Wow! What a day! Steve & I were sleeping in a bit, we are still on holidays. It was after 8 am we were still in bed; but awake & the driveway dinger went off, shortly followed by the door bell. As Steve got up to answer the door the phone rang too which I answered. (it was Frank, PS: Liz, the following is why I didnt’t stop by to see you in the morning as I had suggested to Frank that I would).
Steve came back to the room to say that the REMAX hot air ballon team wanted to launch their balloon off of our front lawn; of course he said ‘sure, go ahead’. I grabbed my camera and went outside to take some up close pictures of the set-up procedure. I started chatting with the guys & told them they could use our lawn anytime they wanted & if they ever needed some ‘ballast’ I would be happy to go along too someday. After a bit more chatting, the pilot Hal asked me if I could be ready in 15 minutes or so…..can you say ‘fastest shower ever’! They were only planning on a short flight, about 1/2 hr or so.
So the rest is history, I took a ton of pictures, Hal took the one of me with our home below, Steve took the ones from the ground perspective. Stop by sometime & I will bore you with my pictures! (we flew over towards south Cambridge, south of the 401 before touching down in a farmers field off of Gore Rd, nearly 1 hour later)
HOW COOL IS THAT! (& how lucky am I, a hot air balloon flight courtsey of the REMAX crew! I have always dreamed of doing this but never acted upon it)
The touch down was interesting, on ‘paid for tourist’ flights there is always a ground crew there to make sure all goes smoothly. This was just the two of us with no crew to help control us; Hal know what he is doing but we are still somewhat at the mercy of the wind gusts. The basket had set down on its bottom but wanted to either tip or skip along as the winds had gotten gusty. It kept trying to pushing us over so Hal dumped the air out of the balloon rather quickly & the envelope laid down real nice. The basket was now on its side I was hanging on to two of the struts on the high side with my foot pressed into the opposite side of the basket between Hal’s legs otherwise I would have been on top of him. Just like Hal’s said ‘no elegant way to get in and no elegant way to get out!’
Suffice to say, I am ready for my next flight! Who else is game? Liz was looking into this recently, looks like it is about $500.00 each in a larger rig that takes up to 6! (I got my flight courtesy of Hal but trust me, it is worth it!) Can you say “ooohhh, look at those fall colours!”
Did you also know that I am now officially an aeronaut? Look it up in the dictionary; it is good to learn something new every day!
PS: Turns out Hal has been chosen to represent Canada in next years ‘World’s Hot Air Balloon Competition” in Austria! Appears I was in good hands!