Each year around this time, my friend Debbie talks about leaving at break of dawn on the first day of the Great Falls Balloon Festival to photograph the 6am launch. She has been to this event before, but never in the morning. So this year we hit to hot top first thing in the morning with cameras in tow and iced coffees in the console and we were off.
Did I mention it was early?
We got there a around 5:30am and people were already getting ready!
We walked around and checked out some of the equipment.
At 6:09a a fog horn blared and all the pilots gathered and watched the black balloon. Someone releases a black balloon and all the pilots track its progress, they also talk about the weather and then use a bunch of balloon terms I don't understand.
Then it was time to initiate the launches! First, they use fans to get air into the balloons.
This year's theme is "Critters in the Clouds" so these two guys and little lady fit right in.
Some of the other balloons.
After the initial launch, we ran to the bridge where the balloons were flying by.
Imagine driving to work and seeing this in your path!
How do you like my vantage point here?
Two balloons or one?
This is what it looked like on the other side of the bridge.
Some pilots lowered their balloons to touch the water - it's amazing the amount of control they have!
Fun with photoshop :-D
I am so happy I dragged my sorry beehind out of bed this morning to go to this. It was awesome, it was free and it is something I would highly recommend. If you are looking for something to do this weekend make the trek to Lewiston and watch these take off! If you have kids, they will love it too. I can't wait to bring Miss. E next year!
For more information on the event click here.