Sunrise in Monument Valley

Sunrise in Monument Valley

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Up, Up & Away Part 1

We were scheduled for a hot air balloon ride on Monday night at 6PM. When we arrived the crew had not yet shown as they were dragging their feet due to the high winds. A storm was anticipated later at night, but the pilot thought the winds would die down enough for us to take off. They didn't and so our flight was cancelled and rescheduled for 6AM the next morning.

We arrived at 5:45 AM to find the balloon "Mother Ship" half inflated.

They filled it by blowing air into it with gas powered fans and then turned on the propane heaters as the ground crew held it on the ground.

There were 10 of us in the basket with the pilot. The basket was placed on it's side and we had to climb in, lay on our backs, crouch down towards the bottom of the basket, hold on to the straps as they released the balloon. As the did the basket went upright and we were off.

It was so quiet and smooth, you would never guess we were moving or actually got up to 2500 feet. There was no sensation of moving or heights. You could hear the cows mooing, dogs barking and see people waving. It was much more fun than I had thought and not at all scary.

This was the parking lot at take off.

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