Gone with the Wind

One of the things I love about staying in the Phoenix valley are the views.  The Arizona desert provides a unique beauty especially in the spring when she’s in bloom.  The desert sunrises and sunsets are some of the best I’ve ever witnessed.  That said, since I’ve traveled a lot I’ve seen my fair share of spectacular sunrises and sunsets but none better than in Arizona.hot air balloon ArizonaAnd then every now and then I happen to be in the right place at the right time to see the sky filled with colorful hot air balloons.  Just when I think the view couldn’t get any better….. it gets better!photographyThe moment doesn’t last long as the winds carry off the people filled baskets high above the desert landscape.hot air balloonsEach morning and evening I’ll search the skies never knowing exactly where I might spot these colorful balloons or even if I’ll spot any at all.hot air balloons

The moment is usually fleeting….. ephemeral you might say.hot air balloonsThus, I keep the camera at the ready.Hot air balloonsIt’s a fantastic sight that I never seem to tire of. hot air balloons

One minute the sky is filled with balloons and the next they are gone with the wind.hot air balloons

This post is in response to the WordPress photo challenge – ephemeral

Fodor’s Arizona & the Grand Canyon 2015 (Full-color Travel Guide)


109 thoughts on “Gone with the Wind

  1. I never tire of seeing the hot air balloons. I will be gone with the wind inside one … oneday, someday! Nice shots! No, I take that back… Fabulous shots. The clouds in the one look so wispy… as if they are flying right along with the balloon.
    (Nice seeing you yesterday! We could have chatted on into the day!) 🙂

    • I’ve got my eye on a hot air balloon ride in either Lake Havasu or Page. There’s something about the water and a balloon ride that’s calling to me.
      I see another chat fest in our future 🙂

      • I feel that I will be doing one this fall. Right here where we see them… or Sedona… or over water… or Moab … or… I could go on and on and on!
        I love how you called it a chat fest… BINGO! That was us! 😀 😀

    • We drive through Albuquerque all the time and have purposely avoided the massive crowds of the balloon fiesta opting for smaller balloon festivals. I’m sure it’s a sight to behold though and one day I may challenge myself to endure the crowd to attend the fiesta 🙂

      • I totally agree with avoiding the massive crowds at the Balloon Fiesta. It’s a great place to visit other times of the year. BTW you should consider kayaking on the Rio Grande River.

  2. Diana and I were fortunate enough to go on a hot air balloon ride. What a fun evening! Great photos, Ingrid! I nominated you for the black and white photo challenge, as your photos are amazing! Go take a look at my last post for details.


    • Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. I’m not sure I’ll be able to participate but thanks for nominating me. FYI, your gravatar is not linked…. meaning fellow bloggers can’t connect to your site from here.

  3. I remembered out drive to lake Pleasant and how we stopped to take pictures of those balloons. Beautiful and ephemeral. Cant wait to be back in there. As always your photography is ridiculously good, be it a landscape or hot air balloons.

    • Awe, thank you ML. You and Steve need to plan on spending more time in Phoenix. Lots to see and do. And I remember our little outing 🙂

  4. Thanks for the photos some are great, love hot air balloons going one my second ride this summer at the park we stay in Copake KOA , I would love to get out in this area I have read so much about it, and the sunrises and sunsets always look amazing.

    • I have yet to go up in a hot air balloon. Seems exhilarating. The desert does provide the best sunrises and sunsets and some very unique landscapes. I love the west. Thank you for the reblog 🙂

  5. Beautiful photos! There is something so striking about seeing the balloons floating around the city, especially during sunrise/sunset. A bit romantic (which I suppose is at least part of the point). I imagine it’s a gorgeous view 🙂

    • Thanks. Yes, I think the sunset ones are meant to be romantic. I think I’d be too nervous for any romance or focused on taking photos 😉

  6. How fun to see the hot air balloons! I especially like your first photo of the glow of the fire against the soft lavender of the sunrise. I agree, nothing better than the sunrises and sunsets of the desert. 🙂

    • The pinks, golds, and lavender desert skies are always beautiful and the balloons add to that beauty. Each corner of the Phoenix valley seems to offer something special 🙂

  7. There is definitely nothing better than AZ sunsets and sunrises, made even more special by the colorful balloons. Great photos! 🙂

    • Thanks Peter. I highly recommend a visit but the desert is an acquired taste for most Midwesterners. It took my Illinois husband years to embrace the unique beauty 🙂

      • I agree with you Ingrid. I have been a few times for short duration and I find it very unearthly. I know there’s no such thing as ‘normal’ in this world. Normal is what one gets used to. And for centuries some peoples have called the arid lands ‘home.’ I’m not sure I get used to that, and I’m not sure I to get used to it. But it’s part of our pursuit. We’ll go and see how we like it. Maybe a lot, maybe a little. BUT…. there is something fascinating about the desert. And that fascination is a strong magnet!

