Ballooning above Palm Springs

Have you ever been up in a hot air balloon?  If not, do yourself a favor and put it on your bucket list…it’s an extraordinary experience. While I was in Palm Springs I got an opportunity to take flight above the Coachella Valley from the folks at Balloons Above. As luck would have it, our pilot for our sunrise adventure was the owner himself, Wil LaPointe, who happens to be a highly ranked competitive balloonist.

We started our adventure by meeting Wil at a centrally located hotel, there we took care of paperwork and signed our lives away.  We then piled into a van and traveled a short distance to our launch site.  As soon as we arrived, Wil’s team had the balloon nearly inflated and prepared.  We climbed into the balloon basket and within a matter of minutes…liftoff—just in time to see the sun rise over the mountains.

As we floated through the brisk morning air, we were treated to some spectacular views as the rising sun cast an amber glow on the scenery.  We traveled for approximately 30 minutes and covered about eight miles.  We came in for a soft landing in an open field next to a small regional airport where Wil has a hanger that he stores some of his 20+ balloons. It’s customary to enjoy a champagne (sparkling wine) toast after a safe flight, however it was a bit nippy out, so after a quick vote, we all decided to partake in the ceremonial toast back at the hotel lobby where we all met.

Hot air ballooning dates all the way back to 1783 when the first flight carrying a human occurred in Paris, France. The balloon was made of paper and silk and carried two men. The men stood on a circular platform attached to the bottom of the balloon. The “hot air” was produced by fire and was hand-fed through openings on either side of the balloon’s skirt. The balloon reached an altitude of at least 500 feet and traveled over five miles before landing safely 25 minutes later.  If you’re interested in reading more about the origins of hot air ballooning, click here to see what Wikipedia has listed.

Click the following link to see more of my hot air balloon pictures high above Palm Springs, California.  If you’ve ever been on a hot air balloon ride, let my readers and me know how you liked it.

If you find yourself in the Palm Springs area, be sure to contact:

Balloons Above
Web: BalloonAboveTheDesert
Phone: (760) 347-0410

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  1. Gary & Margaret
    December 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    He y Mike, What a terrific video! Margaret and I were very lucky to have been on the same balloon flight as you, now we have a video we can share with our family and friends. Thanks and Merry Christmas, wherever you are now. Gary

  2. Mike's Road Trip
    December 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Hey Gary! Thanks so much…glad ya like it. Merry Christmas to you and Margaret as well. Please “share” away. 🙂 Cheers, Mike

  3. monika
    December 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you Mike for a souvenir of a perfect moment for me. Happy Holidays. Monika

    P.S. I want your job !!!

  4. Mike's Road Trip
    December 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Hi Monika! You’re welcome. You too. Cheers, Mike

  5. crazy sexy fun traveler
    December 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Woohooo love it! It must be so great to do it! I’ve always wanted to, even was invited for free in Mexico but cos of the weather we couldn’t do it in the end 🙁

  6. Mike's Road Trip
    January 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Hey Alexandra! Oh, that’s too bad…it really is an amazing experience! Hope you get a chance to do it soon. Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well. Cheers!

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