Saturday, July 11, 2015
We wouldn't miss Tigard's Festival of Balloons. This annual event begins each day with an early morning hot air balloon launch, where visitors can see these gorgeous balloons up close and in person as they rise into the heavens. If wind conditions permit, they also offer free tethered balloon rides. Jasper has never wanted to go up in the balloons, but he's always thrilled to watch them rise. Hot air balloons cannot be steered horizontally, just guided vertically to favorable winds. Their flights last about 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how much propane they carry. Each balloon has a ground crew that keeps in touch via radio to meet them when they descend and collect their balloon in a truck. They must hold launches at the dreadful hour of 5:45AM because early morning is when a safe launch can be hoped for. As the day progresses, the sun heats the air unevenly across the surface of the planet, which creates wind, and too much wind is quite risky.
There is something about watching these gigantic beauties leap into the air that is tremendously exhilarating! My favorite is the Flying Purple People Eater.