Hot Air Ballooning,

The Only Way To Fly

Hot Air Ballooning With ''The Howes Team''

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.

History of Hot Air Ballooning

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 first balloon flight carried a duck, a rooster and a sheep and was viewed by the king of France on September 19, 1783. It was a success, except rumor has it that the duck broke a leg because the sheep got excited. The King felt that this flight was significant and believed that a human passenger should be next. He decreed that criminals should be first to go up in this new invention, because they were expendable. Rozier, a friend of Montgolfier, convinced the king that such an honor should not go to a prisoner but to a French gentleman. Rozier became the first aeronaut to fly in Montgolfier's blue sphere decorated with the golden face of the Sun God Apollo. They flew for twenty-five minutes after launch and landed gently, five miles away from where they had lifted off.

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.

'May the winds welcome you with softness
May the sun bless you with his warm hands
May you fly so high and so well, that God joins you in laughter
and sets you gently back into the loving arms of Mother Earth

Since 1988 we have been involved with ballooning at various levels. We have crewed for other pilots, attended numerous events as spectators and assisting participants. Now we fly numerous places all over the Central Wester Region such as, Glendo and Pine Bluffs - Wyoming, Steamboat Springs - Colorado, Montrose - Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Taos - New Mexico and Albuquerque - New Mexico. Have Balloon will travel is truly our moniker. Hot air ballooning is a family sport enjoyed by both our children, Jon and Katie and our dog, Buster. Feel free to contact us regarding your real estate needs or just to talk about the wonderful sport of Hot Air Ballooning. 'The Howes Team' is truly setting a higher standard in more than real estate.

Come join us! We have as much fun selling real estate as we do Hot Air Ballooning.


Skip & Debbie Howes


PO Box 300 Sunny Glen Ct