Hot Air Ballooning

Our balloon, on landing

For a birthday gift, Julie wanted to hot air balloon. We went last Sunday with Gentle Breeze, and it was a pretty good time. Much different than expected, we were kind of expecting to show up, hop in a balloon cruise, around and go home. But not so fast!

It’s quite a bit of work! First we helped blow up the balloon, and that got interesting when 75% of the way through the wind picked up and started dragging us around. We’re tied off to a Suburban, but the knot didn’t hold; just the metal eyelet at the end did. So there’s 6-7 of us hanging onto this balloon doing everything we can to keep it on the ground, hoping this rope doesn’t come free. But we got in (quickly) and got off the ground w/o further incident.

View from the skyThe flight itself was pretty nice, 4 of us passengers plus the pilot. One drawback to being tall, was the searing heat of the gas heaters. I’ve never stuck my head inside a propane grill, but now I’m pretty sure I know how it would feel. Tight quarters as well.

As for direction, it turns out you just go with the wind and then the “chase car” picked us up after an hour or so in the air. We had champagne once we landed, and headed home.