How it Started
This year I had to go away to Alaska for a work project and missed our twelfth wedding anniversary. So, being the thoughtful husband I am, I knew that I better make up for it by going all out and doing something extra special! We had been talking about taking a hot air balloon ride for years. Since we’ve been blessed this summer with so much great weather in Oregon, I figured now was the time to add a little something special to our growing list of memorable experiences together.
We woke up at 4:30 a.m. & without knowing where Brett was taking me; when we pulled up, I saw a few small planes, so I thought we were going on a plane ride. We weren’t. I got out of the truck and saw the crew setting up the balloons on the field. All I could say was, “NO WAY!!!! This is happening!” We were about to check another bucket list item off our list!
Hot Air Balloon Experience: What to expect
The day before your flight, someone at Portland Rose Hot Air Balloons will call to confirm that everything, including the weather, is a go. They will make sure you know when and where to meet and that you’re prepared to fly.
Oregon weather can change unexpectedly, so if it’s raining, windy, or foggy, so be prepared to reschedule your flight to another day.
What to wear
You will be climbing over the basket to get in & landing on an open field, so:
- Wear comfortable clothing
- Dress in layers
- Wear running or walking shoes (no heels)
The morning temperature in August was around 55 to 58 degrees F when we went. It was a little chilly, but once we were in the air, the burners kept us comfortably warm.
No one wore hats on our flight, but if you prefer, bring a hat to keep your head warm or protect it from the heat of the burners.
Motion sickness & Fear of Heights
Unless you’re prone to motion sickness, as I am, take your meds; otherwise, you don’t need it. Once the pilot gets to a certain height, you’ll be floating among the clouds as it slowly glides with the wind.
It isn’t like being on a boat or roller coaster; there’s no swaying or excessive movement. Our glider plane ride experience a few years ago was similar, except without an engine.
With a fear of heights, I easily overcame my fear on both of these adventures and experienced it fully.
The process from start to finish is flawless! After we signed our waiver, we joined the other passengers and took photos. Once the burner lit up and the balloon started to rise, the crew told us to hold down the basket. Afterward, we all climbed in. The basket is much larger than it looks from afar. It carried 9 of us plus the pilot!
At 6 a.m., we were rising from the ground in our first hot air balloon ride! For a little over an hour, we were floating over Oregon, watching the beautiful sunrise and embracing the Pacific Northwest views in pure silence. The smooth ride and views instantly made me forget I was afraid of heights – just don’t look down.
Our landing was just as easy as it was at take off. Just be sure to listen to the pilot when he says to bend your knees. You will see why at the end of our video.
Once we all got out of the basket, we helped the crew load the balloon and basket before they took us back to the launch site.
Tips for a great flight:
- Make sure you are on time at the launch site.
- They fly with the wind, so the landing site and exact flight duration aren’t guaranteed. The flight generally goes about 5-8 miles in an hour flight.
- Balloons need certain weather conditions to fly safely, so; it is not unusual for your flight to be cancelled and rearranged a few times.
- Remember, the pilot is in charge of the aircraft. The pilot’s number one job is to keep you and the other passengers safe. Listen carefully to the passenger safety briefing from the pilot.
If you are visiting Oregon and seeking a little adventure, take a hot air balloon ride at Portland Rose Balloons for an experience you will never forget!
We hope you liked this post, & now it’s your turn.
Comment below and let us know if YOU would go up in a hot air balloon ride😉.