In order to safely fly balloons, and of course by safe I mean only relatively safe, the wind speed needs to be under 10 mph. Yesterday Scott took the day off and we drove three hours to Wausau, in central Wisconsin, for a Hot Air Balloon festival they hold every year. Scott and I went to a balloon launch in Osceola shortly after we started dating, with our then friend Audra. It was an early morning launch in the spring and was quite cold. We loved it (and I had no decent camera equipment, so we must trust our memory on that one!)
A few weeks ago Scott started thinking about that and so he researched where we could find a balloon launch to watch. I love the way he comes up with these great ideas and then enthusiastically moves toward them.
It was VERY warm yesterday, well, warm for us hinterlanders, and unfortunately the wind speed never came down below the required limit, but we had some great barbecue, we got to see some cool biplanes up close and flying overhead, we had a fun car trip, and they did inflate two balloons at sunset so we got a feel for what the full launch would have been like. We also learned alot about hot air ballooning and equipment, as they had this cool guy from Mason City, Iowa who "calls" balloon events all over the US. Did you know that with the BTU power of your standard hotair balloon heater, you can increase the temperature of the average house by 100 degrees from only a one second blast? Yeah, these aren't little kids toys for sure!
What I loved about these families is that when it was clear the wind was gonna be too much they all got out these huge, cool kites and flew them instead. When the weather gives you too much wind, you make your fun where you can.
It was a lovely afternoon and evening and the drive went off without a hitch. More on things that came to mind while there later, but for now, here are some photos of the balloons going up at sunset.