Balloons (228/365)

by Lee Santiva August. 16, 2019 100 views
Hot air balloon just barely making it over the highway

Hot air balloon just barely making it over the highway

When I was younger I used to always dream of riding in a hot air balloon, it seemed like such a quiet and peaceful way to see a beautiful landscape from a new perspective.

While I was out shooting for the blog Round this yellow hot air balloon flew overhead and seemed in trouble since it was flying so low, barely clearing the highway.

I've seen hot air balloons get into trouble many times before but I didn't always have my "good" camera with a zoom lens with me to capture the event.

Hot air balloon coming in for an unplanned landing

Hot air balloon coming in for an unplanned landing

One evening in June I was in my backyard and I heard that unmistakeable "breathing" sound - like a giant gasping for air. I looked up and saw a red hot air balloon as it was attempting to rise to clear the houses in our subdivision.

The "breathing" sound is the sound of the gas burner turned up high to generate heat to get the massive balloon to rise. It made it over the houses okay but now it was headed straight for high-voltage wires!

I grabbed my camera and ran to the edge of the field and along the way, I wondered if I shouldn't have grabbed my phone instead to be able to call the fire department...

Emergency landing of a hot air balloon on a small field

Emergency landing of a hot air balloon on a small field

The balloon pilot was obviously very skilled as he carefully deflated the massive balloon to avoid the winds pulling the balloon into the high-voltage transmission power lines during deflation.

Emergency landing of a hot air balloon - that was close!!

Emergency landing of a hot air balloon - that was close!!

The red one got down in just in time but it didn't have much field left to land in: it managed to fit in-between a greenhouse, the road and a fenced-in pen, and the power lines.

I wouldn't want anyone to end up like this:

Burst party balloons in a tree

Burst party balloons in a tree

After witnessing so many near misses of hot air balloons, there's no way I would ride in one today. I think its terrifying, there's so little control over the beast.

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