After a stormy night and morning at Flaming Gorge we drove the last leg of the trip from Panguitch to Driggs by way of Rainey Creek to stop at the home of the “World famous square ice cream scoop” for licorice ice cream. We made a quick stop by our property to meet up with our crew, Ed and Marcia from Calispel and talk with our neighbors. We had just enough time to unload before heading over to Tony’s for the pilot welcome dinner. This year marked the 30th anniversary for the balloon rally and many thanks were given to the community for the last minute support that allowed the rally to continue when it was almost cancelled.
Unfortunately media day was too windy to fly so we toured the valley trying to find some place open for breakfast on a weekday and finally ending up at the Sundog Cafe in Victor.
Saturday was calm and our sponsor for the rally was the City of Victor so Ernie had the honor to fly the mayor, Scott Fitzgerald, and his father. Scott also owns Fitzgerald Bikes in Jackson so he generously offered us free tune ups for ours. So over the hill we went to drop off the bikes and buy another 30lbs. of dog food.
While in Teton valley we usually take a day to float down the Teton river but after hearing from the locals that no one was floating the Teton right now because it was so high and fast we took their advice and the kayak stayed on the roof. I was all prepared with a waterproof camera housing this year too.
Sunday was another beautiful morning and I flew a couple from Idaho Falls who had always wanted to fly in a balloon. Then it was off to propane for more treats provided by Tom Gough, his way of getting pilots to propane early.
Since Driggs is a ghost town on Sundays we decided to try out our newly tuned bikes on the Rail to Trail path into Victor and get some lime freezes at the local malt shop. Victor was wall to wall people with all the events going on. The 4th of July is a busy time in the valley. There is a craft fair, parade, charity Tin cup run, air show, events at Huntsman Springs and Wide Spread Panic was at Targhee for a 3 day concert. Plus all the usual tourist activities of fishing, hiking and biking the Tetons and Big Hole mountains.
The morning of the 4th was windy with storm clouds all around so no flights just lots of “goodbye’s” and hope to see you next year or at another event before that. After vacating our cabin we moved the trailer up to the launch field to camp for the night and took a drive up to Targhee to see the carnage from the 3 day concert and play in some snow.
One of the reasons for camping at the launch site was so that Ernie could fly the hopper in the morning if it was flyable or we could just sleep in. It was flyable so off he flew to the empty sub-division called the Silver Dollar. After returning to the trailers we pooled our resources with Ed and Marcia to come up with a great breakfast.
One more trip over the hill to Jackson to get another part for Ernie’s bike and lunch with Darren then we were southward bound for our next rally in Salina, Utah.