Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chasing The Clouds With Morning Star Balloons

Daren Wilde always had his eye to the sky. But after piloting T-37s and T-1A Jayhawks for the USAF, he was up in the air about what aeronautical challenge to tackle next.

Wilde is sharing his saga with 11 passengers standing in a wicker gondola that’s attached to a 100ft tall bright red balloon filled with 245,000cft of air. It’s just another day at the office for the aeronaut owner of Morning Star Balloons in Park City, UT.

As a newbie, I had my qualms. But the aerial trek proves to be the polar opposite of what I envisioned. I’m not alone. We’re collectively in awe of how this experience is downright therapeutic.

Our journey is calm, quiet and smooth. It’s also warmer than on the ground thanks to a propane-fueled burner that Wilde frequently blasts for lift.

Gently floating at 1,420ft, we spot fields, wildlife and estate homes with the Wasatch Mountains and Park City as a backdrop. Since it’s summer, ski runs are bare. Yet, that makes it easier to differentiate Utah Olympic Park, Deer Valley, Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort.

Wilde explains that since balloons rely on air currents, he can’t precisely nail down our landing site pre-flight. We’re not concerned. A chase crew follows us below, tapping into maps, two-way radios and visual contact.

Since we land before they arrive, teamwork mode kicks in as two hulky passengers hop out and work as crew. Wilde encourages participation, whether it’s rolling out the balloon before lifting off or harnessing it in after landing.

“When you’re trying to bring a group of people together, there’s nothing like a little adventure or a situation that needs handling,” says Wilde. “Once they’ve conquered the balloon together, they’ve developed camaraderie. It’s a fun activity that can be shared across all levels of leadership or organizational structure.”

Back on terra firma, we toast to our lofty fete as Wilde presents each of us with a “Certificate of Ascension” and recites the Balloonist’s Prayer.

5 comments:

  1. Hello Dawna!

    My name's Tammy and I'm the Marketing Coordinator at TheUncommonDog.com. I found your blog through Blog Paws and thought you might be interested in seeing a fun and engaging infographic we've created that focuses on dog safety during the hot summer months: http://www.theuncommondog.com/Images/infographics/dog-days-summer.jpg

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    Big Tail Wag!
    Tammy Sexton
    Marketing Coordinator
    tammy@theuncommondog.com
    www.theuncommondog.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Dawna!

    It's me again, Tammy the Marketing Coordinator at The Uncommon Dog. We just finished another informative info-graphic that I thought you might be interested in. It's titled "How Dogs Became Our Best Friends!".

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    Also, definitely let me know if you do decide to post it because we'd be happy to spread the word again about the blog post by linking to it from our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages.

    If you'd like your e-mail removed from our mailing list, please let us know.

    Big Tail Wag!
    Tammy Sexton
    Marketing Coordinator

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Dawna!

    My name is Tammy. I'm leaving you this comment on your blog because I could not find another way to contact you. I hope this is Ok.

    I thought you might be interested in our latest infographic "8 Tips To Keep Your Dog Safe and Stress-Free this Halloween". You can view it at Flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/106131018@N08/10406281936/. FYI (in case you're not familiar) Flickr.com is owned by Yahoo!. It's a very safe site and won't hurt your computer. To download the infographic right click on it and Flickr will show you some options.

    If you like this infographic and want to share it with your readers, please feel free to do so. The only thing that we ask in return is that you link back to TheUncommonDog dot com in some way from your post.

    As a way of showing our appreciation to those who choose to share the infographic, I'd be happy to spread the word about the blog post by linking to it from our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Just let me know that you posted it and send me the link.

    If you'd like to be removed from our contact list, please let me know.

    Big Tail Wag!
    Tammy Sexton
    Marketing Coordinator
    Tammy at TheUncommonDog dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Dawna!

    My name is Tammy. I hope you don't mind me commenting on your blog. I just wasn't sure how else to reach you. I sincerely apologize if this comes across as spam, that is not the intent. With Christmas just around the corner, I thought you might be interested in our latest infographic "Are You A Doggie for Christmas Kind of Mom?". You can view it at Flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/106131018@N08/11241972855/ (Preview) . FYI (in case you're not familiar) Flickr.com is owned by Yahoo!. It's a very safe site and won't hurt your computer. To download the infographic right click on it and Flickr will show you some options.

    If you like this infographic and want to share it with your readers, please feel free to do so. The only thing that we ask in return is that you link back to TheUncommonDog dot com in some way from your post.

    As a way of showing our appreciation to those who choose to share the infographic, I'd be happy to spread the word about the blog post by linking to it from our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Just let me know that you posted it and send me the link.

    If you'd like to be removed from our contact list, please let me know.

    Happy Holidays!
    Tammy Sexton
    Marketing Coordinator
    Tammy at TheUncommonDog dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good post, love this sharing so much, thank you!

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    ReplyDelete