Friday, September 28, 2007

Kent Couch - Have Balloon will Travel

Children dream big, without limitation and expect success. Why is it that adults lose this ability? Somewhere along the way, they buy into the “I can’t” syndrome. But not Kent Couch, a 47 year old from Bend, Oregon. He believed that his fantasy of being carried away by helium balloons was completely doable.

If you were driving between Bend and Union, Oregon back on July 7th and looked up into the sky, you might have seen a guy floating by in a lawn chair suspended from a bundle of 104 helium balloons. No need for panic. It was just Kent realizing his dream.

With the help of friends and family, Kent launched from his Stop n Go Gas Station and flew to an altitude of 11,000 feet. He stayed aloft for 9 hours and flew 193 miles before deciding to touchdown. He configured the balloon bundle in such a way that he could reach up and release the right amount of helium. This was a stark improvement over his virgin flight in 2006. On that flight, he used a BB gun to shoot out balloons and ended up parachuting to safety.

Of his voyage Kent says, “When you're laying in the grass on a summer day, and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them. This is as close as you can come to jumping on them. It's just like that."

Way to go Kent!
When I was a child I daydreamed about swimming among a school of whales, just like one of them. I dreamed about riding a horse in the circus. I haven't done either one but I've climbed a 40 foot rock wall and I've jumped off a cliff (a little one) into a river. I want to be like Kent and see myself without limitations.

My question to you is…have you given up on your dreams? Why? Do you even remember what they were?

Next time the word can’t pops into your mind remember Kent and his whimsical flight across the sky. Remember the excitement and boundlessness of childhood and realize that everything that was possible then is still possible now. Go for it and when you do – send pictures! I’ll post them as another example of a brave, imaginative soul reaching for the stars.

14 comments:

Keli said...

What a lovely, uplifting post! And the story of Kent Couch is truly remarkable. It reminds of a line by Audrey Hepburn in "Sabrina." Her father told her to stop reaching for the moon. And she replied, "I'm not reaching for the moon. The moon is reaching for me!"

Lisa McGlaun said...

Wonderful quote Keli! Exactly how I feel. I hope everyone goes for their wildest most deeply held dream. Wouldn't that be great? We'd all be alot happier.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

NeoAuteur said...

This is clearly ill-advised. His friends and family should be ashamed.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Neo,

I can see how you might feel that way. After reading all the info on his website, it's pretty clear that he had worked on this for years, had a clear plan or action and a stable craft complete with radio contact, a GPS system, and ballasts for controlling altitude. He was able to land safely but lost his chair afterwards when it was carried away by a gust of wind.

I appreciate your comment, as always.

Peace,
Lisa

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Thanks for posting this!!! I had heard about this guy and missed the write up.

This is something Jeff and I would try. LOL

Wild wave!!!

Hugs, JJ

DariDonovan said...

Great quote and an extremely inspiring post. Have a beautiful day!

Lisa McGlaun said...

JJ,

I don't know if I would try it but it's certainly fun to imagine. I really want to ride in a hot air balloon. That would be good enough for me.

Hugs,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Daria,

Thanks...hope your day is beautiful, too.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

DrowseyMonkey said...

Too cool! Yes, I need a little of that positive thinking today. Thanks!

thewishfulwriter said...

I saw this story one night on the news and found it to be incredible.

nothing wrong with having your head in the clouds, that's for sure!

Lisa McGlaun said...

Drowsey,

It never hurts to believe in your dreams..no matter how far fetched.

Peace,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Heather,

I didn't know anything about it until I saw it in Reader's Digest recently. It doesn't hurt to have your head in the clouds but seeing that everybody else knew about this I should get my head out of the sand..lol.

I never watch TV, especially the news shows..so I blame it on that.

Hugs,
Lisa

Mr. Grudge said...

What a beautifully written piece! Your enthusiasm for this topic, a joyful ride in a homemade ballon, shares the same youthful spirit as Kent in his flying ballon chair. of course this was dangerous; but, his goal was more than just to fly...it was to live a fantasy. In answer to your question, I haven't given up on my dreams. Two of my dreasm, my daughter and my son, are living with my wife and I now. They have their own fantasies and hopes, and yes, dreams. That is just as exciting, if not more than living my own dreams. Great job.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Grudge,

Thanks for the comment! I know what you mean about children. I can look at each of mine and see my dreams manifest in flesh and blood. And now I get to sit back and watch them go after their fantasies..it's wonderful and exciting.