"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

At Last.....Up, Up and Away!!

After several months of waiting through bad-weather postponements including a 3-hour wait on-site earlier this month (previous blog) that led to a last-minute cancellation due to gusty winds, we finally got to take our hot air balloon ride today. It was well worth the wait! The weather was stunningly sunny and mild, visibility was amazing at around 80 miles according to our pilot, Richard, and the fall colors, albeit less than stellar in terms of previous years, were in full process.
After helping prep the balloon (photo above), we took off around 4 PM from the grounds of The People's Church in Franklin, TN. The launch was smooth and effortless (somewhat blurry video below - sorry about that). We drifted east over I-65 reaching a max altitude of 3,000 feet from which we could see downtown Nashville to the north, Murfreesboro to the southeast and Pilot Mountain due east. Once over the interstate, we descended down to just over tree-top level into a more rural part of Williamson County. The ride was so quiet and smooth we could hear shouts of "Hello" from down below by onlookers. We even crept up on a small herd of deer in a pasture who never knew we were there until Richard hit the propane burners to give us a bit more altitude. After a half-hour or so flight, we landed in a farm field about 15 miles from our launch site. Richard's chase vehicle picked us up and we were delivered back to our car by around 6 PM. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday afternoon!
We highly recommend trying a flight if you are so inclined. Richard's outfit is Dream Flights Inc. and they serve the Nashville, Memphis and Atlanta areas: http://www.dreamflightsusa.com/ We hope to fly again someday perhaps in a different part of the country such as Las Vegas or Albuquerque.
Afterwards, we had dinner in downtown Franklin at one of our favorite Irish pubs in the area, McCreary's. The food was delicious as usual.
Finally, we headed downtown to meet our friend, Rick, who was driving up from Chattanooga to catch Big Sandy & His Fly-Ryte Boys and Los Straightjackets at one of our favorite music venues in Nashville, The Mercy Lounge. Rick is into rockabilly music and swing-dancing, and although it's not particularly our favorite genre of music, both bands were very entertaining and musically top-notch. Big Sandy, as the name might imply, is a large fella with an Elvis-like crooning voice and a beaming personality. Los Straightjackets is a four-man instrumental group formed in Nashville and led by legendary guitarist, Eddie Angel. Their schtick, besides being great musicians, is that they all wear elaborate Mexican wrestling masks while on-stage and introduce many of their songs with a goofy recording in Spanish. A little strange, but, again, quite enjoyable.

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