From catapulting flaming soldiers over castle walls to sitting on active geysers, humans have long been fixated on flying through the air. Absorb the wonderment of flight with today’s Groupon: for $139, you get a 90-minute hot air balloon ride and wine tasting from Adventurist Air Voyages in Lewiston, Idaho (a $278 value).
Bird's-eye views of the Lewis-Clark Valley unfold far below jubilant riders in the baskets of Adventurist Air's safe, silent dirigibles furnished with tested equipment. After completion of preflight checks and orientation, the kaleidoscopically hued balloon rises into the dawn or dusk skies over wheat fields, natural pyramids, and stunning rock formations. The flier's torch roars, carrying the balloon to a cruising altitude of about 2,000 feet. Thrusters switch off and wind currents propel the craft, leaving riders in the stunning natural silence of skies, which is broken only by Superman's cell phone.
Eyes widen at the panoramic views of the Seven Devils peaks and the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon, and the pilot stands ready to answer questions regarding the balloon's functionality or point out sights. After a 90-minute jaunt across the cerulean expanse, the balloon splashes down onto the slow gray waters of Snake River for a 20-minute float to the landing zone. Passengers depart from the basket to enjoy a jovial sampling of wine from local vineyards, celebrate their trip, and practice toasts learned from clouds.