"We like camping better!" --Raymond Alexander Kukkee

view of the north shore Critter Pond, KOA Canandaigua NY [c] 2009 jcb

Our camping trip at the Dansville Balloon Fest - Up, Up, and Away they Go!

First one, then another, then three more and a dozen -- hot air balloons cleared the launch field and battled for suddenly-crowded air space at the Dansville Airport.

This montage of photographs details the lift-off of nearly 50 dazzling aircraft at Dansville's Festival of Balloons (NYSFB at Dansville). Final pictures, featuring the "special" entrants, will be published later this week.

burning some air to launch this balloonIt takes a big burn to get airborne. This balloonist blistered three large holes in his craft.

balloonists vie for airspaceThey bump, they push and shove. First one to get clear wins!

herringbone balloon, going upThis colorful herringbone-patterned balloon went straight up.

graph pattern and mixed colors hot air balloonLooks like some sort of financial chart. "Things are looking up!"

black diamonds and herringbone patterns on balloonsBlack diamonds are good, right? Background: herringbone gets some air.

beautiful mix of blue and white hot air balloonAn elegant balloon showing only blue and white finds the clouds, higher and higher.

two balloons nearly collide on lift-offThese two look like they're headed for a collision. It's just an illusion.

montage of three balloons heading skywardThree of the more exotic color patterns gain altitude and solitude.

great colors and one watchful eye for this balloon launchOne monstrous eye looks on as a crazy-quilt of colors soars overhead.

two pairs of balloonists over DansvilleTwo pairs of balloonists head heavenward. They soon joined the crowd, nearly out of sight.

hot air balloons fill the sky northwest of Dansville NYTop to bottom: more and more balloons sail to the northwest of Dansville, and toward the horizon.

In all, more than 40 hot air balloons filled the sky on a spectacular Sunday evening at Dansville. It was a beautiful Labor Day Weekend for ballooning. Final batch of exotic-design balloon pics soon.

All photos copyright 2009 - reprints available on request.


  1. How totally wonderful Jim. Thanks for sharing.
    Never knew those balloons were so BIG.
    I would love to take a ride in one of them.

  2. Someday, Connie, one way or another, I'm gonna wrangle a ride in one. They are awe-inspiring up close, and so quiet (except when they're "burning"). The view, and the feeling of effortless flight, has to be incredible.

  3. If you are looking for scary camping stories the internet is your best bet. If you do a ghost story search for any area something will come up. I use one from the area we are in just because it makes it nearby, therefore scarier to my kids.