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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Headline, http://www.soharpsogood.com/, xanax online apotheke » http://www.honesteonline.com/

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Kate & hot air balloon

Last week I was lucky enough to go on another grand adventure…this time on a  Hot Air Balloon ride from Valley View Ballooning.

If the majority of the population were to make themselves a Bucket List (you know, a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket), I’m going to guess that “Hot Air Ballooning” would be on the lists of a fairly large portion of of those people. It would be on mine for sure.  Hot air ballooning just seems so peaceful and romantic and adventurous, doesn’t it? Let me tell you, I was not disappointed.  It was even more amazing, exhilarating, and beautiful than I could have imagined.

I have to admit that the night before my hot air ballooning adventure, I was feeling a little bit nervous.  I am a cautious person by nature and spend my fair share of time wondering about the “what if’s” in life.   But mixed in with a slight case of the nerves was also feeling of being very excited too.  I mean…I was about to take off in a hot air balloon.  How amazing is that?  I was a few hours away from having my own Wizard of Oz adventure, sans sparkly red shoes. (I had on white flats, if you must know.)

The hot air balloon adventure began at 6:30 in the morning in a field at Art Dye Park in American Fork, UT. There were hot air balloon 015nine of us total, going up in the wicker basket – the pilot, Bob Haut (owner of Valley View Ballooning) and eight passengers including my husband and myself, a couple getting married the next day, a mom and daughter, and a couple that was dating.

We were quickly put to work helping Bob and his wife Julie, and the rest of the crew hot air balloon 019at unrolling , setting up and inflating the balloon.  It made the experience complete to be a part of the hot air ballooning crew.

After the balloon was unrolled and attached to the basket, we began the daunting task of inflating such a large piece of fabric. We used two industrial sized fans to begin the inflation, and kept them blasting air until the balloon was  mostly inflated.

hot air balloon 024

The balloon is almost ready for some heat.

Then it was time for Bob to fire up the propane burners.

Then it was time for Bob to fire up the propane burners.

balloon 63 propane

Hearing the whoosh of the first blast, seeing the fire shooting into the balloon and feeling the heat from the flame - that's when the real sense of the hot air balloon adventure kicked in.

hot air balloon 037

The balloon is slowly filling with hot air.

balloon 38

The balloon rises and is almost ready for take-off.

All that is left is to hop into the basket with the assuistance of ground crew chief Marion Ito (who is also an atorney in the real world.)

All that is left is to hop into the basket with the assistance of ground crew chief Marion Ito (who is also an attorney in the real world) and then take off into the wild blue yonder.

The assent was so slow, gradual, and smooth that even the most wary of passengers would feel at ease with the take off.  I absolutely was not scared for even a moment.  We floated up into the heavens on this beautiful sunny Utah morning. When asked how he controls the direction the balloon travels, Bob explained that at different altitudes the wind currents are blowing different speeds and directions and that by shifting altitudes he could generally maneuver the balloon. In fact, Bob’s motto is, “Steering wheels are for sissies.”

Here are some of the gorgeous sites from the hot air balloon flight.

balloon 37

balloon 55

balloon 51balloon 60

balloon 34balloon 40

balloon 43balloon 41

Here's Kate on her Grand Hot Air Balloon Adventure

Here's Kate on her Grand Hot Air Balloon Adventure

After an amazing journey, our pilot Bob began looking for a place to land the balloon. According to the Valley View Ballooning website, the pilot “will be looking for vacant lots, empty fields, parks, parking lots, and other possible landing sites.”  For our trip, the landing spot was a soccer field at Lone Peak High School.  With the ground crew and Bob’s wife, Julie, following the path of the balloon on the ground in vehicles and through the use of walkie talkies, all arrived at the landing spot at the same time.  Kudos to Bob for an absolutely soft and gentle landing.

But the adventure wasn’t over yet because we also pitched in with the dismantling of the balloon.

The balloon starts to deflate on a tarp put down by the ground crew to keep the balloon from getting wet.

The balloon starts to deflate on a tarp put down by the ground crew to keep the balloon from getting wet.

Bryce Warner (from France) and Bob Hout, balloon owner and pilot unhook the cables which attach the balloon to the basket.

Bryce Warner (from France) of the ground crew, and Bob Haut, balloon owner and pilot, unhook the cables which attach the balloon to the basket.

The top of the balloon detached so the air can also escape through the top.

The top of the balloon detaches so the air can also escape through the top.

balloon 18

balloon 23

balloon 28

If you live in the Utah County area, and would like to go on a Hot Air Balloon Adventure like Kate, just click here and enter promotional code QWPQ2 or call 801-368-9920 and mention the code.

If you don’t live near Utah County, check out HotAirBallooning.com to find a hot air balloon ride near you.

kate pic~Kate

Enjoy your Coffee Break!

Want to submit your own story to be considered for the Guest Headline post to run on Fridays?  Just let us know at lizandkate@live.com.

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