Category Archives: Road Trips

Claremore Balloon Festival 2015

Being as it’s about the end of Summer, we’re trying to cram in as much travel as we can before the weather gets cold.

The festival is held about the same time every year, and this time we made a day of it.  Lot to see

Will Rogers Downs

The doin’s are held at the racetrack.  It’s very nice, and well laid out.full screen5The track also has off track betting.  Guess some folks can’t get enough of the horses 🙂 .  They sit inside, and view the races around the country.  Hard to see why anybody would want to sit inside when the weather is so nice.full screen8There’s also a casino in the complex.festival7But we were more interested in the horse racing.  First time either of us has been to a race.

People like to observe the horses in the paddock.  Guess they feel that they can judge how fast the critter will run by looking at it 🙂 .festival28

festival11festival8Then it’s a slow parade up the track to the starting gate.full screen11Load them into the gate.full screen13AND THEY’RE OFF!full screen9full screen10full screen2Nothing more beautiful than a horse at full gallop.  Then the fast ones go to the Winners Circle.festival1Needless to say……..we didn’t bet on this one.  Ours finished somewhere near the back of the pack 🙂 .

When it’s all over, the track is maintained between races.festival4festival5

The action is pretty fast, I mean FAST.

Now, About the Betting

So………………….we buy this sheet/booklet.festival26festival27Neither of us really knows what we’re looking at, but we look like we know what we’re doing.  About the only thing we really understood was the odds.  And we did know if we won anything 🙂 .festival3Funny thing how the odds change as the betting progresses just before the race………. (shrug)festival2Like I say………..was our first time.  Oughta get it figured out by the next time I guess.

More Kinds of Races

After the equine events, it was time for some old fashioned motor powered racing 🙂 .  LAWNMOWERS 🙂 .

Pretty typical crowd for one of these things.  (I thought the Civil War ended some time ago)festival29The mowers were divided into classes.  From little/no modifications to full blown motors with altered drivetrains/frames/bodies.  Some are downright fast.

We both enjoyed the heats, then wandered back to the main racetrack/casino for a quick supper before the balloon events.

The Balloons

By the time we headed in for supper, the bulk of the people were arriving for the balloon thing.  Must have been a few thousand maybe, I’m not good at estimating crowds.

Only had one issue with the crowds…………..Since when are motorcycles allowed to park in a fire lane?????  The biker wannabes think they’re special I guess.  We were amazed that the management didn’t tell them to move.festival30Anyways………settled down for supper.  You can’t beat the food price/quality at any of the gambling venues.  Sometimes we just stop to eat at a casino if it’s along our route, they’re that good when it comes to food.

Nipped outside to take a few shots while we were eating.  Gotta catch the light when the light is good.festival32festival33We had also noticed a long line outside.  Found out that they were waiting for the balloon rides.  ($15 for a few minutes on a tethered balloon that maybe rises 30 feet off the ground).festival34I guess it’s a thrill for some people.  Can’t say it’s a bad thing, there’s worse ways to spend time/money.

We managed to scarf down the food, and get outside just as the sun was beginning to set.  More balloons were starting to fill as the evening wore on.festival16festival17festival18festival19Sun went down, and they lit them up.festival20

(Need a better video camera, but you get the drift 🙂 )

Personally, I preferred the individual balloons lit up.  After the main event was over, there were still crews moving, and stowing their balloons.festival22festival23At this point in the evening, we wandered briefly through the midway.  There were quite a few vendors.  Midways all look good at night.festival24festival25I enjoy watching the children, they’re the ones who enjoy it the most.

By now, we were worn out 🙂 .  AND IT TOOK ALMOST 1 1/2 HOURS TO GET OUT OF THE PARKING LOT.  Was a relief to get on the highway, and head for home.

misc,_stuff_020Any day above ground is a good day