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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Perfect Morning for a Hot Air Balloon Ride

The husband and the boy got a sunrise hot air balloon ride!  It was a beautiful morning with little to now wind, so getting up early to look forward to a fantastic ride was no problem.

Dale, who pilots hot air balloons, along with his family came to pick us up in their van. You can see the balloon basket on the back of the van.

After driving west of town to look for a good launch site, it was decided that some friendly neighbor's front yard was a great place to launch the balloon.  How would you respond to a doorbell around 6:00 am asking permission to launch a balloon in your yard?  Luckily, our flight crew new the people, and soon they joined us with camera in hand to capture the event.

The balloon was spread out on the ground and secured to the basket.

Next, the ties or straps are removed and the balloon spread out.

After the balloon is spread out on the ground, the fan is added to blow up the balloon. Once the balloon is expanded, hot air is added.

The balloon and basket move upright and it is time to get in the basket and get ready for the ride.

Up, up, up, and away goes the balloon with Dale, the husband, and the boy.

The balloon moved eastward across the river and the city and landed in a field behind the hospital.

The boy said the best part of the ride was going over the freight yard and waving to people. The husband said the best part was watching the boy see the trains from above and compare it to a train layout. He said the hills flattened out when you are in the air and at 200 feet your perspective suddenly changes.

There is a ritual for those who have experienced a balloon flight for the first time, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. The boy and the husband both got to experience the ritual that includes the balloonist’s prayer.

While this was the first time in a hot air balloon for the husband and the boy, it was not our first time around hot air balloons. Click here to read about the time we helped crew a hot air balloon.

It is not that we are “extreme” sport people, it is just that we enjoy life and the adventure it holds. Click here to read about our helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, click here to read about white water rafting on the Colorado River, and click here to read about feeding and snorkeling with stingrays.

If you are interested in a balloon ride, e-mail Dale at dommerdpilot@yahoo.com.

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