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Monday, October 25, 2010

Statesville NC Balloon Festival? NOT!

Here is a pictorial essay of our adventure on Saturday October 23rd,  trying to go to the 2010 Statesville Balloon Festival held at the airport.

(1)  4:00 PM.  Have spent the last hour sitting in stop and go traffic on a two lane road -  still have traveled only 1 mile from home on Highway 70 North and look at the view in my rear view mirror!

(2) At 75 minutes, we finally make the left turn on to airport road. The line goes as far as the eye can see.

(3) At 90 minutes, we breach the hill and notice the intersection where traffic is coming in from I-40 in the opposite direction.  We roll down the window and question a neighbor standing in his yard - he says there is 2-3 miles still to go!  Now I am low on gas and not sure I have enough to spare another hour or two of idling in stalled traffic .. and worried about the traffic trying to get home later ....  I give up and take a sharp right toward I-40 E to get the hell out of Dodge!  

At 4:45 PM I  round a short curve in the road and am amazed at the line of vehicles still trying to get into the festival.  The traffic here stretches out for miles trying to get in to the airport grounds.

(4) What’s this????    This is a two-lane road – why are there trucks and cars coming toward me in MY lane?????


(5)     This is NOT funny! These trucks force me off the road and lumber on past as I sit in the grass cussing loud enough for everyone to hear with my windows down and the sun roof open.


 (6)   4:50 PM.   It is no joke – traffic was backed up for MILES at each intersection. No one was directing traffic. We made it back to I-40 East and stopped to take a picture of the traffic lined up on I-40 West trying to get off at the exit with no hope of making it to the synchronized lift off of the hot air balloons.

Adding insult to injury, a local radio station was reporting live from the festival with the mayor and talking about how well traffic was flowing with approximately 15 minutes of drive time to get there.    In what universe?? Or maybe they were referring to how long it would take in a hot air balloon. Certainly no one driving was getting anywhere in 15 minutes!

So, after almost 2 hours of driving, we came home and ate pizza.  Never saw a single balloon except for the views we got for free from home early in the morning when they flew directly over the house.   Should have taken a damn picture then!


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