WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 20, 2011, 10:10 PM

Abercrombie woman has unforgettable balloon ride

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - An Abercrombie woman wanted to help her mother complete her bucket list. The hot air balloon ride won't soon be forgotten.

Fighting a fear of heights for a long time., Joleen Tol was forced to face that fear during a recent hot-air balloon ride over Minnesota.

Joleen Tol – Air Balloon Rider: " You get this feeling that comes over you"

A weekend trip, from Abercrombie to the Twin Cities, to help her mom add another check to her bucket list.

Tol: " We made her put something over her face"

Joleen showed us pictures of her time in the skies. Flying over fields like these, Joleen got a glimpse of gorgeous views. But fields posed a problem when it came time to land. Too wet to set down the balloon.

Tol: "The wind shifted a little differently which made it harder to land."

The pilot was pressed to find a safe place to land, and after the first few jarring attempts that sent them scattering, Joleen was worried.

Tol: "It's hard enough where when it tipped over, everything going on, we all felt like we were going to over."

Hovering a few feet above ground, they snagged on a barbed-wire fence before crashing so hard that they lost the pilot.

Tol: "I thought I just came back and he got thrown out but he did tell me that he had pulled me back in."

Without his weight, they were lifted back up, floating the length of one football field before crash-landing into the ground.

Tol: "Little stiff, going to go visit my chiropractor this week."

Joleen's journey to the skies became more than just biting off part of her mom's bucket list. It was a pretty forceful way for her to face that fear of heights. Joleen and other riders were called on the radio by the pilot's wife, who guided them to the ground.