This past week I watched in awe as bright colored balloons filled the air in Mesquite, Nevada during it's Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. It's magical watching the large colorful balloons floating effortlessly into Mesquite's wide-open desert skies.
This was my 3rd year attending it and I still love to see the air fill up with those colorful balloons. It is really something to be standing close to one as it begins to ascend into the sky. They look so magical floating through the air effortlessly without a worry in the world.
In this blog you will find information on:
A bit of history on hot air balloons
How do hot air balloons work?
My hot air balloon magical ride
Hot air balloon festivals
National Balloon Museum
A Bit of History:
Hot Air Balloons have been around for almost 2 1/2 centuries. The first hot air balloon was invented in 1783 by two French brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier.
The first public demonstration of a hot air balloon in the United States took place on January 9, 1793 at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street in New York.
How Do Hot Air Balloons Work?
Hot air balloons work by using a large, lightweight fabric envelope that is filled with heated air. The heat from the air inside the envelope causes the balloon to rise, while the cooler air outside causes it to descend.
Hot air balloons are propelled by wind, and a pilot can steer the balloon by changing the temperature of the air inside the envelope. The pilot uses a burner to heat the air inside the envelope, which causes the balloon to rise. To descend, the pilot releases some of the hot air from the envelope, allowing it to cool and become denser.
My Hot Air Balloon Magical Ride:
I was lucky enough to go on a hot air balloon ride in Sedona Arizona the year I turned 60. I thoroughly enjoyed my hot air balloon ride, it was an experience I will always remember.
I was very impressed with all the steps involved in the set up preparation. The morning is the best time to take one up because there is usually less wind. I was a little surprised at having to get up at 4:30 am to get ready to be at the designated area before dawn.
When we got there, everyone was running around setting things up, it seemed everyone had a job to do and they worked efficiently as a team. Lots to do before we even left the ground.
It was still dark when we finally loaded into the basket, known as the gondola. The early morning air was very chilly. I was a bit concerned I hadn't bought warm enough clothing. Once we started ascending I forgot all about the temperature and watched with awe as we rose above the trees.
Once we ascended high enough and the burner was turned down we began to float. I experienced the magical feeling of floating effortlessly through the air. A wonderful feeling of oneness with the morning as we peacefully floated above the earth as if on a cloud. It felt like we belonged there between heaven and earth, watching the sun slowly show us its beautiful colors as it rose up to greet us.
Pure Magic. It made getting up early so worth it.
There is quite a skill in landing a hot air balloon. The goal is to get as close to a road as possible eliminating the extra work involved packing all the gear out to the road. I found it a little unnerving to be floating so close to the tops of the trees especially when there isn't a steering wheel. I was happy to see the ground crew waiting down below to get us secured and unloaded.
Hot Air Balloon Festivals:
I have a great respect and appreciation for people that love flying hot air balloons so much they go from place to place, festival to festival sharing their passion with others.
There are many Hot Air Balloon festivals throughout the world, below is a list that may be near you:
Colorado Springs, CO
Lake Skinner, CA in Temeculula Valley
If you are planning a trip to any of these places, check out the coming events page at the local Chamber of Commerce to find exact dates and times.
National Balloon Museum in Iowa
If are interested in a more comprehensive understanding of Hot Air Ballooning visit the National Balloon Museum In Indianol, Iowa known for its prime flying conditions. https://www.nationalballoonmuseum.com They are currently the home of the National Balloon Classic, a nine day premier ballooning event.
Wendy's Words for you......It has been my pleasure to write this blog for you. I hope you enjoyed it too. I think seeing a Hot Air Balloon brings out the child in all of us. There seems to be a mystery and magic about them. The bright colors just draw you right into the mystic.
If you have an interest in getting involved with or flying a Hot Air Balloon, I encourage you to do it.