I just so happen to have been in Colorado Springs for the biggest festival of the year, Labor Day Lift Off. This festival celebrates Labor Day Weekend with a celebration of hot air balloons. We woke up early in the morning, at 6:00 a.m. in order to get to Memorial Park in time for the inflation and take off of the balloons. The balloons were set to lift off at 7:00 a.m.. Being only 10 minutes away from the park, we arrived with enough time to search for parking in this suburban area. There was a lot with substantial parking for $5, yet we were determined to find a spot to park for free. After driving around the neighborhood for a few minutes, we found a parking spot on a side street.
Walking into the park we were not sure what to expect. We walked across the grass to save some time, yet it was cold and dewy in the morning light. The first balloons we spotted were four similarly designed ones. I didn’t realize how big hot air balloons would be. We watched as these four balloons departed into the sky. As these balloons were set apart from the rest, I thought that that was all of them until we turned around to see a hundred balloons peaking out from behind the trees.
We watched as colorful tarps got laid and and suddenly expanded before our eyes to a magnificent hot air balloon. It took so many people just to get one balloon in the sky. All the hard work was for the moment that the balloon took off with the lucky guests who were in side.
There were so many different balloons of all sorts of patterns. Some were even in specialty shapes, such as Yoda and Darth Vardor and even a balloon of the riddle “There Once Was An Old Lady Who Lived In A shoe”. We watched in anticipation as each balloon inflated, guessing what they would be.
It was such an incredible experience to watch the balloons take off above the mountains. Once most of the balloons had taken off, the sky was dotted with a colorful array of hot air balloons. It was such a beautiful sight to see them from the ground. The view from one of the baskets must have been even more amazing. Being in a hot air balloon seems scary enough, yet I even saw a guy in what seemed like a harness attached to a hot air balloon. That seems like a thrilling experience to say the least.
After the balloons were well in the distant sky, we got something to eat from one of the many vendors and sat by Prospect Lake, sipping on lemonade as yellow as the burning sun above. The lake would have offered a beautiful view of the hot air balloon take off, yet in my excitement, I didn’t realize it was so close to where I was standing. But, Oh well, it was still beautiful now. Aside from food, there was also stands selling souvenirs, if you wanted a moment of your experience. I would have loved one of the wind chimes, however it seemed too fragile to bring on a plane.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing and planning for the week ahead in Colorado Springs. In the late afternoon, I decided to take a short walk to talk in the mountains in the distance. As I was taking pictures, I heard a rustling beside me. I turned to see a deer with giant antlers eating flowers beside me. This felt like the Colorado experience, I was getting to be one with nature. I tried to be really quiet, not wanting to scare the deer. He didn’t seemed frightened at all. He just continued to eat the wild flowers, without a care in the world.