Balloon Buggy and it's driver

Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-03 23:16:21-04

As hot air balloon pilots know, it's not about the destination, but the journey. Up in the sky, they go where the wind blows them with only the slightest control.

But luckily there's a ground crew to follow them around and be there when they land.  And this jalopy and its creator were made for the job.

"Basically what you could call this a balloon party wagon," said John Price of Wild Thing Chase Crew.

He goes by JP.  And believe it or not, this contraption is actually a 1978 Ford pickup. Or at least it was until he ripped off the metal and replaced it with wood. He even threw in a park bench and of course a hot air balloon basket for good measure. And yes it is street legal. When the balloon lands, JP and his balloon buggy are ready to greet them.

"This car is equipped with 2 coolers one is for Champagne on one side and food on the other. In the back it has BBQ grill functional," explained JP.

Before the Night Glow on Friday night when 25 balloons lit up Ann Morrison Park, the auto mechanic and his team entertained the crowd as the pilots got ready. He does it all in free time. Traveling around the country to different hot air balloon events to put a smile on stranger’s faces.

"This year we've done nine events. Once you got affiliate with this and doing it you just fall in love with doing it," said JP.

JP says he'll back in Boise next year.