Journal Entry: July 7, 2010 – An Unexpected Delight

Last night, I had a lovely evening, dinner wine excellent conversation, with a good friend. I got back to the domes to an unexpected delight. A hot air balloon frolicking in the sky. I stood on the rail, eyes fixated, hand waving ‘hello’. The two people aboard waved back. They made their way from the backside of the domes, along the river and then quite precisely landed in the small parking area at the end of Old Bridge Road.
Some cars had pulled in and parked, lights flashing, doors left ajar. Maxwell and I ran down to join the other people captivated by the sight of the balloon. Strangers and friends, of the two men alike, worked together in releasing the hot air and gathering the balloon. A marvelous sight.
Many who had stopped to see the flight, left, their faces flush with happiness, their eyes a-glow. A man called out my name in a gentle greeting. A gentlemann from Tanzania, a friend of the balloonist was coiling up the annchor line.
I was invited to join in the celebratory champagne and toast, a toast to another successful flight and landing.
We stood in a small intimate circle, sharing ourselves and some stories. Two of the group were fellow hikers. One of whom had hiked the 100 Mile in her youth, another a travel writer for the Valley News. They invited me to join their hiking expedition of the Schemin, this September. I shared my plans to continue hiking on to Springer Mountain in Georgia, hopefully reaching it in mid-November. We exchanged our names and information and went our separate ways. A fortuitous and happy meeting of old and new friends.

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