Wednesday, September 12, 2007


A 10 - Plus a WOW!

What a fine flight! Duchess and I enjoyed every minute.....We met in Tampa, drove out to New Tampa and set up in a small park adjacent to a grade school. Once laid out the balloon was inflated...first by gas-powered fans, and then the giant flame was lit.
Once the balloon were inflated (there were three of them) we were almost ready. The red balloon was 1st off.
Air America, our balloon, in its red-white and blue with stars design.
They won't wipe the smile off the Duchess and I for weeks!
We're off. Looking back at the third balloon still on the ground as we rise ever-so-gracefully into the air.
In front of us the red balloon is above the homes and trees and the morning haze still visible on the ground.
In the picture below I am looking straight down at the top of a tree where, if you look closely, you'll see an egret sitting in the top branches. It is at the top edge of the tree in bright white. (HINT: Click on the photo for an enlarged picture)
In the morning sunlight we were chasing our own shadow as we slowly drifted over the woods and meadows below. Our altitude ranged a good bit as the pilot sought different air each level the wind was from a slightly different direction.
The red balloon drifted low over a cow pasture, and the sound of his burner sent the entire herd off to the right at what was, I thought, a quite respectable speed for cows!
We landed North of Route 54 in a field area where a construction trailer sat. We stopped about 30 feet short of the trailer, surprising the occupants considerably. Next up....the tear-down process. Our crew and pilot made short work of it.
The flight was wonderful, the pilot talented, and the entire trip a joy. Of course, it ended with a nice lunch of meat-cheese-salsa-cookies, and a Mimosa to spread the sunshine joy of such a trip in Florida.

Great fun and a BIG Thank You to Pilot Dave, and his entire crew for a great time. Check out Celebration Aviation if you wish to try a really neat balloon ride.


p.s. Another GIANT Thank You to Duchess.....This flight was a present from her to me!

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