The drive was pretty tiring but we slept very well and were excited about the event. I did ask the pilot how long he’d been doing this just to make myself feel sure. He teased that he learned how on You Tube last week. Ha! Actually he’s been piloting balloons for 14 years. When the other passengers arrived we boarded a van with the balloon packed on back and headed out of town.
The sky was turning a breath taking orange as we arrived at our destination. The two crew guys worked quickly to unpack a rainbow carpet and set up a fan to poof out the balloon. When he asked if anyone wanted to help I quickly volunteered and was put to task holding open the bottom of the balloon so the air could get inside. As it inflated the pilot walked into the cavern and worked to straighten out the guide ropes and spread out the fabric folds.
Before long it began to look like a colorful light bulb lying on its side. Then from the passenger basket placed on its side at the bottom he starting shooting hot air into the balloon. A slow rise upward brought the basket into position for us to climb in. That proved not to be a graceful feat for this old gal but I managed to use a stool and the foot holes to hoist myself upon the edge enough to swing my feet over and into the basket. Good thing I’ve been taking my vitamins!
We rose straight up for a awesome view of the Rocky Mountains. As the sun continued to rise the landscape transformed to brilliant displays. The Garden of the Gods showed us exactly how they earned their name as they stood out from the landscape as the sun showed us their beauty.
I was a little disappointed that the lack of winds kept us in the same general area but it was still an awesome sight from the 12,500 feet we reached. It was quiet except when the heat was blowing and still. You don’t feel the wind because you are moving with it. And we enjoyed a nice Champaign toast to our successful trip at the end.
If you have ballooning on your bucket list, I’d recommend Rainbow Ryders, and check for a Groupon discount. They fly from several locations. It’s pretty easy to prepare for. All you need is:
- layered clothing
- A hat
Check on my Facebook page to hear about our fishing, camping and the great train ride on the Combres Toltec Scenic Railroad. It was a fantastic way to complete our vacation week.