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Don’s First Hot Air Balloon Ride

Don’s First Hot Air Balloon Ride
November 07
08:19 2017

Sandy & I on the left, with the crew

Hi, I’m Don Burch, the newest employee at Lake Powell Communications.

As I’ve only been here for around six weeks, I was very excited to be chosen for a ride in a hot air balloon during media day at the Page/Lake Powell Balloon Regatta the other day.

That Friday started around 5:30 A.M. so my wife Sandy and I could get to the Page National Golf Corse around 6:30 to find our pilot and get in the air by around 8. We were introduced to our new friends Keith and Maryanne Evans, the owners of “Similes Dream,” a beautiful red and black balloon Keith had purchased about five years ago.  Being new to all of this my wife and I were very excited about helping the “crew” that morning.  As we began to assemble the upper part of the basket and get it attached to the envelope (Balloon) we were amazed at the size and the delicate nature of the structure.  The gas powered fan roared to life and began to fill the massive envelope as we held the mouth of it open.

There were many knowing looks between my wife Sandy and I. “This is so COOL” was written all over our faces.

After heating the air inside the envelope a bit it with the blowtorch of a burner the envelope began to rise from its horizontal position on the ground to its fully inflated upright stance.  At this point I was so excited I could barely talk.  With a bit of instruction I am told to climb in, which I do with the eagerness of a kid climbing into his first amusement park ride.  Sandy chose to stay on the ground.

After a few bursts from the burner we oh so gently ascend in to the crisp clear fall sky.  I was overwhelmed by how calm it all was.  Aside from a periodic blast from the burner the ride was very smooth and surprisingly quiet.  The view of Page below us, Lake Powell to the north and the wide open vistas to the south, the view was truly breath taking.

All too soon the flight came to an end with a gentle one hop touchdown on a neighborhood street on the west side of town, as people exited their homes to watch this huge red and black balloon gently return to earth.

I thought to myself, “this is a day I’ll never forget”.

We then deflated and packed away “Similes Dream” and began helping another crew who landed a short distance from us.

Looking back, it seemed that as soon as the adventure began, it was over.  Since that day, all I can think about is the next time I get to hop into the basket and take the ride of a lifetime.

Thank You, Keith and Maryanne Evans!

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