I've Reserved a balloon flight-Now What Happens?

So you’ve made the decision to take a balloon ride. NOW what?

Well, first call in all your favors with the weather gods. Only kidding. But just be aware that ballooning is very weather-dependent. You’ll be asked to confirm your flight the day before at which time we’ll check the forecast-and we’ll check it again before the flight.

Then realize that what you’ll be doing is a physical activity. Everyone participates in getting the balloon ready to fly and in wrapping it up at the end. Dress accordingly! While those open-toed sandals and shorts look too darn cute for words…they won’t do anything to protect you if the balloon lands in scrub bushes. This participation is also a great photo-op. Smile! We’ll be taking digital photos to prove to your brother-in-law that yes, you did do this. And yes, he does owe you ($_) (fill in the blank).

Okay, you’ve taken care of the weather, you’re dressed in your smartest balloon adventure clothes, and you’re on your way. When you get to the airport, you meet your pilot, sign in, probably use the bathroom, grab your camera, and hop in the balloon rig. When you get out to the launch field after your thrilling 3 minute ride everybody hops out, and the pilot looks at the sky and the trees with a knowing look. At this point, it’s not impossible he’ll decide to wait a few minutes, or, satisfied that the winds will be with him, he gives the signal to unload the balloon. The chase crew gets the basket, the envelope and the fan out. Passengers who will be helping out grab the lines to hold open the mouth of the balloon so the fan can push air into it. After 10 or 15 minutes of this noisy, windy activity, the pilot lights the burners and starts to heat the air inside the envelope. The hot air pushes out the cold air and the balloon is almost ready to fly-as soon as you hop in! With crew assistance, (or possibly not!) you hop in the basket, pose for your picture again-Smile!-and your adventure truly begins.

Enjoy the next hour or so. You’ve joined the ranks of the truly lucky.

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