Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sedona, AZ (3/8/2017)

This was a busy day for us, starting at 4:30 AM in order to make our schedule with Red Rocks Balloon Adventures.  I had earlier suggested to Pam that we consider either a hot air balloon ride or a helicopter tour.  She preferred the balloon trip, despite her claim to have a fear of heights.  Having flown with Red Rocks eleven years ago, I tried to assure her it never felt like you were in danger or risked falling out of the basket.  She did very well on the flight and seemed to enjoy it quite a lot.  Now she has two engraved champagne glasses as mementos of the occasion.

Soaring at up to 3000 feet above the Verde Valley, we had great views of Sedona's famous red rock country, along with the San Francisco Peaks more than sixty miles away.  Snow on Humphrey's Peak (nearly 13,000 feet above sea level) was clearly visible. 

With very little wind to propel the balloons to the intended destination, an alternate site was chosen for a gentle landing.  It was interesting to watch the ground crews efficiently deflate and pack the huge balloons.  We even got to walk inside ours while it was being deflated.  A champagne and muffin celebration concluded this great experience.

That afternoon, we drove to Flagstaff for a closer view of Humphrey's Peak and a drive through Oak Creek Canyon.  There was still plenty of snow on the ground from the 16 inch snowfall there only a week earlier.  We might have considered hiking the lovely West Fork of Oak Creek except for the fact the creek was raging from all the snow melt, meaning that numerous creek crossings would be under water...cold water.

Our day ended again on Airport Mesa with several hundred other sunset watchers.

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