Red Rock Balloon Rides

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Loraleefry on July 10, 2003

I have always wanted to take a hot air balloon ride, but at $400 up, it just seemed too expensive. I could not believe the $165/pp rate and thought it was some cheap, "fly by the seat of your pants" deal. I asked several locals and they assured me it was a wonderful experience and I would not regret a penny. So the last full day of my trip, I booked a flight.

At 5:30Am they picked me up at the timeshare along with passengers at other resorts. We drove in darkness to a canyon where, once we arrived, they began filling the balloon. A couple of coyotes sat about a hundred yards away watching as the sun rose and the great, colorful, silken balloon grew and rose as well. The balloon was carrying seventeen passengers and our pilot. We were all ably assisted in getting in the basket after a briefing, even those who were elderly and not so agile were able to get in. As the sun peaked over the eastern peaks, we rose above the canyon floor and surrounding rock walls and watched the two coyotes trot off into the brush. They were obviously not as awestruck as we passengers were, having seen many a take off I am sure.

Below us were the fantastic rock formations rising above the golden valley floor, looking even redder than usual in the early morning light. Above us was an azure sky with a few puffy clouds drifting about. Beside us was a flock of birds looking for an early morning meal. Unlike an airplane, there was no noise other than the occassional firing of the burner to keep the balloon full of hot air. Nor was there, as we drifted silently, a sensation of movement.

The passengers hardly spoke, only the wind whispered, an occassional shutter clicked, or the pilot might point out something now and then. Thank heavens I had several rolls of film. Deer and javelina, livestock and birds were visible below feeding as well as coyotes hunting rabbits. You could see the early morning commuters start about and the city start to waken. It was pure magic.

A couple of hours later we sat down lightly and were helped out of the balloon basket. We were treated to muffins, fruit juice, and/or champagne and presented our "graduation" certificates as ballonists. It was among the best $165 I have spent and months later I dream of floating above the earth with the wind and birds as my companions and know how God must have felt when at the end of Creation, He looked out and said, "It is good."

Red Rock Balloon Adventures
295 Lee Mountain Lane
Sedona, Arizona, 86351
+1 928 284 0040; U.S

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