Many a Rim Country resident lifted eyes skyward into the twilight Jan. 23 as the hot air balloon, Spirit, glided over Payson and settled down in an empty lot between Earhart and Chennault Parkways near the airport.
The pilot said they had lifted off from behind Chili’s to take a rare float over Payson, and looked for the best place to land. Stationed in Mesa, the group said they don’t make trips up to this part of Arizona often because of the hilly terrain and unpredictable winds.
The second leg of the journey was made Thursday morning.
The balloon took off from an open area off Houston Mesa Road and then came to rest near Beaver Valley.