Saturday, July 14, 2012

Item #2 and the Hot Air Jubilee

Ride in a hot air balloon. 

 I almost didn’t get this one, then I did, then I didn’t. Allow me to explain. Being a community manager for Jacksonopolis, I was given the opportunity to get a hot air balloon ride during the media flight night of the annual Hot Air Jubilee. The night when the event's media sponsors congregate with pilots and committee members for interviews. Two people from each media source get rides. It was to be myself and Travis, our photo manager.

When I got to the event I was told that due to the heat the balloons were now only going to be able to take up one person from each source instead of two. The hot air was too dense to take up the weight of two people. So when it came down to Travis or I, I knew he had been offered a ride before I did. Even though this is on my life list and I could see it slipping away I knew the right thing to do. (P.S. I thought I'd be earning a few karma points from the universe). As I watched Travis walk away to his balloon I prayed that I would somehow get a ride too. The event's organizers were walking between balloons trying to find rides for every person there, some how some way. 

After hoping for a few minutes Thersa, from the committee, called out my name from afar. I quickly ran to the source of her voice. She said this is Dave and you'll be riding in the Sparty balloon. Talk about karma right? I screamed out "you're kidding me, I'm a Spartan." Good things come to those who wait. (Almost)

Holding the balloon open for the fan to fill it most of the way
I stood around observing my surroundings while this family fueled machine unrolled the balloon from its bag. The green and white blanket of a balloon got me so excited about what was to come. I quickly saw how family orientated ballooning really was. Dave and Pat are the father and the mother, there are sons, and there are grandchildren all working together to get this balloon in the air. Holding there and pulling this are all things that need to be done to inflate the balloon and get us flying. 
 Dave filling up the balloon with hot air

When Dave and I were in the basket ready to go he found out his temperature gauge was not working. This meant that he didn't know the temperature inside the balloon, which was a big safely issue. If he doesn't know how hot the balloon is he doesn't know how much more hot air to put in and it can make bad consequences for those riding. So once he figured out he couldn't take me up he said he would take me up on a tether. Meaning our balloon would go up in the air about 50 feet while still being hooked to the ground by a rope. I was disappointed but felt very fortunate to have been there to learn all I did and meet this family. Plus the committee members and Dave himself said they would for sure get me a real ride during the Hot Air Jubilee taking place next week. So I still plan on getting me dream, I'll just have to wait a little longer. 

There will be more to come from me during and after the Jubilee itself. It's full of great events and it's all free! Check out for the full event schedule.