Hot Air Ballooning

Please don’t tell my dad I did this. (He rarely checks the blog, being a dawn-to-dusk-to-recliner farmer.)  I originally planned to balloon with friends on my birthday almost two years ago, but the trip was rained out.  Shortly after, a balloon in Virginia, with tourists, hit a power line, caught on fire, and the people plunged to their deaths.  It was caught on film and shared nationally.  My dad saw it, and asked me – through my mother because he was too emotional to talk to me himself – to not ride in a balloon.  I told him – through my mother – that I could not promise that, but that I would postpone for a while.

Now, two years later, the fear had calmed down, and I was so ready to do this.  I mean so ready to do this that the fact that I’m terrified of heights no longer was a big deal.  I was ready to climb up in the sky – and balloon.  Maybe the fact that I have had almost two years of adventures – many mini, but some not, has made me realize life is meant to be enjoyed no matter the fears.   I am more excited about opportunities like this, and less nervous.  Going with friends helped.  It was all about sharing.  Unfortunately, my friends, Amy, Gwen, Carmen, Kari and I tried to plan a couple of times over the summer – but it kept raining.

Finally, the tickets were expiring, a gorgeous dawn was expected with less than 5 mph wind, and there was an opportunity to balloon on a work day.  Amy, Carmen and Kari could not make it.  But my friend Gwen could.  As well as Andy, a good man now in my life, who I really wanted to share it with as well.  Besides the fact that I knew he would enjoy it, he was someone tall who I could grab on to in case I got really frightened!  But I didn’t, I was barely nervous at all, except when taking a picture over the side of the basket.

Two balloons flew.  Sally and Chet were in the other basket, so most of the far photos are of their balloon.

Here are the gorgeous results – in two different albums.  The preparation and then the trip itself.

and up.

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