Part 1: Up, up and away

I'm high above Ottawa in a hot air balloon. We rose to about 450 metres during the hour-long flight. Photo by Lindsay Fleming.

I'm high above Ottawa in a hot air balloon. We rose to about 450 metres during the hour-long flight. Photo by Lindsay Fleming.

I thought my hair was going to catch fire. But then, it’s not called hot air ballooning for nothing.

Before we left the ground I was cold and regretted not wearing mittens, but quickly warmed from head to toe as propane-fueled flames heated the air inside the huge balloon.

I can’t say that flying beneath a giant balloon was something I’ve always wanted to do, but it was definitely on my list of 100 things to do before I die. So when I got an invitation from Sundance Balloons I jumped at the chance. All of my fellow reporters were too scared of heights anyway.

My friend Lindsay Fleming and I met eight other passengers at Carleton University, the launch point for our flight around 3:15 p.m. on a cool October afternoon.

 

To read the entire story of my hot air ballooning adventure, click here.

Crew members set up fans to inflate the giant balloon. The flames aren't ignited until the balloon is full of air. Photo by Cheryl Brink

Crew members set up fans to inflate the giant balloon. The flames aren't ignited until the balloon is full of air. Photo by Cheryl Brink

The view of Dow's Lake, looking north towards downtown. Photo by Cheryl Brink

The view of Dow's Lake, looking north towards downtown. Photo by Cheryl Brink

"Lindsay's face was lit up like a kid’s on Christmas morning." Photo by Cheryl Brink

"Lindsay's face was lit up like a kid’s on Christmas morning." Photo by Cheryl Brink

The Sundance crew packs up the balloon into a huge bag for the trek home. Photo by Cheryl Brink

The Sundance crew packs up the balloon into a huge bag for the trek home. Photo by Cheryl Brink

Below is an amature video I made of the flight, with clips from Lindsay and myself. Enjoy!

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below – I always love feedback. And please check back next week for the second part of my feature series, a story about when I took the controls of a Cessna 150 plane somewhere over the Ottawa River.

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