In 2009 we went to Albuquerque, New Mexico to see the annual balloon fistival. They launch hundreds of balloons all at one time and fill the air with color. We stayed in a timeshare out in Santa Fe, about an hour's drive away which gave us additional perspective of New Mexico. And, since the launch area down town is a total traffic jam, we checked the wind and positioned ourselves on a hillside outside of town. It really worked out well. Not only did we see the launch but many of the balloons ended their flight right in the same area where we were parked. So, we also got to see them land as well. Maybe land is not the right term. Crashed seems more appropriate. Great view anyway.
As you can see from these photos, the launch, that starts early in the morning, is an exciting affair. These guys all get filled up and rise at about the same time (within an hour of one another) and drift rather quickly on the wind. These balloons flew right past us, then turned and flew right over our heads and began to descend. There was something about the terraine that caused them to turn there. Next day the wind carried them a little farther away and they flew another couple of miles beyond us. We had to saddle up and chase them to the drop location.