January 26, 2007, Newsletter Issue #49: Beginning And Ending A Hot Air Balloon Ride

Tip of the Week

A lot of the work in hot air ballooning comes at the beginning and the end of the flight, when the crew inflates and deflates the hot air balloon. For the spectator, this is much more spectacular than the actual hot air ballooning experience.

Passengers are traditionally asked to help with the setup and inflation of the balloon, also with the milking (squeezing out the air) of the balloon after landing. Balloonists traditionally end the flight with a toast of champagne, a practice dating back to the 1700īs.

When you are planning your adventure filled vacation and your hot air balloon excursion, don't forget your binoculars and camera equipment! If you can, bring a high quality telephoto lens so you can capture both the broad landscape and any specific details that catch your eye. Birding and wildlife spotting may also be possible so be prepared with you bird and wildlife guide and your binoculars to get the most out of your ballooning adventure.

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Kelley Diekman