On Exploring Ballooning

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I pick projects according to how fascinating they are to me, and it has resulted in a broad reach. My records are actually in five different sports: balloons, airplanes, airships, gliders, and sailboats. (Steve Fossett, aviator)

The balloons only have one life and the only way of finding out whether they work is to attempt to fly around the world. (Richard Branson, businessman)

My dream date is a tall, dark, handsome, blue-eyed man with a bubble butt who will whisk me away to Paris in a hot air balloon to wine me, dine me and. (Karen McDougal, model)

My grandmother flew only once in her life, and that was the day she and her new husband ascended into the skies of Victorian London in the wicker basket of a hot-air balloon. They were soon to emigrate to Canada, and the aerial ride was meant to be a last view of their beloved England. (Alan Bradley, writer)

If there was the opportunity to climb a mountain, or to go ballooning, or some adventurous activity, I would always be keen to do it. I loved the countryside. (Roger Bannister, athlete)

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64 thoughts on “On Exploring Ballooning

  1. I think I would get sick in a balloon. 🙂 They are cool to watch though.
    Did you know the first US balloon flight took off from Philadelphia and landed near where I live in Deptford, NJ? It was done by Jean Pierre Blanchard in 1793 (he had a dog with him, too), and he wrote a book about it. I have an excerpt in my forthcoming “World of the American Revolution.”

    I loved the quote about the Victorian couple who took the balloon ride to see England before they emigrated.

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  2. Twice while we lived in Switzerland we tried to go to the Chateau D’oex balloon festival. It is held in January every year in the Swiss Alps. Imagine all these colorful balloons against the backdrop of the snowy mountains! Well, that’s all we can do, too. Because January is a time of shifting winds. The festival is frequently halted due to weather. We arrived as the balloons were filling, parked, walked to the launch site, only to find lumps of fabric and lots of baskets. The day was cancelled due to shifting winds. TWICE!

    Oh well. We had to settle for beautiful scenery and fondue. And chocolate.

    Come to think of it, they were delightful days!

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  3. Oh, and the timing of this post was perfect, Frank. I just got a new computer and the was the first YouTube I watched. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better one!

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  4. Beautiful mass ascension. Brochure said 216 were entered. Balloons cost $15K-$100K, let’s say average $50K. Nearly $10,000,000 floated off with the wind that day. 🙂

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  5. How beautiful! I think I would love to go up in one. The ornamental deco of the balloons themselves agains the sky adds to the loveliness of it all….I wonder if there are ever any collisions in those mass ascendings….

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    • Cynthia,
      Given the numbers at this festival, I also wonder about the potential for mishaps. Glad you would love to take a ride … and I image a ride over your state would be wonderful. By the way, for a chuckle, see the link I left List of X.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Frank, there was a small airport near my parents’ farm and hot air ballooners often launched from there and passed over our hills. I was married outdoors on their farm and a balloon went by during the ceremony. My father-in-law, on seeing the balloon, was said to have remarked “Here comes K*****!” referring to my groom’s ex-girlfriend who had a history of showing up unexpectedly. So, seeing balloons reminds me of my wedding day, in a weird way 🙂

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  7. I had a chance to ride with a professional hot air balloon team. We had to make an emergency landing in Belgium and were promptly arrested by the military for illegally crossing the border. We also did not have our passports with us. (we had no intention leaving Germany) After much explaining, we were let go.

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  8. To ride in a balloon, is to fly above tribulations. The decent an accumulation of a journey, beginning in one place an ending in the shake of the dice. It is not flying nor floating, more like breathing without the exhale, but the jolt of landing snaps you back to reality and you have to breath again. You know you have changed in someway, and probably faced some fears. ……..thank you ever so much for vids and the embedded mind wanders it elicited. You is a ‘facilitator’.

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    • Calvin,
      Many thanks for the kind words … and yes … I see a number of posts to initiate conversation – thus a facilitator. 🙂
      Then again, your ability for the poetic flare with metaphors is outstanding!

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  9. Hot air balloons look so peaceful, but they are really very noisy. When one is preparing to launch at the airport next to the trail where I walk my dog I can hear it long before I can see it. One time years ago at a horse show one decided to hover over an outdoor arena. All the horses went wild in fright from the racket it made yet it made no effort to leave. In spite of all that I’d still like to ride in one someday.

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  10. I have only ever been high in a tethered Balloon when I look my two young children at the time to a country Fair.. But the exhilarating feeling of floating high above ants of people before we came down was something none of us forgot.. The only scary bit for me at least ( as my children loved it ) was the noise of the gas burners as they powered up to heat the balloon so it rose . 🙂 Lovely post Frank. x

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  11. There was a time when I thought I would love a hot air balloon ride. How romantic, right? Now I’m thinking not so much–wild hair, loud hot airy noises, motion sickness… I do like watching them from the ground, though. 🙂

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  12. The balloons are so beautiful, but I’m not much for off-the-ground adventure. I do love to watch. The Temecula wine region of Southern California hosts wine and ballooning adventures and we’ve been in the area when they’re showcased. Beautiful. But I’m a scaredy-cat! I freely admit. 🙂

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  13. Definitely on my to-do list. Unfortunately, when my father opened up his Re/Max office way back when, I was unable to go up to celebrate (they do that… get a Re/Max ballon and fly…)

    We have an International festival in one of our suburbs, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Not quite as huge as the one shown in your timelapse though! https://www.ballooncanada.com/

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