We were first attracted to Hot Air Ballooning in the early 1980's because of the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic. This event of over 100 balloons is the second largest free community event in the state of Colorado. With balloons from all over the world participating, it is truly a spectacular event. We took our first balloon ride in 1988, had such a wonderful time we decided to sponsor a balloon in 'The Classic'.
We were hooked! We crewed, traveled to various rallies and in 1995 purchased our current balloon, 'Wildfire'. Since then Skip has become a certified Lighter Than Air pilot and Debbie specializes in the urban orienteering aspects of the sport. We travel, meet people, share the fun of the sport and generally enjoy hot air balloons. There is a special story that goes along with ballooning and we have included it for your enjoyment.
Hot air ballooning began more than two centuries ago and has actually been a flying sport for less than 60 years. Many years ago in 1783 Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier, wall paper manufacturers, were sitting around the fireplace in their home and were burning scraps of wall paper. Occasionally a scrap would fly up the chimney. They believed that the smoke carried the paper pieces up the chimney. They took a piece of taffeta cloth, rumor has it that it was Etienne's wife's petticoat, and made a bag out of it and held it above the fire. The bag filled with smoke and rose to the ceiling of the room. This proved his theory that smoke made things rise. Montgolfier immediately began to calculate the weight and volume of a bigger bag. That bigger bag was made of cloth and paper and had a volume of about 2,200 cubic meters or 25,000 cubic feet. The thought of manned flight was planted.
The next balloon built was an enormous 20,000 cubic meter or 76,000 cubic feet, about the size of a current standard seven balloon. The French would fly the country side and the farmer's would see this large colored, smoking beast flying through the air. They were convinced that it was some sort of evil dragon and would attack it with their farming tools to protect their homes and fields. Back then, champagne was the drink of kings and only the aristocrats could afford the luxury that Champagne provided. It didn't take long for the farmers to realize that a good glass of champagne was better than a smoke breathing 'whatever' any day. The tradition of champagne after flying was then created. Now Champagne continues to celebrate the conclusion of the hot air balloon flight.
Today we fly in balloons that are various sizes and more efficient than those smoke breathing monsters of years ago. After the flight is completed, we all, take a moment to give thanks, celebrating the successful flight. It is believed that the balloonists prayer was written by an Irishman, but we'll never truly know. We would like to share that prayer with you.
Come join us! We have as much fun selling real estate as we do Hot Air Ballooning.