Hot Air Balloon Ride

I had to go up in a hot air balloon today for my job (tv photographer). For those of you who havent done this it was pretty awesome. The takeoff was just like being caught in the wind. The ride was smooth the whole time. We went up to nearly 6000 feet and that was high enough that even looking straight down there was a bit of haze. The landing was a little scary as the wind had picked up a bit and we bumped a few times and then tipped over unharmed. We took off from Poteau, OK in east central Oklahoma and landed about 10 miles east of there. It was odd looking down on 2000 ft tall mountains and looking across areas that it take nearly a hour to drive through and it all appearing so much smaller. The weather was pretty benign which is the only time they fly anyway..there were a few cumulus to our east but they didnt come too close. And no i didnt get sick...although i did feel a bit ill when looking through the viewfinder on my station camera. Anyway it was fun playing air parcel today! Here are a few pics

looking down on sugarloaf mtn (2000ft)

Poteau, OK


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Brian you had what looks like a beautiful view, and wonderful experience. The third image is interesting to see how the trees are abundant around the river, and desolate everywhere else, inadvertantly. Wonderful photography. I have always wanted to go up in a hot air would really be scary if you go caught by a surprise squall line, or pulse storm with a menacing shelf cloud coming toward you. But, how photogenic that would be, if you make it back.
Andrew, you know i had to ask if he had ever been close to or in a storm. He said one time there were some storms that developed very unexpectantly near them and he had to get to ground quick. Another balloon near him did not get down fast enough and the outflow caught them and began pushing them south very fast (after heading east) for many miles...but unharmed. The ride for me was very smooth but i doubt being caught in outflow like that would be...i am sure it was extremely scary!
Good day,

Balloons are awesome ... I am a skydiver and was lucky enough to skydive from one at 5,500 feet!