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A layer of foggy low clouds moves in under us just as we launch, partially obscuring the ground.  I see the shadows of all three balloons inside a "glory" (circle rainbow) on  the cloudtops.

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Jerry's balloon passes between me and the sun, creating a ballunar eclipse.

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At first I'm a bit concerned about the low clouds, but they're burning off as the day warms.  It's a gorgeous morning.   Sitting on top of the balloon is a bit like being Saint-Exupery's Little Prince, on my own private planet.

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Looking up from the basket below, my shadow is visible through the balloon.

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After fifteen minutes or so, I decide it's time to detach myself from Necessity.   This is something new for me, and I'm not exactly certain how this is going to work.  I'm pretty comfortable with being up in the air, but somehow the idea of standing up on top of something this high up is a little spooky -- having something there means there's something to fall off of.... 

I undo the carabiner and stand up, my feet resting lightly on the nylon fabric of the hot-air balloon.  I push off gently.... 

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A Balloon Ride (Cont'd 2) ]