Lake Red Rock Hot Air Balloon Festival
This weekend folks in the Pella area are celebrating the Lake Red Rock Hot Air Balloon Festival. Since we have family living in the area (people to see/a place to stay), we made a family “couple of days away” out of the event. For me the highlight of the festival was seeing the balloon glow last night. The “Balloon Glow” happens at a park near the lake after a flight. Friday’s flight did not make it over the spectators at the park, but the tethered glow did and was enjoyed by many people.
Lake Red Rock Hot Air Balloon Festival “Balloon Glow”:
This morning’s competitive event brought the balloons over where we were staying. In fact, two balloons came down on the road just down the street from us. For the first time in my life I was able to help with ballooning as we deflated and rolled balloons. I must say, the sport looks interesting (and spendy)!
Lake Red Rock Hot Air Balloon Festival:
When we weren’t doing balloon activities, we were busy enjoying the outdoors. Yesterday I shot photos at a beautiful prairie. As I was taking in the many blossoms, the tell-tale sound of a mower interrupted my pleasure. I had to move out of the wildflowers as park technician began mowing the prairie down. I asked the Conservation Director why they would mow such a pretty prairie and he explained the prairie was new, growing beyond all expectations, and infected with thistles. By mowing before the thistles go to seed, they are hoping to stop the spread of the thistles. They also do not think the mowing will have a negative impact on the many plant species I was photographing. He is confident next year the prairie will be as pretty as it was for my visit.
Purple Prairie Clover:
Mowing the Prairie:
This morning we climbed the 169-steps to the top of the Cordova Tower overlooking Lake Red Rock.
View from Cordova Tower:
When we were done our group hiked a short nature trail near the tower.