Saturday, August 27, 2011

Up Up and Away

After several aborted attempts ... we finally lifted off this morning.

My Oldest invited me to accompany him on a balloon ride. The weather conditions have to be ideal for balloon travel so it has taken close to two years for this to come to pass. In five words? "It was worth the wait!"

A balloon would be my transportation of choice for long distance travel. It is surreal. Whether you look towards the distant horizon or directly below ... it is completely blissful.

We heard cows mooing and dogs barking. We watched a plane take off from the airport. The cows were but a speck in a pasture and tractors looked like miniature, miniature toys.

Landing was my favorite part. We brushed the treetops as we neared the ground.

We floated above a slough where ducks were swimming and I was amused at their reaction. They skimmed the top of the water as they half flew, half walked over the water and as we approached, they dove under water and were completely out of sight.

We spooked some horses and I thought that they would run off in the opposite direction. Instead, they quite literally went back and forth, back and forth and followed us across the field.

A herd of cows went running as they heard our approach.

Our pilot had full control over where we landed. He chose a pasture that would not be damaged by our landing and was easily accessible by our chase crew (the van and trailer that trailed us and brought us back to where we began).

Not for one moment did I feel anything but completely and totally safe. We were told the direction in which we would land and on instruction each of us assumed our landing positions ... and after a brief touch down period we gently skidded into the horizontal position in which we had been told.

It all went exactly according to plan.

It could not have been a more beautiful morning for a balloon ride. It was sooo worth waiting for!

(Slideshow/video footage to follow)

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