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On The Road Outside of Florida Cruising | Scenic Routes | Speed Traps | Cool Places To Visit | Interesting Experiences while travelling outside of Florida.

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Unread 08-10-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
Rich Z
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Default Hot air balloon ride in Asheville, NC

Connie and I went up to Asheville, NC a little while back and took our first hot air balloon ride. Although the weather didn't look all that good it actually turned out to be an excellent day for it and we had a fun ride. I had visions of winding up in a power line or the middle of a lake, but these guys flying these things apparently have been doing this for a long time and know what they are doing.

Highly recommended if you get a chance to do this yourself.

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Unread 08-10-2012, 08:05 PM   #2
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Neat video, Rich! Our daughter lives in Asheville, and Dotty and I think it's
a great place to visit. Lotsa fun things to do and see, at least from ground level!
I've got taking a hot air balloon as one of the items on my bucket list, and maybe I'll
"git-er-done" one of these days. Did you enjoy the ride? How long was it, and about
how many miles did you travel overall in the air? Looks to be a really peaceful ride, except
for the burner noise. Would you recommend a hot air balloon ride to people, and would
you recommend THIS one specifically? What's next.........? Sell one of the Vettes,
buy a hot air balloon, and embark on your next career? LOL

Andy
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Unread 08-10-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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Yeah, it actually was fun, but I don't have any idea how long it was or how far we travelled. I haven't worn a watch for a LONG time. The pilot says he tries to take his passengers as far as he can, for as long as he can, based on weather conditions. But apparently there is a point not too far past where we came down that there are NO landing spots available. So I guess a lot depends on wind speed and direction. They send up test balloons before committing to the big balloons, I guess to make sure they are going to be going in a safe direction. So it is entirely possible that the flight can be scrubbed and you will have wasted the morning. You will have to sign a disclaimer holding them blameless if you get injured or killed, btw. I do have to admit I wasn't all that thrilled about that.

The guy said one time he had to land in 30 mph winds, so I would bet that was a bit hair raising. He was actually a bit concerned because there was a storm front heading our way at the time.

The reason I didn't have the video running when we landed was because they recommend keeping both hands wrapped around some support, and flex your knees for the jolt of landing. There are a couple of things worth commenting on, I suppose. One is that if you are tall, that propane flame is going to be pretty close to the top of your head, and you can REALLY feel the heat from it. So a hat would be recommended. Also, even though it is more money, a private flight with a small group of family or friends will be a LOT more comfortable than letting them pack the flight with as many as they can squeeze in there. We were like sardines, and I would have liked to have been able to move around a bit to get better angles. As it was, the best I could do is to move within about a two foot square space.

Speaking of that disclaimer, check YouTube for some balloon mishaps to get a feel for what CAN go wrong.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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Cool video Rich. What was that blue stuff in the background? It looked a lot like sky but it's been so long since I've seen any I'm not sure. It also looks like potty breaks had better happen before the ride begins. I doubt farmers would appreciate people watering their crops from the air.
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Unread 08-11-2012, 01:33 PM   #5
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Yeah, I know what you mean. Every once in a while there is this very bright light we see from the sky. I think it's a UFO.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #6
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There is a group here in Wesley Chapel every morning. I see them around SR 54 and I75 as I am leaving going to work.
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Unread 08-13-2012, 06:20 AM   #7
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I agree with you Rich. It is a great experience if you have never done it. I did hot air balloning in Steamboat Springs, CO. and it was such a thrill and so calm to be up there with just the sound of the air as you go along. Certainly recommend to give it a try.
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Unread 08-13-2012, 08:29 AM   #8
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OK, with those recommendations, it looks like I will be moving "hot air balloon ride"
up a few notches on my bucket list. I always thought I would like to do that ride, but
just just keep putting it off for one reason or the other. I also want to go on one of those
parachutes that are pulled behind a boat. Para-sailing maybe? 2 of my kids did that when
we were in Key Largo a bunch of years ago. I gave them each one of those waterproof
disposable cameras so they could take pictures while they were in the air, and we got some
incredible pictures. We were on the Gulf side of the keys, and you can see across the
keys to the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Dotty and I are basically invisible in the boat WAYYYYYYYY
down below the camera. It looks to be fun as well, but like the hot air balloon ride, I've
just kept putting it off. Guess I gotta try harder!
Andy
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Unread 10-01-2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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Another bucket list item even if I'm scared of heights. Beautiful scenery and seeing several baloons at once floating care free! Thanks for sharing your video and trip.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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Yeah, I wouldn't mind doing this again in other parts of the country.

Honestly, I'm not too keen about heights myself. But you don't really even feel that you are very high up at all.
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