Here’s your chance to win a hot air ballooning experience for two, a five-night stay at the Westin Kierland Villas, AND (we know, how could there be more?) a GoPro Hero 3+ Video Camera to document it all! All you’ve got to do is submit your favorite travel photo(s) here by June 30 to be entered to win! Check out the deets below and don’t forget to enter by tomorrow, June 30!
You’ve seen them up in the air, but how much do you know about your pilot? Get to know the people that make it all happen with our Pilot Q&A!
This month we’re featuring Captain Craig, we hope you enjoy!
Name: Craig Kennedy
Hometown: Broken Bow, NE (but considers Phoenix home!)
Hot Air Balloon Flight Hours: 2,000+
How did you get into ballooning?
I grew up in a ballooning family in Nebraska. My Dad taught my brother, sister and I to fly in 1980, when I was 16. I got serious about it after moving to Albuquerque in 1990, making it part of my living while in the T.V. news business, then going full-time in 2005.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever been ballooning?
I’ve flown in 30 of the 50 United States, plus done long tours in Mexico and Canada, but the coolest place I’ve flown remains just up the road in the Four Corners region, floating among the Anasazi cliff dwellings of Canyon de Chelly.
Any tips for first time passengers?
It’s your day to come and play, but remember to dress for the occasion. It’s not a picnic, it’s an Expedition! Flip-flops and sun dresses have their place, but notsomuch in the Sonoran Desert environment. The rules are simple:
1) Be safe 2) Have fun!
What’s one thing you hope passengers take away from their ballooning experience with you?
Many people will check off a flight in a hot air balloon as a “one-and-done” experience. I hope it’s just the start of their fascination with man’s first form of flight! I hope they remember the joy of floating free and taking in the landscape in a way they’d like to repeat again.
You wake up at an ungodly hour, how do you get going?
In a Godly way, actually, I pray. For the safety of my guests, my crew and for the best experience for everyone, I try to do glory to Him and have never been let down. (A little caffeine and a banana help too!)
What can we find you doing in your spare time?
I love spending time with my two adult sons, three (soon to be four) grandchildren, enjoying the company of family and friends, reading, watching movies, traveling as possible, SCUBA diving any chance I get, and being involved with my church and absorbing The Word.
Ballooning is on many a Bucket List, what’s on yours?
I’m living it! But if I had the means, I would travel the world, much of it living aboard a SCUBA diving yacht. I’m told I make a good traveling companion 🙂
Have a question for your favorite pilot? Email them to Amanda@HotAirExpeditions.com and you might just see them pop up here!