I’ve always thought I lived in a beautiful place. A few weekends ago I got a bird’s-eye view of that beauty from a hot air balloon. It was a most magical experience and confirmed what I already knew to be true, that Yadkin County is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
To be truthful I will say that riding in a hot air balloon wasn’t exactly a bucket list thing or something I’d ever given much thought to doing. My best friend is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, a place famous for its hot air balloon festival. I’ve always thought the balloons were beautiful, but really that’s about as far as I’d ever taken the idea.
Our new advertising representative, Fran Venable, stuck her head in my office door a few weeks ago and I asked if I was interested in going with her on a balloon ride and writing a story about it. I told her yes, but really didn’t think much else about it. I was very surprised when she emailed me the very next morning and had already scheduled the trip with Captain Jack of Carolina Balloon Adventures in East Bend.
It was truly one of the most amazing and magical experiences. As I said, I’ve always thought I lived in a lovely county, but seeing it from high above the trees gave me a whole new appreciation for Yadkin County.
The sensation of floating above the world in the balloon is nearly indescribable. After the sound of the gas is quieted there is a silence like no other. Far below us lay the lush green forests, a deep emerald green. In lighter shades of green were fields of soybeans, gold-tasseled corn and tobacco on the verge of turning a golden shade as well.
We watched as several deer frolicked below us in a cornfield. The silver-tipped white clouds were reflected back to us in small farm ponds. On the horizon the sun shone brightly right at eye level. In the distance we could see the hazy blue line of the mountains, punctuated by the familiar sight of Pilot Mountain.
Once back on the ground I felt changed somehow. I am quite literally at a loss for words on how else to describe the experience other than the words magical and life-changing.
Kitsey Burns Harrison is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple and The Tribune, here she shares her musings on food, life and love. She can be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter or Instagram @RippleReporterK.