Thursday, October 19, 2017


I don't think this would work.

This is probably not a good idea, either.

You'd be better off in one of these!!

The invention of hot air ballooning (Wikipedia):

The modern era of flight lifted off in 1783 when two brothers demonstrated their invention, the hot-air balloon, before a crowd of dignitaries in Annonay, France. Joseph-Michael and Jacques-Ètienne Montgolfier, prosperous paper manufacturers (a high-tech industry at the time), began experimenting with lighter-than-air devices after observing that heated air flowing directed into a paper or fabric bag made the bag rise. After several successful tests, they decided to make a public demonstration.

The Montgolfier brothers built a balloon made of silk and lined with paper that was 33 feet (10 meters) in diameter and launched it — with nobody aboard — from the marketplace in Annonay on June 4, 1783. The balloon rose 5,200-6,600 feet (1,600-2,000 meters), stayed aloft for 10 minutes and traveled more than a mile — about 2 kilometers.

Word of their success quickly spread, and a demonstration for the king was planned. For this flight, the brothers enlisted the help of Jean-Baptiste Réveillion, a successful wallpaper manufacturer. They constructed a balloon about 30 feet (9 meters) in diameter made of taffeta and coated with a varnish of alum for fireproofing. Réveillion's influence was apparent as the balloon was decorated with golden flourishes, zodiac signs, and suns (symbolizing King Louis XVI).
There was some concern about the effects of high altitude on living beings. The king proposed a test using prisoners, but the Montgolfiers instead suspended a basket below the balloon containing a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. It was actually a scientifically sound idea. The sheep's physiology was thought to be similar to a human's. The high-flying duck was unlikely to be harmed, so it was used as a control. The rooster was included as a further control because while it was also a bird, it did not fly at high altitudes.
The balloon and its passengers lifted off on Sept. 19, 1783. The flight lasted 8 minutes and was witnessed by King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and a crowd of 130,000. The balloon flew about 2 miles (3.2 km) and landed safely.
The Montgolfiers' next step was to put a person in the basket. On Oct. 15, 1783, they launched a balloon on a tether with Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, a chemistry and physics teacher, aboard. He stayed aloft for almost four minutes.

A reproduction of the Montgolfier's balloon.

The history of fishducky's hot air ballooning: 

My first attempt at hot air ballooning happened about thirty plus years ago.  My friend Helen & I were in the Napa Valley on a wine tasting vacation.  They were offering balloon rides for about $10.00.  Helen was afraid & declined, but I'll try anything.  (If it were possible, I would have been on the space shuttle!!)  The morning I selected was very windy.  I was first into the big square basket, like the one in the cartoon picture above.  I doubt that I could have flown like the guy in the first picture.  Another dozen or so people got in.  At that point there was a huge gust of wind, toppling our balloon & basket. In my direction.  On me.  I was at the bottom of a heap of people. Very uncomfortable!!  Our pilot then decided it was too windy to fly that day & I agreed.  Some other balloons had taken off earlier.  You cannot really steer a balloon.  One of that morning's flights ended up landing in a swimming pool.  Score: Balloon 1, fishducky 0.

About five years later, Bud & I were in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Our son Matt was assistant travel secretary for the San Francisco Giants.  We decided to join him & his new wife to see the Giants' spring training.  My daughter-in-law Linda & I wanted to go on a balloon ride while we were there. Our husbands weren't interested.  We had a much smaller basket this time.  It probably would have held six people but the only ones aboard were Linda, me & the pilot.  We flew early in the morning.  It was clear & sunny & the wind was calm with just a breeze.  It was marvelous!!  I have a fear of heights, but I didn't feel it there.  There was no real feeling of speed because we were moving at exactly the same speed as the wind.  It was dead quiet & we were floating above the fields, the cattle & the people below.  There is no feeling I can think of that would match it. Score: Balloon 1, fishducky 1 (& I'd love to make that 2)!!

If you ever have the opportunity to go to a hot air balloon show 
you'll see this spectacular view:

As I recall our balloon was relatively plain, but they are made in a variety of designs with cartoon characters & advertising being very popular.  
Here are some examples:

This is a hot rare balloon.
Talk about high steaks!!




  1. How I love hot air balloons. I have now flown three times and go each year to watch them inflate at our balloon festival. Bliss. My youngest brother, like you has some 'height' issues. Less than ten minutes into his first balloon ride he was using his sharp, pointy elbows to get to the front of the basket and a better view.

    1. I really don't understand why my fear of heights didn't kick in!!

  2. I love those hot air balloons, I'd like to ride in one someday. I really like the rare steak balloon. I've saved the Garfield one to print for my 83 year old neighbour who loves Garfield so much she has a whole shelf of Garfield toys and figurines in her bedroom.
    My son loved the advertising trucks.

    1. Definitely take a ride, it's not usually very expensive & it's so much fun!!

  3. Ive always wanted to see a hot air ballon show. There is never any around here.

  4. Not for me, but I understand there is a tradition of a champagne and cheese feast with the owner of the property you land on...I think that would be fun.

  5. Interesting. I had no idea the activity was so old. I have never been but always wanted to go. I too have a fear of heights but never in a plane. Think it is that there is no connection to the ground.

  6. I love hot air balloon, and was thrilled several years ago when Mrs. C. treated me to a dawn balloon ride for my birthday.

  7. As someone who is so afraid of heights that getting to the second step on my stepladder frightens me, I've never been interested in going up in a hot air balloon.


  8. They're beautiful, but I'd never do it! Not a height lover.

    Kudos to you for trying it TWICE. That first failure would have been enough for me to never go near a hot air balloon again. Like the universe telling me that I wasn't meant to fly, by burying me under a bunch of other prospective flyers.

  9. Junie and I are on the same page here.

    The only interaction with a hot air balloon was when one landed in our cul-de-sac and asked for directions.

    1. As I said to her, you're missing a terrific experience!!


Your comments make my day, which shows you how boring my life has become.