We had driven all around Sedona, Arizona, seeing the red rocks from all the tourist spots at various heights from the top of the airport mesa down to the water at Red Rock State Park. Anywhere you looked there is some size “rock” jutting up into the sky.
The ultimate adventure was to see it from above, where the pace was slow and the air quiet, at the whim of a hot air balloon. I was a little nervous but the skill the crew from Red Rock Balloons demonstrated as they unpacked, rolled out, and inflated our balloon eased my fears. The pilot was clear in his instructions to us, including how to climb into the basket -I’m not that nimble- and what was going to happen when we came down.
The heat from the dancing flames took the chill off the early September morning.
There were three balloons in our group . We were the first to lift off and saw the other two complete their final preparation.
You really couldn’t feel movement as we drifted out into the valley. The sun rose and the light changed rapidly.
In just minutes the entire valley was lit.
We startled a few small groups of mule deer.
In about an hour we were back on the ground. The pilot discharged the end of the fuel to cool the tubing, the balloon came down, and the crew packed everything back in the trailer.