Presentation on theme: "By Mrs. Nolen. In July, Mr. Nolen, Nolen, and I experienced what it is like to float on the air. There is nothing else that compares to a hot air balloon."— Presentation transcript:
By Mrs. Nolen
In July, Mr. Nolen, Nolen, and I experienced what it is like to float on the air. There is nothing else that compares to a hot air balloon ride. Although an airplane soars to higher elevations, the atmosphere from within the small basket under a hot air balloon is distinctively different!
The three of us met Skip, the navigator and owner of the hot air balloon, in the parking lot of the Steak and Shake restaurant in Fenton. A crew of five and nine passengers boarded a van with the basket attached to the rear. Nolen climbed on a stool to get a better view of the inside of the basket. It was divided into four tight compartments. The pilot would ride in the center while the other three compartments would provide standing room only for nine passengers!
Our group drove to House Springs where we parked in a grassy field outside their elementary school. The woven basket was removed from the white van and tipped on its side. The balloon was unrolled on the ground and attached to the basket. A large gas powered fan began to inflate the balloon.
Each and every passenger had a job to do as we prepared for our amazing flight. Eventually, the propane burner was ignited which aided in filling the massive parachute. The balloon increased in size until it was enormous and had enough hot air to lift the basket up. By this time, Nolen and I were getting pretty excited. I didn’t know it at the time, but Nolen was also quite nervous about flying.
Once the basket sat upright, we hurriedly climbed into our designated compartment. Nolen asked me if he could stay behind because he had changed his mind about this particular trip. His chin barely cleared the top of the basket, and he was the youngest passenger on board.
Mr. Nolen and I asked Nolen to look up and see the amazing expanse of balloon above us. As we lifted off into the peaceful, blue sky he began to forget about his fear.
The sights from high in the sky were awesome. We were low enough to hear people yelling hello to us from the ground, but high enough to get a bird’s eye view of everything. One time, our pilot allowed our vessel to descend enough so we could grab leaves from the top of a tree.
Nolen covered his ears every time the burner was triggered to deliver more hot air into the balloon. It was noisy, but only lasted for short spurts during our flight. The rest of the trip was unbelievably peaceful. Nolen also realized his talent for accuracy as he managed to get his spit into a few swimming pools.
The sun was slipping below the horizon, and it became necessary to locate an appropriate landing spot. Times Beach Park was across Highway 44 and provided a suitable field with ample level ground. The ground crew ran to meet us as we descended.
The field exposed bare legs to a variety of hungry bugs, so most of us stayed put in the basket until the crew could drag us to the road. Once there, Nolen and the “other men” disembarked and helped to get the balloon to a larger treeless field. It was only then that the hot air could be released from the balloon.
Following our safe delivery back to the original parking lot, we celebrated this wonderful experience ! We will never forget it!