There is some high-flying fun going on in Medora at the Medora Hot Air Balloon Rally Badlands Kite Fest, returning for its 19th year. Enthusiasts will not only enjoy the view of nature from the ground but also from the air. Tim Midura, a hot air balloon pilot, can share all of the ropes it takes when navigating the skies inside of a hot air balloon.

“You have a vent, you’re going to let the balloon cool down and you let the vents go down, and you let the weather go up and winds are different directions, different altitudes. You start low and you go in one direction, you go up a little higher get a little different direction going up and down, you can change your direction,” Midura said.

He has about 40 years of experience piloting a hot air balloon and says there is one huge difference when flying a balloon as opposed to traditional aircrafts, especially while taking your time and enjoying the scenery.

“The excitement of going out and riding the wind that no other aircraft can. You’re floating with the wind, you’re not fighting it, you’re working with it learning how to work with nature to learn how to enjoy the outdoors,” Midura said.

Midura said his interest in hot air balloons came when he least expected it. He was working as an orthopedic technician and met a patient who was in the business of building balloons.

“I got the bug, bought a balloon from them, and became a pilot,” Midura said.

It’s beautiful to see Medora from another level something Midura hopes to witness again a second time.

“I’ve only flown across once in the four years that I’ve been here because that was the only time that the weather cooperated and got us across the park,” Midura said.

And if you’ve ever wondered how high a hot air balloon goes, well Midura knows that too.

“World records are in the 50-foot thousand range, but when we fly normally, we don’t go above about 3,000 feet,” Midura said.

To learn more about the festival click here.