Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Up, Up And Away In A Beautiful Balloon...

I couldn't help but recall those lyrics from the classic Fifth Dimension song, as Sarah and I went chasing hot air balloons across the Ribble Valley yesterday evening.

After finding that the gardens of nearby Stonyhurst College were closed in preparation for an upcoming event, Sarah and I decided to drive down the road to the DeTabley Inn. This was a very fortuatous decision on our part, as a local hot air balloon sightseeing company was preparing to launch two of it's bulbous craft from the inn's adjacent cricket field. We quickly discovered that one of the individuals preparing to climb into the balloon's passenger basket was a long-time friend of Sarah's, who was given this ride as a surprise 40th birthday gift.

With camera always in hand and at the ready, I captured on film the roar of the flaming burners as hot air transformed limp fabric into ever-growing, symetrically beautiful and colorful shapes. Towering above us and filled to stretching, they strained to be released for their ascent into the heavens.

With the support vehicle leading the way, and additional photo ops on the horizon, we gave chase as the two balloons drifted across the skies over Lancashire. Eventually, one balloon landed not too far from our very home, while the second one startled some of the unsuspecting patrons exiting our village's Italian restaurant, before once again attaining a reasonable altitude. After a pursuit that lasted almost two hours, our impromptu adventure finally ended in the middle of a grazing field, which was gently being lit by the rays of a sun setting itself to rest.

How did you spend your Monday evening?


Aimee said...

WOW - that sounds absolutely amazing! I hope you post the pictures soon (on your website?). I wish I could say things like that happen around here...but then, you'd know I was lying!

Anonymous said...

I have also seen this spectacular sight. They are great to see. We once went to see a display of ever 60 different hot air balloons. Unfortunately because of the weather, they were unable to take flight - impressive all the same