I had (secretly) thought it would be nice to go up for a ride, but when I saw the cost ($160.0 per person) I quickly put that out of my mind. Then we found out there is a long list of potential "riders" and you have to put your name in a few days ahead, so I was out of luck in any case!! I think the view is nicer from the ground anyway, looking UP at the balloons. I've decided if I ever do it, I'd like to do it over "foreign land" - ie somewhere where the view is much different from "home territory" - so you would really enjoy the scenery.... like over the desert in Arizona or New Mexico - I hear there is a BIG balloon fest in Albuquerque - maybe I'll go there! haha
It was exciting to see them go up- of course it takes a few minutes for them to inflate the balloon, then they start warming the air with high powered propane burners. The burners ignite and heat liquid propane that is aimed into the balloon to make it rise. (The burners create 30 million BTU's of heat ! Ouch! In comparison, a home barbeque creates 30,000 BTU's...)
The balloons cannot be steered but travel in the direction (and at the speed of) the wind. A "chase crew" follows for pick-up. The balloons are made of rip-stop nylon, much like that used for winter ski jackets. They were very colorful, and it was hard to pick a favourite. I guess I'd have to say I liked the very first one to launch- with those big red Canadian maple leaves!!
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right." ~ Henry Ford