The envelope was removed from the bag and laid out in a long line. The burners are attached to the uprights, and the basket is attached to the cables on the bottom of the envelope.
The balloon was partially inflated with cold air from a gas-powered fan, before the propane burners are used for final inflation.
As you turn around, you can see other balloons in various stages of inflation. There are many excited people on the field now. Even though this is will be my first ride, I can’t help but catch the wave of excitement.
Here we are in the basket ready for lift off.
We slowly and gently lifted off the ground. These folks are our chase crew. Our pilot stayed in contact with them as we floated above the city.
Other balloons were launched from the same site as our balloon with passengers like us.
There were just under 30 balloons that launched the same morning as us.
I have a fear of heights but I did not have any problems flying in a balloon. Flying in a high sided balloon basket is not like standing in a roof or a high ladder. You don’t get that vertigo feeling. It is more like the ground is unfolding beneath you, and, because you are moving with the wind, you don’t feel any wind blowing. The basket does not rock or sway so you can’t possibly fall out.
After we were helped out of the basket by the chase crew, the balloon came down and the process of packing up the balloon began.
Several of the passengers assisted with the packing up of the balloon.
And finally the balloon and basket are packed away in the trailer and we all headed back to the Fiesta park in the chase vehicle.