Behind the scenes: Hot air balloon rides

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PHOENIX -- The scenery is beautiful almost every morning -- hot air balloons floating alongside the mountains and over the Valley. But there is actually a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, very early in the morning, to make it all happen.

Crews with Hot Air Expeditions are out bright and early, before 5 a.m., scouting out the best spots to launch the hot air balloons for dozens of anxious customers.

Because of the winds on Monday, the captain scrapped the first option for take off, near 15th Avenue and Cave Creek Road, and decided to go with their third choice, Jomax Road near interstate 17. It was there that just over dozen customers loaded into three separate balloons, each of which took about half an hour to set up before finally lifting off

Hot Air Expeditions has been a favorite of tourists and native Arizonans for many years. Their rides over the beautiful Arizona desert are described as awe inspiring, whether it is your first time or you are a repeat flyer.

Their customers sign up for rides for corporate outings, birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions of all kinds. They’ve even had wedding proposals while hundreds of feet over the Sonoran Desert.

At the end of the hourlong flight, crews in the air and on the ground coordinate to, upon landing, have a private party all set up, complete with top-notch breakfast items from some of the Valley’s best restaurants and a toast with delicious Mimosas.

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