Finding an affordable hot air balloon ride on Groupon, around $200 in the Northeast, I bought a ticket and rode on my first balloon ride. I had to be there by 6AM, to a hot air balloon flight over Pottstown, PA. That means I woke up at 3:30AM to meet up with a friend first. After we arrived, we waited for the US Hot Air Balloon Team to pump up two balloons, one for us and one for another group. For those of you who have never tried it, it is worth a try, once. I found it a bit boring for the amount of effort, but YRMV (your results may vary). The pilot told us stories about the most random landings, such as in a lake, or on a roof. In the early morning, the dogs start barking at the balloons, waking people up. Compared to skydiving, balloons are harder to control, and therefore more dangerous. There are no safety harnesses and you will hit several trees or homes in landing to slow down. Landing must also be in a large area for the rest of the balloon to flatten over. Because of the lack of control when tumbling into an object, the balloon instills a certain fear in people even if they have no problem with flying in a plane. The branches do scratch at you and occasionally draw blood, but what’s fun without a bit of bleeding? While landing can sometimes take 30 minutes after planning to do so since the balloon needs a clear field to land. The pilot then attempts to maneuver up and down as the wind carries the balloon forward. A truck follows the balloon for rescue and cleanup purposes. Especially during and after landing, you might get weird looks from onlookers or block a street.