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Monday, May 14, 2012

Full of Hot Air ~ Balloons

Steamboat Springs, CO 1982

When I was in my thirties, I lived in Denver, CO and then Salt Lake City, UT.  It was in Denver that I was introduced to the wonderful sport of Hot Air Ballooning.  A friend and I decided to go watch a ballooning event.  Someone told us to take gloves along and we may be able to join a chase crew (the ground crew who follow the balloons and help them inflate, deflate and pack up).

Frederick, CO 1982

We were in luck.  Someone asked us to help out with the inflation of a balloon and wonder of wonders, we were given a ride as a thank you!  That was all it took.  I was hooked!  Along with a ride in a glider  and learning to ski, ballooning was on my "Things to do before age forty" list.  There were more things, but those were the biggies.  And, there I was, floating in a gentle giant, over the earth and at the whim of the wind.  It was awesome!

Near Longmont, CO 1982

Before long, I was meeting my new ballooning friends nearly every weekend morning (before dawn) to crew for them.  Then, one day one of them asked me if I wanted to learn to fly one.  Whoa!  I was so excited I could hardly stand myself!  Over time, I got enough hours in (yes, you need an FAA license and so many hours and a solo flight) to take my pilot's test.  I passed!  Wow!  No way would I ever be able to afford my own balloon, but friends were gracious enough to let me fly with them.  It was such an experience!  I'll share more of my ballooning stories in future blogs.

Do you have a Bucket List?  Are you checking things off one-by-one?  What's next on your list?

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5 comments:

  1. Grace! What fun! I love that you were able to do that. I have done quite a few things that I wanted to do. I have been to all 48 contiguous states...AND Alaska. Not been to Hawaii though. And, I am waiting for our youngest son to have his first baby...then all of my kids will have kids of their own.

    Blessings to you and I hope you have a great Monday- xo Diana

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    1. Diana - Your accomplishments are noteworthy! I have not even come close to visiting all 50 states. Times-a-wasting! Haha...
      Hugs, GraceinAZ

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  2. Wow Grace! I am impressed. How brave of you and what fun. I think the baloons are one of the prettiest sights in the world. I've never been in one but might add it to my bucket list!

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    1. Ginger - Oh, by all means...add it! There is no other experience quite like it. I'm afraid of heights, but because the basket surrounds me, it doesn't bother me in a balloon. Report back...LOL!
      Hugs, GraceinAZ

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  3. Pat,
    What a fantastic experience that must have been. You must have felt like a bird soaring above the earth! You pictures are great. I have never been up in a balloon but I would love to experience such a magnificent event.
    My son has been in balloons often. He used to go to New Mexico, I think for some sort of festival each year.
    Back in the early 80's, when visiting Ireland we went to Blarney. I wanted to kiss the Blarney Stone. I was in a mid-thigh cast and was unable to climb. Two years ago I visited Blarney again. This 70 year old woman was going to kiss that @#%# stone, and I did. Check ✓.
    Have a great week and blessings, Ginger

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