Look up! Sunrise at the National Balloon Classic

We waited in the pre-dawn chill for the balloons to wake from their seeming slumber in the field.


DSC_0590It was as if they’d drawn in a deep breath of the July day and thought to themselves: Yes, this is how it’s meant to be.



We waited to send them off with a wave into the rising sun.DSC_0629


They lifted into the sky, exhaling with fiery roars across the horizon.

Awhile more we sat, contemplating the treeline, scanning the blue for colorful dots that would become larger, sailing toward us and looming above us, carried on the wind.






Our heads tilted to the Iowa skies; we smiled again and again.

(Look up!)


Joe and I decided on a whim last night that if Emmett woke up in the wee hours, we’d brew some coffee and set out for the morning launch at the National Balloon Classic in Indianola. Sure enough, he was up at 4 a.m., so we put on our layers. It was magical to watch the sun and balloons rise. There was a commentator who would talk a little bit about the balloons and announce them as they came by. Three launched from the field, and about 30 teams came in from the NW, competing to drop bags on crop-circle-like targets on our field. It was fun to cheer them on.


Afterwards, we had the breakfast buffet at Crouse Cafe, where we beat the morning rush by a few minutes. The balloon festival is an annual event, and it continues through Aug. 3 this year, with launches at 6:30 a.m./p.m. and balloon glows some evenings. This was our first time; I hope we make it a family tradition.

1 Comment

Filed under I love Des Moines, Iowa adventures

One response to “Look up! Sunrise at the National Balloon Classic

  1. Pingback: Family fun for $1.50 | BS in the Midwest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s