  8. Those are beautiful shots. sounds like you are really enjoying Arizona and not just for your son. I never thought I would like Arizona or Texas but your trips have opened my eyes to wanting to see
    more of these states. Keep going, any where new coming up on the agenda. ? Take care and sae travels.

    • We’re still in the planning stages but hope to add some new (to the blog) spots this summer. We’ve barely touched some of the amazing places in both AZ and TX so I think we’ll keep returning in the winter to check out more corners 🙂

    • Thanks Gayle. We’ve always enjoyed staying at Cave Creek Reg Park because of the sky filled balloons as well as the hiking. I’m glad I decided to go to the grocery store early in the morning and catch the guys going up 🙂

  9. Beautiful! How awesome to be so close! You got amazing shots.

    The Albuquerque balloon Fiesta is an amazing event. We’ve been several times, but if huge traffic jams and being in mobs of people disturb you – don’t go. Despite my dislike of traffic and being around tons of people, I have to say the magic of arriving at 5 am in the dark and seeing 350+ balloons and special shapes balloons light up and take off on the Dawn Patrol while watching the sunrise is not to be missed. The sky is full of bright colors. But, another favorite was a smaller, more intimate mass takeoff we saw in Wisconsin. Unbelievably in winter.
    Something for everyone!

    • Yes the crowds and traffic have me shying away from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, BUT I might change my mind. For now I’m having fun watching them from the comfort of my RV 🙂

    • When we’re in Denver we too occasionally see a ReMax balloon, but love these colorful ones here in the SW…. seems to make the rest of the landscape pop with color 🙂

    • It was quite the experience having the balloon pass right over me. I’ve tried to repeat the experience to no avail, but I’ll keep trying 🙂

  10. Beautiful Photos! We saw the balloons many mornings while in Cave Creek. Great sight while having our morning coffee.

  11. I love the balloon photos with the cactus in the foreground. I love it when I am in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t happen often, but I always enjoy the moment.

    We are busy house hunting right now for a ranch house, closer to the kids. Such hard work looking at houses with a realtor! And, it’s killing me that we are not out on the road. 😕

    • Thanks Holly. House hunting? I thought you already had a place. Hope you find what you’re looking for soon and share it with us 🙂

      • We have lived in a quad level contemporary home for 27 years, and I need a single level home on a level lot. I hope finding a home and moving in doesn’t take too much time from our travel schedule. May we find a home soon!

  12. Love the photo that is just the shadow. I have always wanted to go up in one but my husband says he will never and I don’t think it would be the same alone. Have to find a friend to bring along I guess. Great photos!

    • I always have fun photographing the balloons but think I really should get up in one of them. Looks like it could be a very fun adventure but definitely something to share with a spouse or friend 🙂

  13. Love all the colourful hot air ballon pictures! What a view they must have from up there. Have you ever tried one?

  14. Nice close ups! The last year I have spent several months in Arizona. I agree on the Sunsets. My favorite are over Lake Pleasant. I may try to get to the balloon festival in Albuquerque, NM in October this year.

    • We’ve spent our fair share of time camped at Lake Pleasant and have seen the most spectacular sunsets there. We’ve thought about the Albuq fiesta ourselves but think we’d enjoy a smaller crowd like at Havasu, Yuma, or Page. So that’s our target 🙂

    • That glow happened just the other night. I thought they were touching down and was ready to head back into the RV until I heard the burner ignite. He did a touch and go. It was a mad scramble for me to try and set the camera on a low light setting to snap away. Happened very quick and then he did set down 🙂

  15. You knew I’d be in total agreement with you over desert /phoenix sunrises and sunset- unrivalled! We have done the sunrise balloon ride twice – one out of N Scottsdale and a couple of months ago from queencreek – amazing.
    Wonderful shots Ingrid and perfect for the challenge.

    • Thanks Anne. I have yet to go up in one, but thinking about it. I’m saving myself for a balloon ride over either Lake Powell or Lake Havasu. It’s getting pretty warm in Phx. Prepare for even warmer in Death Valley 🙂
      FYI…. I am unable to upload your posts to comment with your new theme. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

      • I didn’t know about those balloon festivals – I have been trying to make time to be out there for the NM festival which is HuGE ( I think it’s the biggest in US), good luck making one of those.
        Thanks Ingrid for pointing that theme problem- another follower had said it was slow to load on an iPad but maybe I’ll change it when I get to AZ. :/

        • Yes, the Albuquerque NM one is the largest and usually held the first week in October. Many of the balloonists will then head west for smaller festivals. I’d like to catch one of the smaller ones.

  16. You seem to always be in the right place at the right time. You have a six sense about that. Gorgeous photos.

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    • The other day as I was heading to the grocery store and I got really near to their take off point and didn’t have my camera…. grrr. So now I’m in constant search mode. Definitely a sight to see!

    • Thanks. When we lived in the Midwest, I don’t think I ever saw any hot air balloons (probably cause we were too close to Chicago) but once we moved out west, I started seeing them more frequently. I always get excited seeing them float by 🙂

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