Pennsylvania (Cont'd)


And up I went. The spectators cheered.


































Then I was floating away from the launch field over the outskirts of Meadville, the hot-air balloons rising to follow.




























The wind was light, and we drifted slowly out of town. At one point I was caught in a mild thermal, and I was lifted about a thousand feet, moving in slow aimless circles. The hot air balloons stayed lower, flowing over the countryside like bubbles in a invisible stream.




After an hour or so, the other balloons began landing. With more than an hour of sunlight remaining, I decided to fly on for a little while.

WoodcockLake was a luminous mirror in the late afternoon sun, with a lone hot-air balloon floating past.



As the day cooled toward evening, I drifted over neat little farms, headed out into the countryside. I started to think about landing.