Seeing this hot air balloon last night behind the Galleria Mall in Middletown, NY, was a little incongruous. The mall is at the edge of the massive commercial district on Route 211. At the time I wondered if the balloon was descending into a wide open field somewhere yonder in Campbell Hall, or whether it might be landing in a nearby parking lot.
From time to time on my regular drives between Cape Cod and New York I see some early-morning groupings of hot air balloons in central Connecticut, but this was the first time I had seen one in Orange County.
A little research this morning, though, shows it’s not terribly uncommon. A quick check of recordonline.com shows a few stories over the years about hot air balloon appearances in the area, including this surprise landing last year in front of the Orange County Sheriff’s office.
It was from that story that I learned about Fantasy Balloon Flights, based in Middletown. Mystery solved! The balloon wasn’t so out of place after all.