The Telluride weather forecast looked good when I went to bed Friday night, so I woke at 0530. The clear, windless sky was all the encouragement I needed to leave my comfortable bed, get dressed and ride my bike to town to watch the Telluride Balloon Festival launch. By the time I got to the Telluride Town Park, most of the hot-air balloons were filling with warm air from their gas burners.
The mountain weather in our high valley means even early morning balloon launches are subject to conditions. This morning was classic, though I saw many of the balloons settling after launch with the sinking cold air. Soon, though, the sky over Telluride was full of colorful, some fanciful balloons- definitely worth the early morning get-up.
The micro-climate in the Telluride valley means that a few feet higher or lower may mean quite different winds. Our fearless aeronauts found the level to provide the desired easterly travel and slowly, majestically drifted over Colorado Avenue. It was a beautiful sight. Let's hope for good conditions tonight for the "Glow" on Main Street and for another successful launch Sunday morning.
Clint Viebrock photos