How many times have you seen a hot air balloon floating across the skyline and wondered what the landscape would look like from high above? Well, not only are we fortunate enough to have beautiful, scenic farmland to fly over, but Lancaster County is also home to The United States Hot Air Balloon Team. For nearly three decades, Stan Hess and the team have been offering one of the most memorable experiences on (and over) earth.
In January I had the honor of being selected for the Cold Hot Air Balloon Photography Tour with The United States Hot Air Balloon Team and visitlancasterpa.net. Since I have been capturing landscape scenes with hot air balloons in the background for the last few years, I was very excited to meet the team and see the countryside from their perspective.
So, just two days after the historic January blizzard, a small group of local photographers took off from the Smoketown Airport. As you can see from the photo above, this provided a very unique landscape to capture.
This was my first opportunity to fly in a hot air balloon, and I learned a few things that morning. Having been a particularly cold morning, this raised some questions about how to dress. Our pilot explained that because the balloon rides with the wind, there would be no wind chill, and it would actually feel a little warmer than on the ground. As long as you dress the way you would if you were on the ground, you should be just fine.
A fear of heights is another concern I’ve heard from a lot of people. As I explained with regards to the wind chill, you are floating with the atmosphere around you; therefore, the sensation of being in motion is greatly reduced. Because you feel as if you’re standing still, your awareness of being up high is also reduced. This is also good news for anyone worried about motion sickness.
I know I can confidently speak for our entire group when I say we had a great time. The United States Hot Air Balloon Team flies over Lancaster County year-round, and I would recommend it in any season. They offer group and shared flights, as well as a variety of specialty flights, including engagement and wedding flights and handicap-accessible flights for individuals living with disabilities.
Happy flying. Be sure to wave. I might have my camera pointed up.
Contact The United States Hot Air Balloon Team at 800-763-5987 or ushotairballoon.com.