Tigard Hot Air Balloon Festival
3:50am, alarm goes off. 3:53am, roll out of bed. 4:05am, grab coffee and my gear. 4:20am out the door. The things we photographers do for a good shot . . . I was meeting a group of fellow photographers at 5:00am in Tigard to catch the dawn and the Saturday launch of the Tigard Hot Air Balloon Festival.
It had rained all day Friday and they had cancelled the hot air balloon launch that morning. I checked the weather constantly all Friday night. Somehow, my weather app claimed it would be a bright and sunny day on Saturday. I went to bed early and sat for a long while, stressing about whether I forgot any gear or forgot to think of anything. My alarm at 3:50am came too early and I reluctantly left bed. It was a dark but quick drive down to Tigard.
I met up with a group of photographers (promptly lost most of them in the crowds and business). There were at least 3 big photography groups there and countless other photographers. The first thing I saw was an intimidating line of them, all with their tripods out and ready for business. This seemed a little silly – wouldn’t you want to walk around and explore more? Everyone was so friendly, you could get super close to all of the action. I wasted no time weaving in and out of the balloons. There was so much going on, so many things catching your eye.
It was an absolutely magical morning. I do not regret that early rise at all. I had thought it would be a neat morning, but the day blew all my expectations out of the water. The blue sky, warm sunlight, and bright colors were just something else. I must have had my mouth open all morning. Too quickly, the last balloon was in the air, and it was time to head off to breakfast.