10 June 2006

Balloon Blogging from Bend

balloon glow
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
The first time I saw a hot air balloon night glow was entirely by happenstance. I was living in southeastern New Mexico at the time, serving as a missionary, and enjoying dinner with some members of the local congregation. Bobbing up over their backyard fence we could see the balloons inflate and rise into golden orbs glowing in the evening spring air. Dinner was forgotten as we dashed around the block to watch and mingle and enjoy the event.

That was ten years ago, and I’ve thought many times about attending another balloon fest. When I found out about the Balloons Over Bend Festival a couple of months ago, I quickly made plans to go. Tonight was the balloon glow at Pilot Butte State Park. I arrived just in time to watch the balloons glow in the twilight for about ten minutes before deflating and packing up for tomorrow’s morning flight.

Since I don’t land in Bend that often, dinner was the gnocchi genovese at Giuseppe’s Italian Ristorante. The gnocchi is seared crisp on the top, and served with grilled leeks and sautéed pancetta and mushrooms over a creamy gorgonzola sauce. It’s definitely a good idea to bring a hungry dining companion with you.

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