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Friday, July 14, 2017

Hot Air Balloon

Leroy was saying for quite a few years that he'd like to go for a hot air balloon ride. It seemed like a luxury like that should be for a special occasion. We decided to save it for our 50th wedding anniversary. Our oldest son had some birthday money he was saving for a balloon ride so we agreed to go together. To fit all our schedules we agreed on July 14 which is the day before our anniversary and three days after their 19th anniversary. The weather was the unknown factor but we booked our tickets and hoped for the best.
Yesterday the weather forecast didn't sound good at all for our 6 p.m. ride. The pilot suggested we switch to the 6 a.m. ride so that's what we did. It rained early in the morning but had stopped by 4 a.m. so he let us know the ride is on. 
We had an hour's drive to the launching site and when we got there the balloon was inflated and ready to go.

The hardest part was getting in the basket. I didn't expect it to be so deep. I needed a step stool and a boost from Daryl to get in and out. And then my chin just cleared the rim of the basket. I stood on my tiptoes to take this picture before we left. The basket held ten passengers and it was fully loaded.

The Lancaster County farm land is lush and green with the regular rains we've had this year. It looks like a patchwork quilt from above.

We were up in the air about an hour and then the pilot said his radar showed rain coming again and we have to bring it down. We landed in a hay field that had recently been mowed. The ground crew deflated the balloon and stuffed the 675 pounds of fabric in a big bag.

After the bag and basket were in the back of a trailer, they brought out some champagne to toast our successful flight. We said, "just the orange juice, thank you." The goblets were ours to keep. 
After that, we and Daryls went into the Bird-in-Hand restaurant for breakfast. Before we had our food it was pouring again. We didn't get a crystal clear day but the Lord held back the rain until we were through.
One more thing checked off our bucket list!

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