Floating on air above the plains

At 5:45 a.m., Sunday, my daughter, Stefanie Gonzalez, and I headed to the Mitchell Airfield at Mitchell, Neb. We were scheduled for a hot air balloon ride with High Plains Hot Air Balloon Company with take-off at 6:15 a.m. In the dim morning light, we could see the wicker turned on its side. The crew was unfolding the 120-foot nylon balloon on the grass. It made the basket we were going to crawl into look terribly small.

Joining us was a couple from Moore, Okla. The wife was a traveling nurse who was working for a few months in Scottsbluff. Her husband was retired military. They had scheduled...


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