Weekend Recap: Part 2

So Smith Auto World (where I work) had a booth as a sponsor at Balloon Fest.  Happy (a local girl who does travel and exploring….that Smith sponsors) was working our booth.  As a sponsor, you get to take two people on a balloon ride Saturday morning.  Well, Happy’s riding partner backed out, so I got to go!!! Yup, I got to go in a real untethered hot air ballon ride!

I got there very early in the morning and we took off around 8-8:30 a.m.  We rode for almost 2 hours and went several miles.  It was the neatest experience and I’ll never forget it!

I got to help inflate the balloon.  This was inside as it inflated.  So neat to do this!  First they cold inflate it with a fan, then they blow hot air in it and you have to fight to keep it on the ground until it stablizes. 

Up Up and Away!  I was so nervous until about right now.  It was so cool to just be floating!  You really have little control over the balloon as far as steering.  Just making it go up and down, then you are at the mercy of the wind.  There was so little wind Saturday that at times we were just hovering waiting on a gust.

There were ballons up all over town.

The most beautiful views!

We wanted to travel over more ground, but without much wind, our pilot took us down in a field just miles from where we started.  This was our shadow upon our desent. 

Me in the air!  The landing was surprisingly easy.  The basket hit the ground and you braced yourself with knees bent.  It did a couple little “hops” on the ground as the balloon balanced out the lift.  Then we just climbed out and helped pack the ballon back up.  There was a “chase crew” that followed us on the ground with the truck so we could get back.

This was our balloon- The Flast.  HUGE thank you to Pilot Jim and Crew Chief Jeanie for taking us up!  It was a once in a lifetime (hopefully I’ll do it again) experience!


  1. This looks awesome! I’ve always wanted to go into a hot air balloon… thank you for sharing your experience!

    P.S.- I’ve started a new blog, come check it out!

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