Did you know that you can't steer a hot air balloon in any direction or control the speed by which it travels, you can only go up or down?!! That being said it is considered as one of the safest forms of air travel! You statistically have a greater chance of a fatal accident on your drive to the balloon than you do riding in it! I mention this because when we shared our journey into the sky with others they thought we were "crazy" (we might be a little) getting into a wicker basket loaded with people, compressed gas, and flames to soar uncontrollably around the Las Vegas perimeter!!! However the good news is that it is very safe, and moreover an incredible experience.
First we want to stop and thank our friends at Vegas Balloon Rides for hosting our airborne adventure. We can't say enough about the playful, genuine, yet safe personalities of the entire family at Vegas Balloon Rides. Notice how we said "family"... that word choice was intentional as it perfectly describes the extraordinary personalities displayed by the entire crew. From the second they picked you up at 4 a.m. for the sunrise ride, to the time they dropped you off, they literally made you feel like you were with family who you've know and trusted your entire life. Their sense of humor, playful engagement, and loving attention made us feel like we were riding with family or long time buddies. As a business owner I can respect this greatly, as it's not easy to produce a true and genuine loving experience.
After our REALLLLY early wake up call (we were up when most were going to bed 3:15 a.m.), we headed to the rally point, signed the waivers, and were off to set up the balloon. One of the many things we loved is how they encouraged you to get involved with the entire process, from set up to break down. We are hands on, roll up your sleeves, kind of people. We jumped right in and took part in the process. Getting deeper into the experience can make for a more memorable one!
UP-UP and AWAY!!! Once we were up in the air all we can say is.... phenomenal!!! The quite serenity of being in an open-air basket, with not a cloud in the sky, creeping through the horizon with only Mother Nature's wind as our guidance is overwhelming breathtaking. It's strange at first to be so high, leaning over an oversized woven picnic basket, with only the murmur of those aboard and the occasional sound of blasting air into the balloon. Those flames by the way.... watch out... they are HOT!! Definitely wear a hat if you can while riding.
After soaring to an unknown destination, as they literally just play it by ear based on how the wind is blowing, we landed safely and quietly in an abandoned field of Nevada desert plants. The entire time we were airborne, our experienced pilot, fit with red mohawk and stylish shades, communicated with the chase vans below. This road-wise and knowledgable chase group essentially communicated with our pilot to meet us at the unknown landing spot as it continually unfolded and developed. It is quite wild how the whole landing process unfolded.
After and incredibly soft landing, we all jumped off for a champagne toast and some ballooning history from our experience race ballooning pilot (yes that's actually a thing!). What an incredible experience from start to finish. Next time you are in Vegas, drop the casino chips, put the drink down, or dry off from the pool and head for a memorable airborne adventure!
Check out our Youtube Video Recap of the event