Dawn at the Balloon Rodeo

Today was absolutely the best day of my life, as I watched the sweet faces of my family look up with awe at the early morning sky.  Two dozen hot air balloons inflated with air on a very cool and misty morning in Steamboat Springs. The experience was amazing, as we walked right past the baskets and balloons as they readied themselves for the race. 

The first ballon to inflate was a patriotic one, standing straight and tall. An older man sang the Star Spangled Banner and the crowd was hushed, a quiet serene moment in the early morning, still somewhat dark.

As one after another ballon crew laid the baskets on their sides and hurriedly stretched out the colorful patchworks of color, the sky started filling up with beautiful colorful orbs, brilliant against the morning mist and sun peeking up over the mountains.

We started wandering around the wide open field surrounded by the ski mountains of Steamboat and found a small lake that’s used for another type of skiing in the summer. 

After the balloons lifted up in the air to make room for the next batch to repeat the fill-and-lift-off routine, they had to touch the bottom of their baskets on the lake before flying off to chase the hare balloon.

I must have taken 300 pictures, but my favorites were the candid shots of my precious grandkids as they stared up into the clear blue sky. We stared at two of only 12 hand painted balloons in the world. One was a beautiful circus balloon with visions of a long-ago touring big top, and the other one was my favorite. It was a magnificent painting of Cowboys and Indians galloping off into the sky. The usual fare of balloons paled in comparison, but were still beautiful to see.

My grandkids will always remember this morning and will someday tell their children about this very special moment that they shared with their mom, dad and one very lucky grandma. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of day with just the right amount of wind, clear and crisp weather and the bluest of blue skies. 

I’m so lucky to have been with my family today and to have experienced this amazing blessing from God.

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