With a title like Ballooning in Vermont, most people likely think this is about the Quechee balloon festival traditionally held on Father’s Day weekend. But I’d like to tell you about a very different hot air balloon event.
I’m keeping this piece short so you have time to see the photos and read the text on the linked pages at the end of this article.
Brian Boland, an extraordinary balloonist and balloon maker, will hold his 11th Experimental Balloon and Airship Meet in Post Mills, Vermont, May 20-22, 2016. If one characterizes Quechee as traditional and conventional, Post Mills would have to be labeled avant-garde and almost “hippy”, or at least laid-back. At Post Mills you might see twice as many balloons as in Quechee, and the many unconventional balloons there are fun and exciting to see.
Some balloonists get airborne in lawn chairs instead of baskets, and sometimes even less. If the wind is light Brian might cruise around the field in a balloon with a rudder and maneuvered by a propeller attached to his basket as in the photo above.
The event takes place at the Post Mills Airport. Parking is free and just across the road from where the balloons launch. Admission is also free. And if you arrive early or stay late you can tour Brian’s marvelous museum — also free. The two and a half story museum is filled with wild memorabilia of all sorts related to balloons and balloon making.
The photo below shows the Post Mills airport and Lake Fairlee. To the left of the road is the parking area. You can see Brian’s home and museum at the bottom left. Across the grass runway 3 gliders and 3 tow planes are parked. Other gliders are folded up in the 11 long tubes to the right of the visible gliders. Balloons launch all along the runway which extends a considerable distance to the right of this photo.
On April 5, 2015 Brian flew one of the over 160 balloons he has built from Post Mills, Vermont to Lyme, New Hampshire. During this flight he set an amazing record – 10,000 total hours aloft in a hot air balloon. (There are only 8760 hours in a year.) He is possibly the only person to ever achieve this. You can see pictures and read about this flight by clicking the appropriate link below.
Please explore these pages: