by Jacqueline Sit
The crews were up bright and early, setting up this Big Bend balloon bash is not just about the hot air balloons.
"You don't have a motor. You can't choose your direction it's where Mother Nature takes you," Walter Hawkins, a pilot for the Midnight Angel, too. Hot air balloon crew, said.
For first time balloon bashers like little Maggie, it's the ride of her life.
"It was good. We did some riding on the ground, and it was pretty fun going up so high," Maggie Mueller, a first time visitor, said.
Maggie and her family made the trip from Austin for a weekend getaway and they took to the skies overlooking Alpine's breathtaking scenery.
"It's really beautiful and very peaceful we came and see it before but never had a chance to ride," Jean Leonard, Maggie's mom and first time visitor, said.
For her parents, they're finally indulging in their first float fare.
"It's just real special because it's kind of an impromptu and our wedding anniversary was just a few weeks ago, so yea it is just a late anniversary present," Leonard said.
Midnight Angel, Too Pilot Walter Hawkins is launching his first rally this year with his best crew, his family.
"Being able to take the family out and it's a family hobby they all enjoy it," Hawkins said.
After taking it all in for a few hours, everyone takes part in packing up the balloon.
"To get to participate was a total bonus," Leonard said.
Making sure all the air is out of the bag even if it means throwing someone in.
For one family, it's a growing tradition, for another, it's capturing a memory of a lifetime.
"We love to get our kids out with nature and show them what you can do and you don't have to have TV and all that and they enjoy it too," Leonard said.