Marysville, OH – August 2018 – What Goes Up Comes Back Down

Each year Marysville, Ohio hosts a balloon festival. Since it is nearby we usually drive up to check it out, but most times the weather is uncooperative and they don’t fly. On this Saturday evening however it was sunny with light winds so we knew they would get in the air.

We found our spot on some train tracks with a number of other people.

 

2018 08 11 192 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

About 6:30 they started to inflate them as a helicopter kept watch.

2018 08 11 195 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

From our vantage point they appear to be very close to each other as they inflated.

2018 08 11 206 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

Eventually they took off, one immediately after the last one.

2018 08 11 211 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

And into the air!

2018 08 11 216 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

Unfortunately we were facing into the sun for the takeoff, but it make for some interesting lighting – even the bird had a good silhouette.

2018 08 11 218 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

Once most were airborne we took off to follow them.

2018 08 11 247 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

It was easy to know where to go – follow the chase vehicles.

2018 08 11 251 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

Most of the balloons seemed to struggle to gain altitude and came down after a short distance. Apparently there was too little wind.

2018 08 11 290 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

With all the huge open fields they unfortunately all starting landing in yards with wires and trees – but all the pilots managed to set them down without incident.

2018 08 11 261 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

The people who lived nearby came out to assist.

2018 08 11 262 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

The crews arrived to help.

2018 08 11 303 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

This house has a 2 car garage and 2 balloon side yard.

2018 08 11 264 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

Deflating was quick.

2018 08 11 266 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

It did cause a mini traffic jam on the small road (we helped cause the traffic jam by parking along side the road).

2018 08 11 279 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

The Remax (a real estate company) balloon landed in a narrow patch of grass between numerous trees.

2018 08 11 298 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

Uncle Sam was the last one standing.

2018 08 11 285 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

It did leave the neighbors amused with the unexpected guests.

While the flights were short hot air balloons always make a good subject for photography, and we enjoyed the evening.

2018 08 11 284 Marysville OH Balloon Festival.jpg

 

 

 

 

Southern Colorado & New Mexico – National Parks Road Trip – Day 17 – Great Sand Dunes National Park, Hot Air Balloons & Santa Fe

Our morning in Pagosa Springs, Colorado started out with a beautiful sunny morning, perfect for the dozen hot air balloons to take flight to the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. We spent a couple of hours running around the town and surrounding countryside for the best views.

2015 09 20 11 Pagosa Springs CO.jpg

 

Nearly all the balloons had come up from New Mexico, which is famous for hot air ballooning. Our best views came from a small neighborhood park with a view across a pond with the aforementioned mountains in the background.

2015 09 20 15 Pagosa Springs CO.jpg

 

Leaving town to the east you quickly start to ascend Wolf Creek Pass, eventually reaching the pass summit at 10,870 feet, our highest altitude of the road trip. In addition to the usual collection of impressive switchbacks, and far mountain views U.S. 160 has an impressive ‘S’ curve tunnel. Once you drop down the eastern side and arrive in Del Norte, Colorado, you have reached an extensive, perfectly flat prairie that is the San Luis Valley.

2015 09 20 56 Pagosa Springs CO.jpg

 

As you leave Del Norte and start across the flatland you see the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance, seemingly just a short distance away, but in reality they are 50 miles off. While the valley was filled with farms on this Sunday morning there was nobody out on the roads, so we were able to blast across the small country roads in rapid fashion, arriving at our destination in about 40 minutes.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park has dunes reach as high as 700 feet high, with the mountains behind them rising 3000′ and more up from the valley floor. As mentioned we could see the mountains from 50 miles away, and started seeing the white of the sand dunes from 30 miles away. The dunes were created by loose soil from nearby flat farm land carried by the wind and deposited at the foot of the mountains creating a wide tall dune with many ridges.

2015 09 20 61 Great Sand Dunes National Park CO.jpg

 

Finally reaching the visitor center, we once again received some excellent guidance from the rangers and set off on a walk up to the first ridge of dunes. There was a scene of young men sand boarding down the dune just beyond us, children trying to sled, and people trekking the high dunes. The dunes were so high that people at the top looked like specks on a giant wall. The sand was difficult to walk in because we sunk with each step. Without a doubt walking in sand feels 10 times harder than walking on a dirt path, the pain in my knees noticeable.

2015 09 20 71 Great Sand Dunes National Park CO.jpg

 

While there are options for going into the mountainous portion of the park, it is restricted to 4 wheel high clearance vehicles, so we opted to continue on our trip. About an hour south we arrived in Manassas, Colorado to see the statue of Jack Dempsey, a famous boxer, which the small town exploits to the fullest with a bronze statue and a museum of Jack Dempsey.

