Fantasy Balloon Rides

Your spirits will soar if you take the skies with Gery Devokend, the owner and pilot of Fantasy Balloons. He has been hot-air ballooning for over 40 years and is tops in the industry. In 1978, Gery won every race he entered, including the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

Ballooning competitions are not about speed but accuracy. In one event there is a mock cow head placed on a hay bell and it’s up to the pilot to lasso it above ground. Which Gery does with precision even with his cowboy hat on. He is no stranger to ballooning insane distances, even over mountains. Racking up 193 miles, he was in the air for 5 hours and 43 minutes to travel from Barr Lake in Brighton to Arlington, CO.

All it took was crewing for a pilot one time and Gery says he was hooked by the thrill of ballooning.  He hadn’t even launched into the clear blue skies and yet he knew he found his passion.

Even though now he has flown the skies thousands of times he still breaks into a fresh smile each trip. He gets excited when his guests do, and excitement peaks when he skims the water on Chatfield Reservoir! Then it’s up up and away again to brush over treetops so you can grab a bundle of leaves!

Hot air balloon ride sounds intimidating to many but the serenity that comes with escaping the chaos of the world below calms even skeptics. It is an astonishing adventure that will leave you relaxed and exhilarated.

Balloon flights ends with a champagne toast and tailgate to celebrate a smooth landing.

So how does it work? Propane burners heat the air inside the balloon allowing it rise to the top. The only way to steer a balloon is wind and the winds direction changes between altitudes, so pilots move up and down to go left and right. When you go up, you add heat, when you want to go down you open a hatch on the side of a balloon to release hot air. Then you cross your fingers for a landing as smooth as Gery’s! 

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