November 23, 2011

Hot Air Balloon

About a month ago I did the craziest thing I have ever done. I rode in a hot air balloon as part of a work-sponsored event in Phoenix. Looking back on it now, I probably should have been more nervous than I was given how high we went in the Arizona desert and how unprotected we were. I thought for sure they would have handed out parachutes for each of us as a safety precaution. No sir. Not even a seatbelt. Or a helmet! And there were about 12 of us in a very small bucket.

We started off like storm chasers as the pilots in our cars had to find just the right spot to set up based on what the wind was doing. From the time we got out of the car to the time we were in the air was only about 30 minutes and we were airborne for almost an hour. I learned that the way you steer is by altitude. The wind blows different directions depending on the altitude so we went up or down based on which way we wanted to go. It was really a surreal feeling as it felt very weightless. There was no jerking around at all and the ride was very smooth. After landing, they fed us a delicious breakfast and then we were done.

I don't think that is something I will ever do again. Click here to see my previous post about my issues with vertigo. Below are pictures from the day.