We quickly moved on toward New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. The landscape of southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico is desert, exemplified by a group of tumbleweeds barely missed our car as we drove. Travelling down the road exposed us to pastures and hills but no towns or homes for a long time. Just north of Taos we stopped to experience the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, part of the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, that spans over a very deep 650 foot gorge. Since the area just off the bridge is on state land, and not in the National Park Service land, we found a number of vendors selling trinkets and jewelry. Sadly since this bridge does not have extremely high railing, it is a popular spot for people committing suicide, as a result there are telephone hotlines to suicide prevention on each of the observation points on the bridge.

2015 09 20 113 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge NM.jpg

 

We passed briefly through Taos, a ski and artist colony as we continued through the canyon to Santa Fe, stopping at our first Roadside America type place in days, the Classical Gas Museum along the way. We did not go into the museum but we did see old gas pumps and other weird items outside the building such as a pole of stacked tricycles as art.

We arrived at our hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Drury Inn, giving the dusty car over to the valet. Santa Fe is a very walkable town, so we headed off to tour the old town, taking in the sights of Spanish Puebloan style architecture and the abundance of art throughout the city. Since the early 1900s Santa Fe has been very strict with architecture laws controlling the look of all the houses, buildings and public works resulting in what is generally thought of as one of the best towns in America.

2015 09 20 152 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

Even the bridges and underpasses are decorated with art and more bronze statues dotting gardens and nooks for everyone to enjoy.

2015 09 20 134 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

Nearly every building and street had an artistic touch to it. Large churches, many galleries and a governor’s palace built in the 17th century when Spain controlled this area of North America were here. We walked through the town square as an artist fair was wrapping up and a Christian band played on stage.

2015 09 20 171 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

Our dinner in Santa Fe was in a courtyard of the Palace Restaurant and Saloon on Palace Street, which specialized in Italian and Mexican cuisine. While waiting for dinner we decided to name the coolest person from each state. We thought Dean Martin was the coolest personality for Ohio trumping Paul Newman. Arnie Palmer was crowned coolest person for Pennsylvania. James Dean coolest for Indiana and so on. It was fun to find a cool famous personality for nearly every state before the arrival of dinner. After dinner we strolled the streets of town admiring the clean contemporary native style of Santa Fe.

2015 09 20 172 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

We got cups of gelato and walked a while longer through the city on a very pleasant night taking photos. Soon after getting back to the hotel, the fire alarm sounded but soon shut off. There did not seem to be a problem or it necessary for us to leave. We enjoyed our day and looked forward to seeing more tomorrow.

Marysville, OH – August 2015 – Hot Air Balloon Festival

In doing my research for things to do for the summer the Marysville All Ohio Balloon Festival was high on the list. Scheduled for Friday evening and all day Saturday, it conflicted with another event I really wanted to see on Saturday, so I made sure I got out of work a little early and we hurried up to Marysville for the Friday even events.

Arriving at the airport as the crowd started to collect, we were directed into a field along the runway to park. Entrance to the festival was $10 each, not outrageous but more than most.

Immediately I was disappointed that not only couldn’t you get close to the balloons (still sitting deflated), but we were herded into a pen on a tarmac, with a small grassy area. Then it got even worse as a really bad band started playing, with their amps apparently going to 12 because they were loud.

Finally, it was time for the balloons to be inflated, and as they were the winds picked up and they started to be blown around, so they were deflated.

2015 08 14 14 Marysville Balloon Festival.jpg

 

Eventually though the winds subsided enough for them to get the balloons into the air, but not until we had given up and were ready to leave. This actually worked in our favor since you couldn’t see well from the viewing area, but could from the parking lot.

2015 08 14 79 Marysville Balloon Festival.jpg

 

Once a number of them were in the area we left and did a balloon chase around Union County. This actually turned out to be a lot of fun, and we were able to get some great photos of the balloons as they flew over the fields and barns, eventually landing close enough where we could get action shots of them hitting the ground.

2015 08 14 86 Marysville Balloon Festival.jpg

 

To sum it up the All Ohio Balloon Festival as a festival was a bust, but the balloons were great.

Canton – July 2011 – Hot Air Balloon Festival

Each July Canton has a number of activities for the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. One of the ancillary events is a hot air balloon festival held on the Stark State Community College grounds.

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 1.jpg

 

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 7.jpg

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 8.jpg

 

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 10.jpg

 

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 13.jpg

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 17.jpg

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 19.jpg

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 22.jpg

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 26.jpg

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 28.jpg

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 33.jpg

 

 

 

2011 07 30 Canton Hot Air Balloon Festival 36.jpg