In my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico the hot-air balloons are up today. The one time I made my way home to witness the mass lift-off the winds were so strong the balloons were grounded. Rats. Maybe next time...it'll be a sight to see.
Posted: 9/30/11 08:11 AM ET
"The 40th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta lifted off October 1, with more than 600 balloons headed to the New Mexico skies for the more-than-week-long event. It's the world's largest hot air balloon rally.
With more than 100,000 people expected to attend, the crowds start lining up to see balloons and chat with pilots as early as 4:30 a.m.
The morning flights promise "mass ascensions" with hundreds of balloons taking to the sky at once. Evening sessions offer an incredibly atmospheric photo op, with flames illuminating balloons shaped like everything from puppies to Matryoshka dolls.
Launch the full-screen slideshow below for a look at past years' Fiestas -- and an idea of what to expect this year."