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.
When you are floating so high, there is silence, which is so hard to find these days. There was even a segment on the quietest places on the earth recently on Dateline, or 20/20. I really enjoyed that piece and while in a balloon, you get to experience that quiet. No sounds of traffic below, no jets, no cell phones ringing, no texting sounds, nothing. Silence. The occasional sound of the fire being lit in the balloon, and perhaps a few words exchanged between passengers, out pilot pointing out things or answering questions. But over all a peace that I cannot explain.
Of course there is the thrill of looking at all these things in a hovering or slow motion, things that you quickly see while taking off from Sky Harbor and loose sight of so fast in a jet.
Being in a balloon gives one the opportunity to take in nature, enjoy the beauty of our planet, breathe, and enjoy silence. If you are looking for a place that captures all of these things, then I highly recommend a balloon flight. There are several balloon companies around Sedona, but I only recommend companies who are permitted by the US Forest Service. These companies pay a fee to the USFS, which goes to help preserve the forest among other things. Northern Light Balloon Expeditions and Red Rock Balloon Adventures are the three permitted companies allowed to fly in the Coconino National Forest.
Don’t miss our Sedona Adventures page on our website. There is so much to do here and our Complimentary Concierge Service will help you make all your plans to get the very most out of your stay with us at Alma de Sedona.
I am looking forward to a flight over the Red Rocks!!