Updated: Feb 18
My sister's boyfriend is a volunteer firefighter for this station in the middle of the desert. Every year they have a balloon festival to help raise money for the station.
I had been looking forward to going for some picture opportunities but wasn't expecting such a wonderful experience.
Going to this town was like going back in time. It was one those small towns where everyone knew everyone by name and they still get together and have community events and bake sales. AND there was NO CELL SERVICE so it was nice being forced to unplug and get to know and swap injury stories with the locals.
When we first got there ( me and my roommate) we hella stood out. Everyone stares as I crutched around just posing for pictures.
Soon one of the pilots came up to me and told me, "You know, none of these pilots are going to let you fly with them with that cast. Which is why you need to make sure to stick with me. I'll happily sneak you onto mine. But I have one concern.... Are you wearing shorts or anything underneath that pretty dress of yours?"
In hindsight, I should have been wearing leggings and a big sock over my cast to keep my toes clean and warm. But I left the house really early and I'm going to blame my outfit on the lack of caffeine in my system.
But one thing you might not know about me, I don't wear underwear. Or when I do, it's just too pose for pictures. So not only was I not wearing shorts, I wasn't wearing anything under my dress and this caused a lot of concern for the pilot and his friends 😅
Apparently to get into the balloon basket, I had to climb in ( or in my case be lifted) and they were very concerned with my decency.
I kept assuring them that I would be fine, and I even covered up with this blanket. But they scrambled to try to find me pants or something to cover up with. One guy even offered me the pants he was wearing.
During this wait my sister arrived and heard about their concern. First she put me on blast for not wearing a sock on my cast in the desert, then she told everyone to stop offering coverups because I was far more concerned with taking cute pictures of the cast than flashing everyone.
This was shocking to this small group of men all concerned with my modesty, but my sister was correct 😅
So we load up into the van and start chasing down the balloon through the desert to get on.
While in the van everyone wanted to know my story and what happened. This is my first injury with a truly badass story, so I always enjoy sharing it.
We take the van off-roading through the desert and I begin to understand why no one else would have taken me up with them. We pull up to the balloon and get as close as we can. The driver asked the pilot over the radio if he can get any closer as they have a passenger on crutches, but there is a bit of a valley in between us he replies that all passengers will need to hike.
My roommate offered to carry me, but I know I would just end up flashing everyone even more so I decided to crutch on my own.
Each step that I took, my crutches would sink into the sand about 10 inches each time. I had to struggle to keep my leg as elevated as high as possible as to keep the sand out of my cast. While still maneuvering through the sand up and down hills and over this valley.
It's really too bad I didn't get more on video because I swear to God, I looked so badass. But my roomie was worried people would judge him for not helping me, which was valid.
The people hiking with us and the people in the balloon were cheering me on as I eventually made it over the valley and up the hill of sinking sand
Once we made it to the balloon we had to swap out with 2 people at a time. 2 people would get out, so that two new people could get in to balance the weight.
But the basket was so packed full, it was a challenge getting me on. I jumped on to the stool with my one leg and jumped up and sat on the ledge.
The rest of the group had to huddle together and grab my cast to angle me around to get propped in. It was a challenge, but great group effort and I'm pretty sure I didn't end up flashing anyone 😇
Once inside the basket, it was pretty cramped.
We weren't up in the air for too long. But it started becoming quite a challenge standing up so crammed with all my weight on my right foot. There was nothing to lean on, and nowhere to prop up my foot. I so desperately wanted a chair, or to even just sit on the side of the basket. Even if it meant risking falling.
But soon enough after getting some air and some beautiful views of the desert, we hopped back over to the fire station.
When we landed, I had several firemen come to my aid to help me out of the basket.
I was a bit more worried this time. The first time we were in the desert, so there weren't that many people around to flash. But now we were back at the station with a huge crowd and my sister had her camera rolling.
But sure enough, I got out just fine 😇
After the balloon ride, my roomie and I decided to sit down and watch the other balloons. While doing so, he also wanted to draw a hot air balloon on my cast to remember this wonderful experience.
Having my cast drawn on is one of my favorite feelings in the world. Especially with the LLC. Each line vibrates my entire leg and causes a lovely strong ASMR reaction ♥️
While we were chilling I looked over and noticed a bake sale. We had eaten some gummies earlier so the munchies were really starting to kick in.
The roomie stayed and set up a picnic blanket in the grass while I went to explore the treats.
As soon as I crutched up, I was surrounded by all sorts of women who wanted to hear my story of what happened. I shared the usual medium-length story of my amazing trip to DR and how I mixed mamajuana with such lovely experiences that resulted in a lot of falling. They all laughed and were shocked by the size of my cast and the length of treatment.
As I was explaining why I needed it for so long a young woman brought up the last time she was in a LLC. She said she wore one for 3 years because of a genetic disease. She warned me that while the hardship of getting around cast was challenging, that learning to walk again was going to be the hardest part.
At some point, I was really really regretting not wearing socks. My little toesies were getting so very very cold. So I had to hide them for a bit with my blanket and coat.
Then finally the sun came out and I was able to enjoy all my goodies from the bake sale via a little picnic while my roommate and I watched the other balloons.
The snacks were pretty tasty.
But maybe not as tasty as these toes 😉
After the picnic, I went inside for a raffle drawing. While I was sitting here I had about 10 different people sit down with me to tell me all about their and experiences and they of course all wanted to hear my story.
My favorite person was this little old lady who came up to me and said, "Wowza, never in my 87 years have I ever seen a cast so big. Oh and look it is glittery! Dare I say it looks pretty on you? You must have quite the story, may I ask what happened?"