Hot Air Balloon Ride

At 4:30 in the morning, we left our condo to meet with the team that would take us on a hot air balloon ride. They drove us a little outside of Sedona to the lift off site. Ours was one of four balloons to be flown.

Getting the balloons launched was an interesting process. Geoffrey and Erin had the job of holding the balloon open while they used fans to blow it up.

The passenger basket Geoffrey and Erin holding the balloon

After the balloons were mostly inflated, the men would get the fire started to heat the air inside the balloon and get it to rise. Then, before the basket left the ground, we all got in - - and lifted off.

Inflating the balloon Inflating the balloon Inflating the balloon Looking up into the balloon And we're off... Floating up

The heater in the basket was really loud when firing. But otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful. As we rose higher and higher, we watched the sun come up over the surrounding hills. It was truly lovely.

Sunrise Sunrise Sunrise Sunrise Sunrise Sunrise

We floated around, blown by the wind, for a long time. We rose and descended as the hillsides required. It seemed like you could see forever.

View from the balloon View from the balloon View from the balloon View from the balloon View from the balloon View from the balloon View from the balloon View from the balloon

Eventually it was time for the balloons to head back to the lift off site. But the wind doesn't always allow you to land exactly where you took off. The "chase cars" waited and watched to see where the balloons would land. Then they each drove to one of the landing spots and packed up the balloons and gear.

The other balloons The other balloons The other balloons The chase cars

After all was packed up, the crew and guests from all the balloons gathered together. We then shared in a traditional ceremony, complete with champagne, to celebrate the excursion.


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