Saturday, June 26, 2010

Around Swanton VT in 80 Minutes

One word that has been extremely difficult in the NER Treasure Hunt has been the acquiring of Hot Air Balloon. The actual requirement was “Hot Air Balloon (the entire phrase; in honor of first flight in 1783)”. During this weekend’s journeys, there were 2 opportunities for HABs. The first one was in Essex Junction called Above Reality. We called before we left and called while we were on the road, but both times reached voice mail. On our way to BurlingTON we took a small side trip to go to the address that is on the web. Well our balloon was popped. No Above, Below or any sense of Reality in Essex Junction.

Next opportunity is Swanton, Vermont. This town counts for both the Titanic Tour and Call of the Wild Tour. SWAN and TON. U-KEN-DO is the name of another Hot Air Ballooning place. I have grabbed the post office in Swanton, pull out the cell phone and call U-Ken-Do. We have put in a couple of calls and always received voice mail. Expectations were not high and I almost didn’t call because we were way behind schedule.

I called and there was an answer from Penny. As I begin my spiel about how I am in a motorcycle treasure hunt and one of the words is hot air balloon, does your business have a sign with those words, Penny decides to let her husband handle the rest of the conversation. I begin again and Ken says I can meet you at the Duty Free Shop with my chase truck, which has the words you are looking. He gives us directions and says I will met you there in a few minutes

We mount up and a girl at the gas station, says just go up one block and hang a left onto Spring St and that will take you there much faster. Off we go.

As I am racing, up there, I am thinking wow these people are really going out of their way to make this happen. UNBELIEVABLE, I really love Vermont. We get there about 8 minutes later and the Levesuques’ had already arrived. Beyond the actual picture taking, we had a really nice conversation with them about Ballooning and other things

From Ken’s and Penny’s website:

This is why we named our balloon “The Dream Maker”. Hope you'll come out and see us. Even if it is just to see what ballooning is all about. So pack the camera, and bring your whole family out to see us. We'd love to meet you.

This statement is spot on.

Check them out at

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