Scott Aamodt has been piloting hot air balloons for over 20 years, and he still enjoys the view.
From April through October, Aamodt takes passengers up and over the St. Croix valley.
There's a big, green plot of land in back of Aamodt's family run apple farm, where the balloons take off and land. It's at least the size of a couple football fields and surrounded by 50-foot trees. Aamodt says the trees provide a natural wind-break, which helps to smooth out the landing.
Getting a balloon ready for take off only takes about 20 minutes. You start off by using a large fan to blow of cool air into the envelope of the balloon. While this is happening the basket and the entire balloon sits on its side.
Once it's partially inflated, the basket is righted and hot air is added via large burners. The hot air is what makes the balloon buoyant and able to get off the ground. Each burner fires at about 15 million BTUs of energy.
Even though the burners are loud, they're not firing all the time. Aamodt says that when the burners are off, there's almost complete silence.