hot air balloon ride

Hot Air Ballooning

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Social Ballooning

Tailgate flying at rallies is as much of the experience as the flight itself. Post-flight parties are spirited exchanges, which usually end within a couple hours so the pilots and crew can get enough sleep to prepare for the next flight.

Even if you're the only balloon in the sky, you're sharing the experience with your passengers, your crew, and the spectators enroute and at the landing. Balloonists traditionally end the flight with a toast of champagne, a practice dating back to the 1700's. Even in today's alcohol-conscious society, ballooning is thirsty work, and the celebrations take place with at least non-alcoholic beverages, although real champagne is still one of the expenses we all figure into the budget.

A long time ago someone wrote a balloonists prayer, and we've used it in the post flight ceremonies ever since:

The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has held you in his warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter
And set you gently back down
Into the loving arms of Mother Earth.

Hot Air Ballooning
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