the thought of the balloons being launched into the sunset-colored sky.  And sunset was approaching, hence the long shadows.  I wonder if they knew that the launch had been cancelled due to high winds even as I paid to get into the fairgrounds.  I didn’t catch on for a while, so I walked around and took a few pictures of food trucks, because one was called “Off the Hook” and featured lobster rolls, which I haven’t yet had on this trip.  And shots of the small crowd to illustrate the event.  As they began to blow up one of the balloons I thought we were underway, but that’s when I heard that the launch was cancelled.  Which I suppose explained why there were no other balloons to be seen.  They, the ‘balloon platoon’, blew this one up in order to allow people to walk inside, and a line formed quickly to do just that.  They kept entering, but not exiting, and I didn’t think to see where they were going.  I probably should have stayed.  I heard that they were going to inflate the balloons and illuminate them, but not launch them, but I didn’t relish the drive back in the dark.  The rural roads have lots of twists and turns, and 55 mph speed limits.  Even in daylight they can be challenging, so I drove back to my son’s house being teased by the same beautiful scenery, with the addition of a gorgeous sunset.  I ought to be content just to see a sunset like that, but I wish I had seen it through the lens of the camera… 7-6balloon27-6balloon37-6balloonfeature7-6waffleYes, I had a waffle sandwich, probably because I didn’t have any witnesses at that moment.  I will have two more opportunities to see them launch, sunset tonight or sunrise tomorrow.  Sunrise seems like a better chance of the air being calm enough, but do I want to set out at 4 AM, sigh…

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