Balloon people seem to take the idea of getting up before dawn to extremes. Early morning in the fall seems to be the best time to fly hot air balloons. So going to the balloon fiesta meant that my aunts and I got up at 4 am, drove to a designated parking lot in Rio Rancho where we caught a special bus that took us to the Balloon Park in Albuquerque. That was at 5 am. We arrived there while it was still dark and waited impatiently for the Dawn Patrol to take off, which they did about 6 am. The Dawn Patrol are the first few balloons that take off right before dawn to make sure it safe for the other balloons to fly. Sometimes it may seem safe on the ground but higher air currents can be a lot different. Balloons don't fly if it is raining, too windy, or snowing. But this day was perfect. No wind, rain, snow, and it wasn't even that cold. Balloonist don't understand the word cold. It seems the colder the better. By 7 all of the other approximately 600 balloons were preparing to fly.