Autumn Aloft!

It has been awhile since my last post, so I thought I would update all of you with the goings on in Utah.  Coming off of sabbatical, Liz and I have gotten back into the swing of things.  I am in my 4th week of the semester at USU, and Liz is on her regular schedule of 2 days a week at the law office.

The end of the summer saw the end of opera season and several weekends spent in Park City.  Since much of the Utah valleys were covered with smoke (mostly from fires in Montana and the Pacific Northwest), it was nice to escape to the condo in Park City where the temps were cooler and the smoke non existent.  Park City has worked very diligently to become a summer destination as well as a winter/ski destination.  There are endless mountain bike races, running races and special events.  Outdoor and mostly free concerts occur every weekend and we have a weekly Sunday street party called Parksilly in downtown.  Last weekend, however, was Autumn Aloft, an annual hot air balloon launch to kick off the Fall season.  At this event, 24 hot air balloons take off from 40 Fields, a large collection of fields located behind the high school.

Our good friends Rick and Tere (also from Logan) have a home in Park Meadows, right across the street from 40 Fields.  We received a text from them:  “Hey are you going to be in PC this weekend?  If so, come over to the balloon launch and hang out with us”.  So, last Saturday, at 7:30am we drove to their place, drank Mimosa’s,  and walked across the street to Autumn Aloft.  It was 35 degrees but the sun poked up over the horizon and quickly warmed things up.  Needless to say, watching 24 balloons inflate and head into the sky is quite the spectacle!Balloons.jpg





It was remarkable to witness the balloon pilots maneuver the balloons around the area.  With 24 total, it took over an hour and a half to inflate and launch them.  So balloons that launched early in the hour, hovered around the area, occasionally touching down, and waited until all 24 were aloft.  Then they headed off into the sky.  I would guess that nearly 1000 people were on hand to enjoy the annual launching of balloons.

This morning, we awoke to a major rainstorm, our first one in well over a month.  At 43 degrees here in Logan, you can guess that we had a dusting of snow on the peaks.  This is one of the earliest dustings in quite some time – September 19.  More significant is the fact that the snow from last season did not melt off the same peaks until the end of July!  So, we were snow free for only about 7 weeks total!  Of course, the current dusting will melt, and we won’t see much snow before Halloween.  Here is a shot of the dusting on the Wellsville’s:



Liz and I will be attending a couple of fund raising dinners (one will feature Rickard’s wines) here in Logan over the next two weeks.  We will then be performing in Fiddler on the Roof at our very own Ellen Eccles Theater.  In mid-October, we head to our annual wine bottling at Rickards Winery in Sonoma County.  I will blog from that trip and it will include 3 nights in Cloverdale (Susan and Todd), one night in Sausalito (Clark and Paul) and a night in Lodi (Eric and Pat).  A sort of reunion of our California trip last spring!  Until then…Cheers!