Archive for April, 2009

The Balloonists and their Balloons! Utah

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

another morning fog

I was starting to feel real bad for the balloonists that had arrived for their annual three day flights over Valley of the Good where we still are! Following some bad winds upward of 50 miles per hour, Sunday arrived and was the gift everyone was waiting for… including us. Within the wide open spaces, Monuments witnessing our moves under yet some changing skies and the possibility of uncalled winds, the balloons, their pilots and passengers took off, suddenly adding a new dimension to the Valley.

nine balloons

I cannot help feeling like a kid, as someone pointed out, when I see them, and maybe some day I will have the courage to fly myself in one of those baskets! I understand that the views are spectacular! How can they not be. Balloons… Kids… They go hand and in hand as also the crowd present and their kindness having invited us afterwards for a breakfast with better food than I have had in ages. A great crowd as lets face it, we are outsiders, maybe not anymore. They remembered us from last year, coincidence both times, but will not be the next time! I will make a point to be back here the last weekend of April. And then again… I am not fooling myself, Spirit is the true one that opens the doors for me. I just try to keep up with him throughout this Journey of ours.

Spirit and the balloons  
the pink balloons a  

All is calm with us. The only excitement actually was an almost flat tire that Sunday morning, which I just refilled with air and waited till today to change it’s tube. Loosing 20lbs every 24 hrs was not too much of a concern. Yes, all is pretty much at a standstill, a bit unusual for us and yet, it is what it should be. Sailing through the days, thinking were will our next destination be, emptying myself. I know the Valley does that…

balloon and the needle

balloon duo  

The Gods of Valley of the Gods, are “Changing Woman and her army”. “Changing Woman” is a beneficent, ever beautiful female deity of Native Americans of the Southwest. In variations of the myth she is said to be the daughter of sun and earth, formed from a piece of blue turquoise. “Changing Woman” symbolizes the all connected and all renewing of nature, a wholeness. It is said she dances gracefully, utilizing beauty, balance and harmony, to honor the endless cycles of life, changing at will between a young girl, a fertile woman and wise elder. One day she received inspiration to go up on a hill and build a wickiup with an eastern entrance so the first rays of the sun would strike in the morning. One of the sun rays, in collaboration with “Dripping Water”, went into her and she conceived twins to become slayer of monsters. In the Navajo ceremony of the Kinaalda, a young girl upon puberty becomes “Changing Woman” and hold her power as sacred.

cut off

inside the balloon lifting
balloon solo  

There is a lot of feel upon us and within this space. For some reason I don’t think one should or could stay here too long as again today, maybe it is the strong winds, I felt as receiving a message, yet with kindness.

landing balloon

pink and blue ballon  

Once the balloons came down and repacked into their bags and vehicles, and this is when you need many Friends, definitely not a solo hobby, the call of the food expressed itself. Someone even stopped by our campsite to make sure we would attend. And I have to say, above the food it is the camaraderie found, new Friends and the acceptance of ourselves within their circle with wide open arms. Those are the instances that mean so much to me on the road, these are the experiences few feel as a $200 a night room or even a night at the local campground is not comparable to that day. The true “Adventure” is being “out” as I can not find a better word, wander, stumble, rights and lefts with no sequences, away from the prearranged motels and restaurants, which in any case bears on travelers so wrongly the name of “Adventurer”. 


Fried Turkey Left over Turkey
chocolate strawberries Balloon Cookie

Cheeseburgers, chocolate chips cookies, peanut brittle, dips and chips, the chocolate dipped strawberries, balloon shaped cookies and my first time “fried turkey”. This was not suppose to happen till Thanksgiving as we are planning to be at my Friend’s Carl and Colette in Houston for their own fried Turkey… But no loss, I could have it every day. I only wish I could carry what I would need to make it myself!!! I was told that fried Twinkies with a batter also are excellent…

Food Tow   


I was even signed the “food tow”… I guess I am now “official”! Just a great day and a great time, looking forward to the next year event… I might have to myself come up with something cooking! Today is again a visit to the Clinic near by Monument Valley. Antibiotics have not done a thing and the ear is painful as ever. It might now be I am thinking a tooth and as they also have a dentist, that is where we will probably spend most of the day. A good Friend of mine, Andre, responsible for us being sponsored by SPOT, showed up with a great camping set up. An all terrain trailer behind his 4×4 with collapsible tent. Those will be photos for the next time… everything custom made. Have to get suited up to confront this favorite person of mine: the dentist! Could I call that one an “Adventure”?

one up and one down

blue and yellow balloon  

Twenty nine months of Photography is finally in order on Smug Mug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through Smug Mug. If you like to order prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.

Maybe your reading the Blog is worth $1 a month…

Be well…

Ara & Spirit