• Guest Contributor

Up Up and Away From it All

Updated: Aug 26

The chill of dawn...the heat of the burners...the quiet of the morning. Get ready to have your breath taken away, your senses awakened, and a check next to a lifetime bucket-list item.



Hot air ballooning isn’t just about floating effortlessly above neighborhoods, waving to those below. It’s not just about the chase, wondering which car you’ll cut off or if Tim can find an unexpectedly empty parking lot to transfer passengers. Ballooning is so much more.


The adventure is never the same, but it always begins and ends the same way. A volunteer crew, perhaps they are more like roadies, unloads the trailer, and like a precision timepiece, each roadie has his or her place on the team. The crown and the rope. The basket haulers. The parachute velcro-ers. Many moving parts and all coming together with precise synchronicity. Even the passengers join in the launch. More hands make light the work, and how many people can say they helped launch a hot air balloon or take one down?



After a safety briefing that rivals that of any first-class Delta crew, Tim and his passengers prepare to leave earth but not without the kiss of his bride. And the adventure begins, sometimes with a gentle sendoff and others with a carrier departure that takes your breath away.


Always a new adventure, final destinations are never the same. A barren parking lot on account of the early morning ride, a cul de sac filled with trees, and friendly neighbors in their pajamas wondering what that giant American Flag balloon is doing in their front yard, a pond on a golf course, or pasture with curious cows. The roadies follow from below, not knowing where they’ll end up just knowing there will be a balloon to catch and send back up again.


What happens above is up to the passengers. Tim is never short of words and has never met a stranger. His gregarious personality sets even the most nervous of flyers at ease. To say he’s an expert in his field is an understatement. With more than 30 years of ballooning under his belt, he can land on a golf course pond and hold the position or navigate across a muddy pasture to land gently on the clean sidewalk. His skill is second-to-none, and safety is always a priority even after the pre-flight check.



Ballooning is an escape from the world below. It’s gentle and calm. It lets you leave the world behind, and for a short time, float above all of life’s worries and experiencing the view of the world around you in a truly unique way. Check out yards and parks, watch cars, and wonder why everyone is in such a hurry, relax and be in the moment high above.


The ending is the same, the roadies meet the last ride, and with considerable practice, they each assume their positions and take the Stars and Stripes out of the sky, lay it down on the ground, and gently put it away until the next Saturday adventure begins.


Want to get Above and Away From it All with one of the best Balloon pilots around? Give Tim a shout at flagballoon.com, he and his crew will make sure you have the ride of your life.


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