First There is a Mountain (from The Big Roundtable)

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Longform


Leonard Knight spent the better part of the 1970s in Nebraska, living in a trailer by the Platte River and trying to build a hot-air balloon. This is remarkable because Leonard Knight had no idea how to build a hot-air balloon. The thing was 100 feet wide and powered by firewood. And stitched together, as it was, out of scraps, on a borrowed sewing machine, it never quite made it off the ground.