Sunday, September 21, 2014

Up, Up, And Away - Ballooning At Lake Tahoe

When I was a kid, the 5th Dimension had a huge hit with the Jimmy Webb song Up, Up, And Away. It was about hot air ballooning, and it fueled fantasies about what it would be like to go up in a balloon.

Years later, ballooning became popular, and you can now do it all over the country. 

But where might be the most beautiful place to go ballooning? Tahoe ain't a bad candidate...

The balloon takes off from a large boat.

You can hear the whoosh of the burner, which heats the air and makes the balloon rise up.

By controlling the altitude, the pilot can take advantage of the onshore and offshore breezes and go over the land or come back over the water.

When the pilot turns off the burner, the balloon is completely silent. Gradually, the air in the balloon cools, which makes it contract, and the balloon loses some of its buoyancy. The balloon slowly drops down toward the lake.

For thrills, the pilot brings the balloon right down to kiss the water. Then, with a blast of the burner, the balloon rises back up. Eventually, the pilot brings the balloon back down, and the mother-ship boat comes underneath it for landing.
If you are interested in one of life's great experiences, here's the link to our local ballooning company.

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