Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fisherman Falls and the Balloon Festival

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I went back and found the third falls, Fisherman Falls.  I do really think it was the best.  With all the bear problems in the campground down the road, I was a little concerned about hiking by myself, so I took Fancy.  I figured between the two of us we could scare anything.  The hike itself was steep and longer than the paths to either of the previous falls.
The bridge across the creek.

Note how small and mellow this creek is at the moment.

This is the same creek just several hundred feet down river.  This was the largest of the several falls.

Actually, there were two narrow canyons and I believe one held North Clear Creek and the other South Clear Creek.  The two canyons came together just downstream from where I am standing.  On this ledge I could look right back at South Clear Creek and if I looked left, I saw North Clear Creek.

North Clear Creek was not a single falls, but several, including a spectacular flume.

Looking down at the flume.  Thank goodness my fears were baseless. I did not see any wildlife except for a marmot who was terrified because of Fancy.  If you are ever in the area, don't miss Fisherman Falls.

I arrived at the first day of the balloon festival about 10 minutes late and already there were balloons up or nearly up.

I did get there in time to see the first of the balloons lift off.

He was ahead by several minutes and during that time had the sky to himself.

Just several of the balloons getting ready to fly.  Notice the pretty blue and yellow balloon, that is Lokopelli, the balloon I helped crew on the 2nd day.  Hopefully I will get to ride with on this balloon on Sunday.

Just more pictures of the balloons before take off.

They got a total of 14 balloons in the air on the first day.  What a sight.  There was almost no wind, so they didn't go far the first day.  The second day was better and we chased the Lokopelli for several miles before it came down on the Wason Ranch.   Pell, the owner/pilot, even did a dip in the river (intentionally) before bring the balloon down on the ground.  Pell also took the balloon up to 10,000 feet trying to find the right wind.  I just hope my ride tomorrow is as exciting.

This young cowboy and his horse, Charlie, were there to watch the balloons, too.

Notice all the balloons are just hoovering close by trying to catch some wind.

Finally they got a little wind and off they sailed.
As I mentioned, today I got to help crew for the Lokopelli.  What an experience.  I can't wait until tomorrow.  Hopefully the weather will be as good tomorrow as today.

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