Winthrop Balloon Roundup 2011

January 2011 I was looking for something fun to do. I surveyed my Bucket List and noticed ‘Hot Air Balloon Ride’ hadn’t been crossed off yet. As I looked through websites of local balloon companies, one flight package stood out amongst all others. Each year, on the first weekend in March, Winthrop Washington holds their annual Balloon Roundup. Airial Balloon Company, out of Snohomish, WA, offered a Winthrop Weekend package with accommodations at Sun Mountain Lodge and a balloon flight up the Methow Valley. I was sold. That sounded way better than flying over farm fields around Snohomish.

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The town of Winthrop, Washington is situated in the Methow Valley and is a beautifully scenic place. One aspect of my weekend I enjoyed the most was a sleigh ride into the hills above the lodge to a tent for a country kitchen dinner and entertainment. The balloon ride was spectacular. Our group arrived late to the launch area which meant we were the last balloon to fly that day. This worked out wonderfully as I had the chance to see all the other balloons take flight. During our flight we encountered a period of no wind where the balloon simply hung over the landscape.

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