Have you ever....

The MetLife blimp under the control of Snoopy flew through the skies above Indianapolis when I was able to capture on digital 'film' more than a year ago.

It was interesting to watch glide through the sky - much faster than you would ever expect, but looking to languidly move its way through the lower levels of the atmosphere.

A few years ago traveling back to Indy from St Louis, I saw the Goodyear blimp in flight headed to Chicago, and was genuinely surprised that while traveling at highway speeds I just wasn't catching up to it.

More than thirty minutes after first spying it in the sky, I was nearly under it when it made a gentle arc and headed north following its path to the Windy City.

Just following it from the ground was fun - prompting ideas of standing or sitting in the gondola beneath it - watching farm fields and roads gently slip past.

I have not yet traveled in a blimp, but did get an opportunity to ride a hot air balloon.  Back in 1986, while the news director for KJJC radio in Osceola, Iowa I arranged to interview a balloon pilot as part of a preview of the National Hot Air Balloon Championships in Indianola.

Late in the afternoon, I caught up to the pilot and crew of the FireFox, watched the fans blow air into the large envelope and the propane tank fueled flames begin to warm it up until it was standing several stories tall above the field that would launch us into the air.

Yellow and orange were the primary colors of the balloon and it stood with its internal candle heating it until the heat inside began to make it tug at the basket and guide ropes.

Then the ballast was cast off, and we slowly lifted into the air - catching the breeze and traveling with the wind as it carried us aloft.  The pilot raised and lowered the balloon by heating or releasing warm air from the balloon, at one time the bottom of the basket scraped the tops of tall Iowa corn while other times we soared far above the beautiful countryside.

We landed nearly an hour later and it was then I was entered into the 'fraternity' of fliers - as the pilot and his friends read a short verse and poured champagne on my head before we shared some in celebration.

Since that day, I've always wanted to climb into the sky again in the quiet elevator of the air.  Maybe it will happen again, someday.  I can hardly wait!