At 5 AM the alarm rings, off to the balloon ride. At 5:45 I am in line to sign the waivers. There will be 14 balloons in the air this morning. The balloon I am in holds 14 customers and 1 pilot.
The procedure is to lay out the balloon on the ground. Then attach it to the basket on its side. Attach the basket to the chase van. Fill the balloon with air with 3 gas powered fans, then add HEAT. All of a sudden the balloon is up and we have to hurry up and get in.
Very gently the balloon rises and off we go for about an hour in the air.
We landed about an hour later in an empty field. We bounced 3 times before the pilot had enough air out of the balloon to stop.
Back to the balloon fiesta grounds for a glass of Champagne and a snack.
We had to say the following Irish Balloonists’ Prayer:
“The winds have welcomed you with Softness.
The sun has blessed you with his warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well that
God has joined us together in laughter and set us gently back into the loving arms of Mother Earth.”
That evening after Rita concert a few of the balloons set up for a NIGHT GLOW concert.