Those of you from the old days may remember the the series F-Troop that aired in the mid 60's. The character Chief Wild Eagle used the line "It is Balloon" quite often when he saw a hot air balloon. For the younger crowd I'm sure L/A brings to mind the Lewiston / Auburn area of Maine. The twin cities are always referred to as LA and this weekend was the 15th annual Great Falls Balloon Festival.
We travel to Maine quite often during the summer months and have been in town on several occasions during festival weekend. This year we decided to do the overnight run so we would be there for the first launch scheduled at 6:00am Friday morning.
Launch conditions were perfect and the first Balloon was in the sky at about 6:15. The field at the newly named Simard-Payne Memorial Park was filled with Balloonist preparing for lift off. Below a female crew hustles to get their balloon ready for lift off. It is bit of work to roll out the balloon, use fans to fill the massive area and heat the air so it can lift the pilot and passengers into the sky.
As more and more balloons filled the sky it was noticeable that most seemed to descend shortly after take off. We were wondering if the Hot Air Balloon Rides were that short so we wandered over to a foot bridge crossing the Androscoggin River between Lewiston and Auburn we found our answer.
No, they were not dropping off passengers before continuing their journey, the Balloonist were dipping down to allow spectators a photo opportunity over the river.