Up, up and away

6203_SecondBalloon_webOne morning in late August, as I enjoyed my coffee, I heard a strange hissing noise. Scott had left early to go fishing, and my first thought was “oh-oh, we have some kind of leak, and I’m going to blow up the Airstream.”

Thankfully, that proved to be a needless concern, as the hissing sound was soon accompanied by the sight through one of our windows of a hot air balloon taking flight. (The sound I heard was the flame used to create hot air, thereby lifting the balloon off the ground and into the sky.)

After failing to capture anything but several really bad iPhone photos, I threw on my clothes and dashed out with my camera.

The day was overcast and somewhat cloudier than we’d been used to, and I was admittedly a bit disappointed. Soon, however, my spirits improved as I learned the balloon was part of a three-day festival scheduled for the upcoming weekend.

On the opening day of said festival, we headed out early and were immediately rewarded by the sight of great activity across the street at the airport.


The first balloon up was pretty, and featured some kind of cat/bird creature, the nature of which was of great discussion among many of our RV park neighbors. Frankly, I didn’t care what it was and turned my attention to finding a good location from which to take photos.


Never one to stand on the sidelines, Scott hopped on his bike and headed up the rocky path adjacent to the airport road.


Meanwhile, what traffic Creede has was stopped on the highway, with people jumping out to take a closer look.


Some of the balloons touched down briefly on the path to allow a passenger to jump in. I have to confess that while I appreciated the opportunity for good photos, I cringed as my mind immediately went to the issue of liability. I guess once a corporate communicator, always a corporate communicator.



I was delighted when one of the balloons hovered in the notch between the two rock cliffs perfectly positioned just north of the Creede township. Looking at those rocks for a glimpse of coming weather had been a daily occurrence for me since we’d arrived, and when I think of Creede, I will always remember that view.


In all, about 10 balloons colored the sky above our RV park. I was amused by how close they came to the rigs, including our Airstream, and took more than 200 photos. I’m hoping one might be suitable for our annual holiday greeting card.




  1. Colleen
    Oct 7, 2013

    This takes me back to the days when we had the balloon festival at Thunderbird Graduate School. I always knew the balloons were near long before I heard them because my little dachshund Sara would start barking.

  2. Janie
    Oct 8, 2013

    Colleen – I had forgotten the Thunderbird festival! Stacy and I used to enjoy watching the balloons float over the northeast valley when we lived near Paradise Valley Mall. (Many of them took off in Cave Creek.)

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