Saturday, June 6, 2009

Balloons in My Backyard!

By Keith Fisher

I started running as soon as my feet hit the floor this morning. I wanted to sleep in, but that became impossible when a hot air balloon floated past my bedroom window just below the treetops.

At first I thought it was in trouble, and I thought it was in my neighbor’s backyard. As it turned out, it was losing altitude, and gliding down the street behind my house. I muttered something and jumped out of bed. I dressed in a hurry, grabbed my camera and went outside.

The cool morning air felt nice as I rushed down the sidewalk in the direction the balloon had gone. It sat on the road at the end of the block with people holding the basket from slipping away. I stopped to snap a few pictures.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect landing. At the end of the block, the road turns with a house set at the apex, like in a culdesac. The Balloon had landed in the center of the road and the center of the intersection.

"What’s going on," I heard someone say.
"It’s someone’s birthday and this is a pick up," another person said.
"If that’s the case, it’s a pretty darn accurate landing," I said.

As I began to move closer for a better look, the people climbed into the basket. The operator pulled a cord and the burner flamed up with the sound of a blast of air. The balloon began to rise.
When it was just high enough to clear the tree tops, the aircraft drifted into another neighborhood, then another. We watched, wondering who had climbed into the basket? Who was having a birthday anyway?

I talked my neighbor into going with me, and we found the balloon three neighborhoods away, the passengers were holding the basket and walking the balloon into a vacant lot. I asked the pilot if he was having problems and he said he was fine, just looking for a place to fold up the balloon.

He said that it was an unusual morning. The places were wind normally blew were calm, and the places that were usually calm were windy. The pilot had to change his flight plan and find a different place to land because of the wind.

I live in a place where the canyon winds blow daily. It’s nice to cool off in the summer and it protects young plants from frost. But balloons don’t land there. I’m glad for unusual days. It gives me something else to write about. Hopefully, this one has given you something to think about too.

See the pictures I took Here

Good luck with your writing---see you next week.


L.T. Elliot said...

How AWESOME!!! I'd have loved to see a hot air balloon in my backyard. It makes me smile to know that you chased after it. What a wonderful soul you have, Keith. =]

Carolyn V. said...


I don't know if I'd chase after a balloon. They scare me.

Ali Cross said...

What a fun morning!

I loved how you started your blog with "I hit the ground running." A perfect example of starting with the action.

Seeing a balloon land in my neighborhood would be an awesome sight. So was it anyone's birthday after all?

Wouldn't that be the most awesome birthday gift/experience ever?

G. Parker said...

Cool blog, Keith! I love hot air balloons and would do the same thing if I saw one in my neighborhood! did you ask him all sorts of writing questions?? like how he got into it, how long it took to inflate, yada yada?? grin.

Heather Justesen said...

Very cool. We could never have hot air balloons here, it's way too windy. *sigh*.