T-Birds in the Desert: Hot Air Ballooning

Courtesy: Kate Stout

I am part of a flock of T-Birds that live off campus at The Lodge at Arrowhead.  Wednesday morning around 5:30am, I awoke to a noise other than the typical sound of my dog, Roosevelt, barking at birds.  In the field next to the apartment complex, hot air balloons were being launched.  As I watched one of them glide above the trees, two more were launched within 15 minutes.  Though I see hot air balloons in the air often here in the desert, it was certainly a strange sight to see them launch in our residential neighborhood.   I’ve only been on a hot air balloon ride once, in Napa, CA, but seeing the balloons reminded me of what an adventure it can be.   As a student, it can be quite expensive, around $250, but the experience is incredibly unique, especially when you are flying over a beautiful area of land.  When I went in Yountville, our group was 14 and half of us helped launch balloon and the other part of the group “chased” us in a van, to pick us up where we landed.  That’s the interesting thing about ballooning–the pilot has a rough idea of where he will set us down, but it’s certainly not exact.  It’s an incredibly peaceful feeling to be standing in a basket without protection or harnesses, hovering over the ground as if you are flying.  It which puts much of the world below in perspective and as students, it always helps to have a change of view.

For more information on local hot air balloon companies that offer student discounts, check out Hot Air Expeditions and Arizona Ballooning.  

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