I was just getting started on my trek to look for ghost towns in South Carolina, when I spotted balloons in the air. Freedom Weekend Aloft was in full swing for this Memorial Day weekend, and this year they were holding it in Simpsonville.
I figured it was worth a diversion, so I took the Simpsonville exit to look for the park where it was being held. I was afraid that since the balloons were already in the air, I had missed out on any photographic opportunities. That turned out to be far from the case.
There was some sort of competition in progress. The balloonists were to launch from a site away from the park, then fly to the park. There was some prize for most accurate, etc. The balloons were actually launching from store parking lots, so I was able to get very close without having to actually drive into the FWA mess and pay parking, etc.
Large fans were used to first fill the bags, then the burners were ignited to heat the air. I was amazed at how fast these rose into the air once released. I bet that would be a stomach-lurching experience.