Over the past ten plus years, we have had the opportunity to take twenty-three hot air balloon rides eight of them with Galena On The Fly. What an experience; nothing compares.
The following thoughts help capture the experience: "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sunsplit clouds...Wheeled and soared and swung - high in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting winds along,...and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air...Where never lark or even eagle flew...And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untrepassed sanctity of space".
Add to that the professionalism, quick wit, and humor of Captain Andy and you create a memorable experience.
No doubt, it is expensive. However, there is much overhead; hot air balloon systems don't come cheap, add to that the cost of trucks, vans, trailers and gas; also one must purchase other ancillary equipment and employ chase crew. Don't forget the insurance that is required. When you factor in all the costs, it is a reasonable charge.
One other complication; weather. Safety always comes first and weather is critical. High winds at the surface or aloft can cancel a flight; also thunderstorms and lightning cannot be nearby.
Some say that the flights seem short. Remember two things: (1) like a fixed wing air craft you attempt to land with your fuel tanks around half full; (2) Take offs are optional landings are mandatory.
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