On February 18, 2017, I took a hot air balloon ride in The Dolphin Balloon with pilot Jason Myers across Plano, through Frisco and landed in The Colony. It was an amazing experience. If you’re not scared of heights you need to do this.
I did my best to map out our ride, based on the photos I took (which are embedded in the map). We took off at 4:25 pm at Oak Point Park and landing five feet from Lewisville Lake in The Colony at 6:10pm.
The Take Off
Four balloons took off from Oak Point Park in Plano on this day. A two-person crew came and assisted us in with the take-off and drove the chase vehicle. The basket is assembled and the balloon is unpacked then a large fan opens up the balloon so it’s ready to be filled with the hot air that will make it aloft. Watch a Plano Balloon Festival video of the balloons being inflated here.
The sun is setting and we are approaching Lewisville Lake. After 3-4 failed landing attempts it’s time to find a spot to end our ride. Overall I’m calm, but I was getting a little concerned since there wasn’t a lot of open land in sight.
Right near the edge of the water, we fly through a few small trees to slow the balloon down and then land five feet from the water. The balloon basket tips over with the balloon resting in the water. Jason quickly turns off the burner and we crawl out and work to pull the balloon out of the lake. It’s still full of air and very heavy.
Thankfully, four neighbors, one with two young children, show up to help us. One is a former boy scout and two are in the military. They are ready and willing to help! We dismantle everything, pack the very heavy balloon and the basket and carry it all to the chase vehicle.
After everything is packed up, Jason breaks out the champagne, orange juice and cookies, plus some pins – one for me and one for each of our helpers. Two pilots from one of the other balloons that took off from Oak Point drove to find us and join in on our toast.
The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.
Jason dropped me off at my car and then drove back to Oak Point where he set the balloon back up to dry it off. That took about an hour, including the time he spent showing some kids the balloon.