Fireworks are great and all that, but the highlight of our holiday weekend was watching a group of 12 hot air balloons lift off during the 2011 Dutchess County Balloon Festival. It’s one of our favorite annual events here in New York’s Hudson Valley, where we’ve lived for over 10 years. What made it really special this year was watching it from the span of the Walkway Over the Hudson, which is the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge.
We’ve now been up there several times and have described it here on the blog. While it’s the span — 6,767 feet, or 1.25 miles – which breaks the world record, it’s the height which gets to me. The span ascends 212 feet above the water at midpoint. This was the first time I went up there and didn’t get weak-kneed. Open heights are NOT my thing. But the perspective of watching the balloons lift off from below us, rise to our level and then float higher, was amazing.
Overcoming my fear of heights — and getting up at 4:30am for the 6:00am launch — was worth it for this view.
And this one, facing away from the sunrise, was nice too.
Sigh. I love living in the Hudson Valley!