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Location Scouting Report #9: Into the Desert

It's the third day of the scouting.
The team gathered in the hotel lobby at 4am!
We were going to set off before daybreak so we could view the sunrise in the desert from the sky.
That's right: We were going to participate in a "balloon tour" through the desert!

We set off, with boxed breakfast meals we had asked the hotel to prepare for us in hand!
After a short drive down the freeway, we soon arrived at the edge of the desert.
It was still pitch black all around us when we got out of the car.
Nevertheless, the heat of the desert sand seeped into our bodies.

The flame from the burner flickered through the darkness, heating the balloon and gradually inflating it...
Finally it was time to board it! We jumped into the gondola, which reached us roughly to our chests.
The balloon instantly rose into the air despite carrying both the scouting team and that day's group of tourists: 22 people in all! Wow!
The people, city and roads immediately turned into small dots and lines constantly moving further and further away from us.

That view of the desert, though!
We heard astounded voices from all throughout the gondola.
And in the middle of all that excitement, the members of the scouting team had their eyes firmly fixed on the desert, taking reference photos.

Occasionally, the cockpit below the balloon would let out a roaring sound from the burner loud enough to completely drown out people's voices!
The flame and heat from it would adjust the balloon's ascent and descent, so when it seemed like the balloon was getting close to the desert, it would once again rise upwards into the sky. When we were near the surface, we could observe how the sand dunes looked, and when we were high in the sky, we were able to experience the winds and the panoramic view of the desert.

As we kept rising and descending over and over again, daybreak was upon us before we knew it.

The sky was colored in a gradient ranging from indigo to madder red.
We were completely surrounded by a 360 degree view of a majestic desert and a sky dyed in the colors of sunrise.
This thoroughly satisfying view stretched out as far as the eye could see.

"Doesn't riding in this balloon almost make you feel like the Rocket Gang from the TV series!?"
Thinking of how the Rocket Gang gets hit by Pikachu's Thunderbolt and blasted off along with their balloon almost every episode, the feature film's writer Tomioka utters words of appreciation for them.
Maybe this trip will make us change how we write the Rocket Gang from here on!?

When the balloon landed, the dazzling, low sun was lighting up the surrounding area, growing increasingly brighter.