Almost heaven, West Virginia…Russ and I are both Mountaineers at heart, and this weekend we spent some time in the good ‘ol mountain state, hiking and chasing hot air balloons.
When we were in college, one of our favorite fall traditions was the Mountaineer Balloon Festival. Sadly, the festival hasn’t been put on for a number of years now. The community is trying to bring it back, starting small with Balloons Over Morgantown. It’s not a full festival with arts and crafts, vendors, food, rides, etc., but it was great to see hot air balloons rise over the hills again. I was happy!
Russ and I woke up early and were out of the house by 6:30 Saturday morning to make the trek to Morgantown for a 8 a.m. balloon lift off. Just as we were getting close to the launch site, the balloons rose up over the hills right in front of us. We couldn’t have timed it better. We stopped the car, I hopped out, snapped some photographs, and then we chased the balloons all over the area for about an hour.
It was freaking awesome. We both had a blast and it brought back a lot of memories.
After the balloon adventure, we went to Coopers Rock State Forest for a bit of hiking. We ended up taking a trail that I don’t think either of us were really prepared for, and I’m pretty sure I pulled my groin while trying to save an ankle on a loose rock. It wasn’t the best end to an otherwise grand adventure, but my sore body today didn’t take away from the beauty of the forest.
We talked at length yesterday about how much we miss the mountain state – it’s just not the same living in the city. I think one day (sooner than we probably realize) we’re going to end up selling our house and moving into a cabin in the mountains. Of course, then I’ll be complaining that I can’t get to Target in 10 minutes, so you know, rose tinted glasses, green grass and all that. Regardless, it was nice to go back for a day and spend some time in the fresh air. Plus, we got Black Bear on the way home, so triple win?
Now if only I could get my hands on a flying WV cookie, I’d have my fill of West Virginia for the next year or so…
Balloons Over Morgantown 2016 Photo Gallery
I put together a Flickr gallery of all of the hot air balloon photos I took, so if you’re interested in seeing more, check it out. Below are my favorites from the day. I hope the festival makes a full reappearance next year!