Hot Air Balloon Amish Country Pennsylvania Travel PhotographerDuring 2021 I had occasion to visit the Amish Country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on three separate motorcycle road trips. It is a travel photographer’s paradise punctuated with thousands upon thousands of acres of beautiful farmland and an equally beautiful population of wonderful people. The quaint village of Bird-In-Hand, PA boasts a population of less than 600 people comprised mostly of Amish farmers and their families. Another attraction in this town is the home of The United States Hot Air Balloon Team. A close friend of mine has been an FAA certified hot air balloon pilot for more than 30 years, and in the summer of 2021 he was calling Bird-In-Hand his home…working as a pilot for this company. I had the privilege and pleasure of photographing a number of his flights above the Pennsylvania countryside on my first two visits. I was invited to ride along with the chase crew…the professionals responsible for preparing the balloon for flight, following its flight path and ultimately aiding in the landing and disassembly of the craft; and returning the patrons back to the launch field where the flight originated. I got to witness every single minute…every single mile…of a number of flights on my first two visits south; but had the experience of a lifetime on my third visit, when I was invited aboard the craft for a sunrise flight adventure...My hot air ballooning experiences are described in great detail in my book "Road Work: Images and Insights of a Modern Day Explorer". In this #1 Amazon bestseller road travel book I, as the writer, discuss my experiences photographing, chasing and flying in a hot air balloon. I chose this very same photograph as the lead in shot for one of the chapters of this book that I authored...The experience defies description. If a picture is worth a thousand words I hope that this one conveys, at least, some of the visual experience. We launched just after sunrise on a beautiful morning. The soft blanket of morning mist covered the ground beneath us as the sun, still low on the horizon, cast beautiful shadows onto the ground of the trees and buildings below. Two balloons actually took off that morning from the same launch field and the second one, flying below us, can be seen in the picture as well...As a landscape and travel photographer, who gathers a great deal of my images during travel by motorcycle, I am relegated to travel with a minimal kit of compact gear. Only a single camera and lens combination flew with me this morning: my high resolution Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera body fitted with a Nikon 28-300MM zoom lens. The combination enabled me to capture dozens of spectacular images during my flight, but this one is clearly my favorite. I can’t take all the credit for this captivating image, of course. Mother Nature had her hand in it by providing beautiful weather, dramatic lighting and an absolutely lovely landscape on which to bestow her blessings. I highly recommend this experience to any travelers who may be adventuring in an area of this country where hot air balloon flights are offered. It is one of the most exciting adventures I’ve ever participated in over the course of decades of long distance motorcycle journeys. You will never forget it; and I’m sure you’ll return with some outstanding travel photographs to commemorate the adventure.