Teton Valley Balloon Rally

Reported by: Melissa Hackney
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Updated: 7/09/2013 4:15 pm
It's not every day when people gather in the early morning hours to look up in amazement and wave as multiple balloons float in the sky.
Once the balloon is inflated and the basket begins to be lifted off the ground, the nerves quickly disappear as you see everything around you.
Riding in a hot air balloon is not only peaceful, but it also gives you a unique perspective of the area, especially in Driggs with the beautiful view of the Teton Mountains.
"You can feel how hot it is, hear all the birds and wave to people,” said pilot Kimberly Wooge. “You get to see all the livestock. You wouldn’t believe how many different wild animals we get to see. It’s really cool. It’s the closest we can get to being a bird and flying without the wings.”
Everyone has their hobbies like fishing, boating and golfing, but for Kimberly Wooge it has always been ballooning and taking after her parents she became a pilot herself.
“It’s just different and I think every hobby is a lot of fun. I think since I don’t get to mine as much it’s even more fun,” said Wooge.
Some people are frightened by the thought of riding in a balloon, but Kimberly says that most people who are afraid of heights are afraid of falling, but you don't have that in a balloon.
"You’ve got this really sturdy basket and it comes up to your chest so you don’t feel like you are going to fall over,” explained Wooge. “I’ve had a lot of people I’ve taken up that are completely afraid of heights and once they get up for 5 minutes, they love it and they want to go again.”
The fun isn’t only for the people in the basket, but also for those on the ground watching.
"It's so much more amazing than you ever thought it would be, so when that alarm goes off at four in the morning and you are hitting the snooze button and you're like no I don't want to get up, just do it because getting out of bed is the hardest part and once you get here you are going to be really glad you came," said event coordinator Virginia Powell Symons.
Many of the people have been coming to the Teton Valley Balloon Rally for years and now enjoy brining their own kids.
"It's very multi-generational and certainly something that blows the kid's minds," said Symons.
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