I have always found hot air balloon rides to be peaceful. The sense of drifting above the ground while oscillating up and down creates a sense of harmony while peering out at the horizon. Often, balloons are found in the prettiest of places with the calmest of weather. Not many other experiences are this tranquil.
Honeymooners, vacationers, and experienced flyers all find something to like about the idea of being suspended in the air by nothing more than a nylon sack filled with hot air, and a basket. While I have ever only gone on tether rides (meaning there are ropes still attached to the ground), I have always wanted them to release the ropes. I don’t think I would be so nervous but I guess there is only one way to find out.
Every year there is a balloon festival in my home town with over 300 launches during a single weekend. It is common to see many white knuckles and the look of fear on faces as a balloon starts its ascent.
My house is situated less than a mile from the airport where the launches take place and we have had 10 balloons land in the neighborhood all at once. As a little kid, I would wake up to the sound of the propane flames and expanding balloon as the passengers screamed down to my parents if it was okay to land in our yard. With wide eyes, I would beg my parents to say yes. It has become a tradition now to always be home for that September weekend where I still hope we get a full yard of balloons every year. There is nothing better than passing that thrill on to the younger kids in the neighborhood. Well, who am I kidding, I am still probably just as excited as them when they land!
I particularly like the idea of night flying because of the glowing effect against the dark background of the sky. The illumination is something that creates a beautiful contrast and catches my eye every time.
Hopefully one day I will get to experience the thrill of flight.