What color was it when it was a balloon?

Part of the reason that we cut the fiber arts tour short was that there were so many other things to do on Saturday. There was a huge free jazz festival in Webster that I would have liked to had seen and listened to for a bit, there was a solidarity bike ride out of Tower Grove Park and there was even our own city’s annual festival that we all missed. What we did make time for though was the Forest Park Balloon Race. Again we bike to the park. Traffic wasn’t near as bad, as Friday night, plus we arrived earlier than we had for Friday’s event. We camped at a spot inside the Muny mile, Deer Lake, and awaited the balloons. A precocious two-to-three year-old boy and his mom provided the warm-up act’s entertainment. The boy was determined to dunk himself into the stream and his mom was equally determined to avoid having a soaked son on her hands. It was fun to watch.

When the balloon race started, we weren’t in the best of positions to observe it. Never fear though, have bikes, will travel. We bounced around a bit shooting pictures of the passing balloons, but all the while looking for an optimal locale for observation. We finally lighted upon that most modest of knolls, where the Confederate war dead memorial sits. The balloons were coming fast and furious about then, and one in particular, the Featherlight, caught Anne’s attention. As preamble, the weather was marginal at best for this balloon race. Many of the balloons bailed just after launch, within the Park. More than a few tried to do the same, but flew on instead. The photos with this post show the last few minutes of the flight of the Featherlight, its landing and how Anne ran to its rescue. At one point in this event, I was wondering, if Anne flies off to Oz, how am I going to get both bikes back home. On the other hand though, it sure makes for better action photography than a bunch of “look up at the balloons” shots. We got nine miles today.

6 thoughts on “What color was it when it was a balloon?

  1. Sooooo… what did Anne DO when she “ran to the rescue”? I thought (from the photo) that either she a) got an offer to ride in the balloon or b) someone in the balloon had a cardiac arrest….

    • As the Featherlight was coming in, its pilot called below to the crowd for help. This set Anne off running. I got a picture of this. The balloon landed hard. Anne grabbed the gondola and the balloon dragged her along, as it skidded across the bike-path, but she held on and wrestled to a halt the balloon’s further progress. I got a picture of this too.

  2. I helped by being extra weight to help overcome the balloon’s tendency to go up again. In the picture where I’m running towards the balloon, you can see how close the edge of the park is. The parked cars are the edge of the park. –Pooh

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