My bucket list has included a Hot Air Balloon ride so my wonderful children gave us a gift certificate at Christmas time for a Balloon ride in Park City, Utah. What a glorious day with the leaves changing into their fall colors to take a sail over the hills of Park City.
Because of Lynn's impending knee surgery, he was unable to come along for the ride, so I asked my daughter Laurel if she would like to accompany me in my adventurous quest. She jumped at the chance!
Laurel met me at our home shortly after 6:00 a.m. and off we sped to Park City to help set up the balloon and basket for our sail. It was COLD! The sun wasn't up yet and there was dew on the ground and we could see our breath in the cold morning air. Luckily I found an old 'grandpa' sweater in the trunk of the car for Laurel to wear and I had two shirts and a sweatshirt over my skin to keep warm.
Unlike many of the balloon companies, we were asked to help unroll the balloon and hold the sides while the fans filled the balloon with air. Laurel held one side while I held the other. We shouldn't have volunteered for that part ... we thought it was cold before we helped fill the balloon ... now our hands were frozen and were were shivering from the blast of cold air blowing across our bodies.
Then the pilot turned on the fire while we were holding the ropes to the balloon and standing on the edges to keep the balloon open. Now this was getting dangerous and wasn't so much fun, anymore. The fire was singing my hands and the balloon was so full of air it was lifting my feet off the ground. I was beginning to worry that the poor little man on the other side was going to fall into the balloon. He didn't weigh as much as me and the balloon was lifting his entire body off the ground. I yelled for a young man to come help me and as he took over the ropes for me the balloon began lifting his body up as well. Finally they just let go of the ropes and stepped away from the balloon and the basket slowly rose from its side to a sitting position and the balloon was in the air. It was a glorious site! Our balloon and basket had only made 4 journeys. It was still brand spankin' new.
Back at the ranch we celebrated with a toast of Sprite and a thankful prayer! Everyone should experience a Hot Air Balloon ride. It really is amazing. To experience great heights with silence is something I've never experienced.