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Volunteer Day - Mesquite Balloon Festival

Saturday was our volunteer day at the Mesquite Balloon Festival. We had signed up through the festival website months in advance, receiving an email with instructions to report to the volunteer desk at 7:00 am. Making sure to be on time, we bundled up and checked in to find out we had been assigned to the Fun and Games balloon from Albuquerque, NM, piloted by Glenn See.  We also received a festival t-shirt and pin as a thank-you for volunteering.

After the balloon pilots' meeting, we thought we would be told or directed to our balloon pilot and his crew. Turns out they all went their separate ways and it was up to us to find Glenn See and his crew. After walking the entire length of the lot, we found Fun and Games at the opposite end of the lot in the last line of balloons. We introduced ourselves and tried to make ourselves helpful. The crew was pretty much set in what they were doing and didn't have much for us to do. It's the luck of the draw who you get assigned to and what their style is for having volunteers assist. When the Fun and Games balloon was aloft, we said good bye and walked over towards the last of the balloons to be ready to launch.

We ended up meeting an incredible lady named Ingrid Martell who is the balloon pilot of the Obsession. She was so nice, enthusiastic and passionate about sharing her love of ballooning. I had to go introduce myself and tell her what a badass I thought she was, and asked to take a picture with her.  Turns out she got hooked on ballooning after her husband, Steve, bought her a hot air balloon ride in July 2001 and by December, they had purchased their first balloon. Ingrid and Steve are both licensed commercial balloon pilots, and both are amazing folks with a passion for ballooning. Really appreciated meeting them! 

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