I had the opportunity last week to go on a balloon flight out of north Phoenix with the Rainbow Ryders.  What an awesome and truly amazing experience it was for me.  This was my first experience in a balloon, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Flying has always been an adventure for me and I have been fortunate enough to fly in aircraft from a Piper Cub, Helicopters, up to a 777, and even a flight simulator before 9/11.  I flew around Mt. McKinley in a Piper Cub, crossing deep crevasses of Caribbean blue ice.  Although incredibly beautiful, I had just finished the book Alive!, so flying across this vast isolated icy area was a bit scary at times.

This was a completely different experience.  I had wondered how I would react going up above the earth in nothing more than a basket that really had no control of where it was going.  As we gently lifted off from the ground, I found myself in awe of the peacefulness and the quiet in the desert.  As we rose higher, I was so captivated by what I was seeing and the sense of floating, I forgot to think about my above question!  We had very little wind this day, so we weren’t able to fly very far, but it didn’t matter to me, I was floating, gently and quietly above the earth.  We reached an altitude of 6500 ft above sea level, which sounds very high, but it really is not.  We were able to see downtown Phoenix, the San Francisco peaks in Flagstaff (about 150 miles away) andLake Pleasant, north of Phoenix. More