Ya Only Live Once

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I have always talked about going on a hot air balloon ride and yesterday my dream came true. My lovely daughter and son in-law gave me the ride for my birthday. At sixty-five years and ten days I took this picture of the San Tan mountain which I look at every time I sit down and write. Only this shot was taken a about 800 feet. In fact, we ended up taking off about a half mile from my house.

Driving around this valley or even flying over in a jet liner, you know just how big and populated the valley is really. But, floating above the valley is a totally different experience. This place has a lot of water flowing through it considering it’s desert. Green fields and green trees in all directions. It was a bit hazy yesterday morning but the true beauty of the valley was still showing off it’s grandeur.

If you have never given a thought of floating above the ground in a balloon gondola, you might change your mind. I have flown in a bi-plane, helicopter, small single engine planes and everything from a small four engine prop plane to a Boeing 747. This flight in the balloon was the most peaceful, serene, enjoyable time I have ever spent in the air. After reaching about 500 feet above the ground I felt no real sensation of moving up or down. Only a feeling of floating calmly above the ground, like I could fly.

I thought I would have that adrenaline rush I have felt after doing something exciting but this was a total different experience. I now see why my friend who gets sick on airplanes even enjoyed her balloon flight.  After a smooth, one tiny bounce landing we were on the ground and I found myself only wanting more.  I now understand how a bird must feel when they are gliding above the ground. I couldn’t stop thinking about the flight all last evening. I even dreamed about another balloon ride last night.

I suppose you can say I am working on my bucket list. I might be, but I think I have been working on that list since I was sixteen and went on my first plane ride. Who knows, I just might do that sky diving yet. Ya only live once.

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