Well, I did it. I faced my fear of heights head on and had an amazing ride in a hot air balloon in Walla Walla Thursday morning. Today kicks off the 39th annual Walla Walla Balloon Stampede.

I thought I would totally be scared when we were in the air but to my surprise the balloon lift off the ground smoothly and peacefully. What really calmed my nerves was I had one of the Best Air Balloon Pilots in the World her name is Cheri White from Austin, Texas Cheri started flying in 1974 at age 13. She is a commercial Hot Air Pilot with over 2000 pilot hours and Chief Operating Officer for Touchstone Energy CooperativesBalloon Program  since 2000.

Scott Peters and Cheri White

Check out her amazing stats:

  1. Started flying Gas Balloons in 2002 and has compete in seven America’s Challenge Races and four Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett Races.

  2. 2010 Received Ballooning’s highest honor, the Diplome Montgolfier for her outstanding flight from Geneva,

    Switzerland to Tavira, Portugal with a duration of 71:20 hours.  This is one of the top

    twelve duration flights in Gordon Bennett history.

  3. 2008 Winner of the America’s Challenge Gas Race with a flight from Albuquerque, NM to Iowa Falls, IA with a duration of 68:35 hours.

  4. 2002 Third place in the America’s Challenge Gas Race with a flight from Albuquerque, NM to Homer, GA with a then record time aloft of 67.25 hours.

  5. 2010, 2009, 2008 Balloon Federation of America’s top female pilot for Hot Air Balloons.

  6. 2001 Guinness World Record Holder for Continental Divide flight.

  7. 1999 U.S. National Women’s Hot Air Balloon Champion. 1998 U.S. National Team Champion.

  8. 1998 U.S. National Team Champion.

  9. 1995 Women’s North American Champion.

  10. 1993 U.S. National Rookie of the Year.

  11. Flights in Mexico, Japan, England, France, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Puerto Rico and over 30 USA states.

So you can see I was in very good hands. Also a big Thank you to Scott Peters from Columbia Rea who co-piloted our balloon the Touchtone Enegry Cooperative.

If you want to meet Cheri or any of the other balloon pilots you must attend the 39thAnnual

Walla Walla Balloon Stampede, presented by Gesa Credit UnionChampagne Reception, sponsored by Columbia REA Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center May 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm.$35 for plated dinner, champagne glass and all your beverages for the evening. A wonderful evening to pay tribute to all of our ballooning pilots that have traveled to fly the Walla Walla skies.

 Hope to see you there!

Stacy Lee's 1st Balloon flight
My Balloon Touchtone Co Op