Blog Archive

Apr 24, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Ride

I wasn't so sure about going for a Hot Air Balloon ride. It seemed slow and maybe even boring? I wasn't sure, but I am always up to try any activity that so many people seem to love. First lay the bag out and get the giant wood propeller fan going to get it to take shape. Photobucket The balloon has to take shape before you dare blast tons of fire hot air into it. (Don't want to burn that balloon!) Photobucket Some nearby ballooners getting ready as well. Photobucket Almost there! Photobucket As soon as the 30 Million BTU burner started to pump hot air into the bag it was time to go quickly! Photobucket Another group taking off. Photobucket Each blast was warm. I'd hate to be doing this mid summer! Photobucket As soon as the balloon reached neutral buoyancy it was a weird feeling. We were about an inch off the ground with the basket scraping the dirt a bit and it felt so weird. So much weight just suspended BARELY above the ground by a big bag of hot air! Strange! Let's go! Photobucket As you start to float away it's very quiet. Well, it's quiet and very noisy. When the burners are blasting it's very loud, punctuated by moments of complete silence in between. Floating just above a couple of other balloons from the same company. Photobucket Wow, what a site! Photobucket As you look up into the balloon the sun makes the colors so vivid from the inside. Photobucket Floating just over Carefree Highway. Photobucket The only way to really steer a Hot Air Balloon is to use the natural wind currents at different elevation. At this low elevation the balloon on the left hit sort of an eddy of still air. It sat hovering just a few feet off the ground next to this mountain for several minutes. Photobucket Photobucket I am amazed at how fast these balloons can ascend. With a long blast from the burner we were at almost 5000 feet in just a minute or two. Now the wind current was completely different and we were headed back north of Carefree Highway. Photobucket D and I were seeing who could spot more foreclosed homes. They are always the ones with greenish/brown pools! This would be a great way to go home shopping. Except for the part about not really being able to decide what direction you went in! Photobucket After going up high we dropped right down along the ground and even flew lower than some of the surrounding Saguaro's. You see so much more wildlife from this perspective. As we silently drifted along we'd scare some rabbits, ground squirrels and quail when the burner fired! Photobucket There were 20 or 30 balloons up this morning. Beautiful site. Photobucket When we found a place to land the chase truck caught up to us. D and I were the first to hop out. Photobucket Once the pilot opened the top vent of the balloon the hot air rushed out and it started to deflate like... well... a balloon! Photobucket Photobucket What a great ride. It was sort of a combination of a thrilling and relaxing ride. Strange to feel both of those feelings at the same time. I know "get it." I get what is so great about Hot Air Balloons. I'd do it again. Anyone want to sky dive from a Balloon? :-) Photobucket

1 comment:

Aiden Brown said...

These pictures are awesome. I am thrilled to view the beautiful pictures and reading the blog. Thanks!

Brisbane Hot Air Ballooning