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June 05, 2007

VT Balloon and Music Festival [29]

Balloon_2a The Marlboro Man cannot hold a candle to the elite group of Air Cowboys that travel around the world flying balloons at various festivals and gatherings.  After all, can the Marlboro Man float 4,000 feet in the air and land wherever the tempestuous gusts of wind lead him? 

These single-minded cowboys are obsessed with flight.  From the first time they went up in a hot air balloon, they knew there was no other life for them.

The Fourth Annual Vermont Balloon and Music Festival took place June 1-3, 2007. There was hot-air ballooning, family entertainment and carnival fun at Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction.

Balloon5a The Festival features up to 40 colorful sport balloons and special-shaped balloons from across the region and country.

I went up in a Press Balloon Flight early Friday morning.  It was my first time and I was petrified. 

My pilot was Art Voltaire (I kid you not) Moller from Albuquerque New Mexico.  Four of us spent 2 hours in a tiny wicker basket floating through VT wilderness, mountains and forests, losing all sense of direction. 

Balloon7a You don't know where you are landing when you go ballooning.  The wind takes you where it pleases.  You can only control your up and down. 

We landed in Willow Hill Farm in Milton and luckily, the farmer was nice enough to let us park there.  The landing was bumpy and we had to sit in the balloon basket waiting for our ride to get there - the wind pulling and tugging at our still-aloft parachute.

As scared as I am of heights, it was invigorating.  Even if I did have this creepy sensation that I could have jumped out at any point and plummeted to my death.  Maybe next time.  For now, I am just glad my camera didn't fall on its head.

Aptly titled songs "Fire" and "Bird" by  cccome? off their album, Come (MySpace).


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Mike Marion


Was lucky enough to be the first to view your HOT AIR BALLONS - SVT piece on YOUTUBE (it's a slow night at WMAR-TV 2).

Never done a hot air ballon, but twice flew on helicopters, much fun although the second helicopter I flew on crashed six months later!!!

From what I could see... it seems Vermont has a lot of trees and not many open spaces in which to land a ballon.

Keep up great work.


Mistress Maeve

Good job, Eva. You looked genuinely freaked out!


Oooh helicopters, that sounds like fun Mike! So much green - VT is immense and breathtaking from the sky!

MM, I was actually terrified...for reals. I think I scared the crap outta the 3 people crammed into the balloon basket with me when I said right after take off, innocently enough I thought, "You could just step right out of this thing, couldn't you?"

I guess they are not the sort who understand my weird impulse to drive off bridges - not to say that I do it BUT I could!

Mike Marion


Now I'm not encouraging the jumping off bridges... but it's always good to have options. I'm a big believer in always having a "PLAN B".

Granted I've always wanted to try skydiving. I guess the motorcycle isn't producing enough adrenaline.

Mike M.


EVA!!! After watching this I realized that I had been biting my fingernails the whole time. Great job, and way to not completely waz out on camera for the sake of your delicious vlog. I love it!!


Oooh Lesh, if only you could have seen my fingernails desperately gripping into the ropes attached to the balloon - MAN! I'm not sure what scared me more, the thought of falling to my death or accidentally dropping my camera!?!? ;)

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