30 by 30: Hot Air Balloon Ride

This was one of the most spontaneous trips I’ve taken. Normally, I’m a type of person to plan everything out before I get to a city and have places I want to go to, or things I want to do each day. Busy season (it’s seriously never ending) and my trip to Chicago had taken a lot out of me so all I had planned was a flight and a hotel room for the weekend.

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Actually, this whole trip was slightly less thought through than my normal trips. I was going to a work training and since the Company will pay for my flights to and from the training, I decided to go to Phoenix the weekend before – both to check some things off the bucket list, but also for the warm weather and a weekend away from San Francisco.

As I was flying to Phoenix, I decided what I was going to be doing. I had done my research on which hot air balloon service I wanted to go with, but nothing else really. This was as spontaneous as I get.

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First they brought us out to this field where most of these hot air balloons are filled and take off. The hot air balloon operator/pilot had two guys help him which came with great photo ops.

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Check it out! We’re taking off!

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In the hot air balloon itself, it was really cool to see other balloons.

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The pilot would use the burner to go up and down – took it about 20 or so seconds after the fire started before we would start going up. I’d admit it was slightly scary when we went down so much and not going up as quickly.

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Also if the balloon is moving through different areas of the atmospheric pressures, it changes the shape of the balloon. It’s actually pretty cool and kind of scary. We went all the way up to 7,000 ft in the air – that’s the highest we were allowed to go because airplanes are in that area.

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Finally when we were coming down, the pilot let all the air out through the top vents. It was like the balloon was letting go of everything. Honestly, pretty cool to see the balloon collapse once the top vents were pulled.

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Such a great experience overall and I’m so glad I was able to check thing this thing off on the 30 by 30 list!

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