Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

November 21, 2011

Flight in Hot Air Balloon on Bucket List



     I’ve been airlifted in a flight overseas and several small aircrafts. My first time was outside of Buffalo, New York. My friend Lisa had a pilot’s license, and she took me, my friend Pat, and my co-worker from Poland, Speschik Darzynkavich (spelling excused, please), for a flight.

     Monte and I celebrated several anniversaries by being airlifted. Twice we flew out of the airport in Trenton, Maine, to catch an eye-view picture of the landscape where one part of my ancestors settled, an area now know as Lamoine. The first time we were lucky and had a pilot who was also a photographer. He had me sit in the front seat with the window open. I put my camera strap around my neck, leaned out the window as far as possible, and activated my trigger finger. The second flight over the area we had a better concept of what we were looking for. Especially interesting were the pictures of the top of Schoodic Mountain, which we had climbed on a previous trip to Hancock County.

     The other time we were airlifted we flew over the farm belonging to Monte’s sister, Fern, and her husband, Ashton.

     I flew in a medium sized plane on January 1, 1998. Monte arranged for me to have tickets to Bangor, Maine. I tell people he tried to become free of me, because I flew at the time of the great ice storm that hit the northeastern tier of the country. The truth is that my mother was in the hospital in Bangor. I was fortunate to take that flight, because she died early the next morning.

     We also flew to Little Rock for a conference, and I flew to Arkansas for a training session for a job.

     The worst flight, however, was overseas, when we flew to Munich, Germany. As much as I enjoyed being there I will never fly across the ocean again. I was a sardine in a can, and the air quality on my return trip left me ill.


     There you have it—my full flying history. But there’s some flying I haven’t done. It’s on my bucket list. However, it’s not something I ever expect to accomplish.

     I think it would be fun to take a flight in a hot air balloon.

     Today, November 21, 2011, is the 228th anniversary of the first hot air balloon flight that took place in Paris when Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis Francois Laurent d’Arlandes ascended in a Montgolfier craft. During their twenty-five minute flight they were carried nearly six miles, at a height of about three hundred feet, over Paris.

     Benjamin Franklin was there to witness that history.


     At the beginning of October my son Nolan had a conference in Connecticut, and his wife Tammy went with him. Since it was their tenth anniversary, they planned to take a vacation there. While there they had the opportunity to enjoy a flight in a hot air balloon. They were fortunate—there was a cancellation.


     When you are out walking today, and see various airborne mechanical birds, remember that this is the anniversary of the hot air balloon. Think about how colorful they are, and how skilled one must be to take control of their flight.

     Perhaps you too will add a hot air balloon ride to your bucket list.



 To read Blanchard: The First Professional Aeronaut click on


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