I Almost Lost My Face!

A couple of years back I received a free balloon ride for being part of the media at the International Balloon Festival. I sat back and photographed the preparation and then hopped into the gondola (basket) once the envelope (balloon) was standing up. As the balloon took flight I continued to photograph what was happening in front and behind our balloon and listening to our pilot comment on the amount of wind and that we probably shouldn't have taken off but we'd do a quick flight and then land. Soon it was time to land and an empty (except for other balloonist's who were thinking the same thing) field was commandeered for our purpose. Right as we were about to touch down a large gust of wind grabbed us toppling the basket and dragging us well over 100 yards at quite a fast speed. Due to the toppling, during this dragging my face was mere inches from the ground, the pilot's knees were embedded in my back and the propane tanks were pushing against both of us. Finally we came to a complete stop, thanks to people already on the ground. We went back, I was initiated (it's a secret initiation), and we parted ways. Would I ride again? In a heartbeat...the only difference is I wouldn't stop shooting as we toppled...I wish I had pictures of that.
TheWolf TheWolf
31-35, M
Oct 3, 2007