At Hot Air Expeditions, every day is truly a team effort to ensure operations run smoothly, and a memorable ballooning experience is created for each and every one of our passengers. Today, we are getting to know the woman behind the scenes, our newest Balloon Experience Specialist, Angie! You can find her at Hot Air Expeditions making reservations, coordinating the day’s manifest, and even out and about with the hot air balloons every now and again, but during her off time, you can find her adventuring! Get to know a little bit more about this bubbly woman making things happen behind the scenes below.
1When did your love for hot air ballooning begin?
Like so many other people, a hot air balloon ride was on my bucket list. My son and I traveled to beautiful Black Hills, South Dakota sixteen years ago for vacation. I booked a balloon flight for him and I with a local company in the area. To my pleasant surprise, it just happened to be during their annual hot air balloon festival. We had a breathtaking flight with approximately 10 other balloons over the Black Hills. It was absolutely amazing and I have had a love affair with hot air ballooning ever since!
2What do you love most about your job?
I’ve worked in many areas of hot air ballooning since that very first flight. Everything from festival work to competition scoring, balloon club board member, professional photography and, of course, chase crew. Being able to work in this niche field full time with Hot Air Expeditions is a dream job. I’m intimately connected to hot air ballooning every day. The best part is getting people up in the balloon for their very first flight. I get to relive that “first time” through other people. It’s really special to share these experiences with our passengers.
3What are your hobbies outside of work?
As an avid hiker and long distance backpacker, I disappear into the wilderness as often as possible to refresh the spirit. Being passionate about the outdoors, I also give back to the community by participating in trail/park cleanup, maintenance and stewardship.
4What is your favorite place you have travelled?
As a balloonist and explorer, I’ve been quite fortunate to have traveled to many places. All of them have their own unique beauty. For me personally, I guess I would have to say that Grand Canyon has had the most impact on me. This mystical natural wonder is ultimately what brought me Arizona. The Canyon took my breath away the first time I looked down upon it’s magnificence. Then years later, it literally took my breath away again hiking through it rim to rim (whew!), but that’s an adventure story for another day…
5Where’s next on your list to travel?
In a couple months my brother and I are traveling to Peru! We’ll be hiking through jungle and mountains to visit Machu Picchu, the famous Incan citadel. I can’t wait for this adventure to unfold!
To learn more about how we got started, please read our About Hot Air Expeditions story.