Before a mass ascension can happen in the morning, roughly 8-10 hot air balloons are inflated and sent up as the Dawn Patrol.
Dawn Patrol photos
These photos are taken from different vantage points around the launch field, both close up and wider angle to get more action.
Dawn Patrol pilots take off in the dark and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites to get an early idea of wind speeds and directions at different altitudes. Dawn Patrol inflations begin at about 5:45 AM, with launch around 6:00 AM.