Chris and I were asked to help crew a balloon for the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic Nite Glow. We had no idea what we were doing or what we were agreeing to but we said yes. Trying to act mature that night was impossible. 

Crewing a balloon is serious business. You have to hold certain places of the balloon and be so careful in other areas. In the beginning, you're just standing there waiting for the go-ahead. Once everyone counted down 5...4...3...2...1, the fan turned on, it was go time.

There were thousands of you counting down to balloon inflation. Chris and I were standing at the balloon holding on to straps that would hold the balloon open so the air could come in. We knew that once the fan turned on, it would take just a couple of minutes to inflate the balloon and then they would blow the fire in and up it would go.

photo: Janice Morin

That didn't happen.

The fan didn't work.

As I hear the countdown, I look over at the fan that would be inflating our balloon and I see grown men pulling hard on the "pull start". Nothing. They pull again. Nothing. At this point, I'm panicking. The balloons next to Chris and I are already inflated and are pushing us into our non-inflated balloon and all I can do is hold a side strap and watch our fan not start.

Everyone seems calm and other people come over to help. I can't say I would have done the same thing. After a couple of changes with the fuel something-or-other (can you tell I had no idea what was going on), the fan worked and started to inflate.

At that point, everything changed. The sight of a massive hot air balloon inflating before your eyes is like magic. Chris and I could not be mature if our life depended on it.