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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
July 5, 2011 (v)
Passengers: Jan & Ryland Eldredge, Hannah O’Brien, Jane Gower

I just love what I do as every day it is new “lump of clay” that will shape itself as the raising sun warms the valley. Today I’m taking up a Birthday Gal, Jane for her “four score and ten” celebration flight. We are into a more normal summer pattern for a change with light breezes out of the north so we are using the new park at City Hall Keizer. We get the balloon out and pumped up as the passengers get loaded up in the basket. We do a “fireman’s lift” for our birthday gal and we are off at an easy pace to the south off the park. The upper winds vary a bunch as I move through the layers looking for some steerage. The track moves us over toward the river so the flight should be fun for our “out of town” guests. I work us toward the tree lines and drop down to get a closer look at the Willamette. I can’t get our feet wet as we are traveling “up stream” to the south. This is a rare river in North America as it is one of the few that flows primarily from south to north. The river levels are dropping but the speed is still up a bit, about 11 MPH so if I dip us into the water we would get “hooked” and pick up way too much water in that process. It is beautiful between the tree lines so I keep us on the track for a few minutes. I have to make a decision, either the east or west side of the river. I climb out over the trees and get a shove to the west so I call the “gang” and have them move toward Wallace Park for the landing. As I set up for the shot I get a slight stall in the push and get hung out over the trees and miss the soccer fields as we slip over the railroad bridge. I need the gang below me NOW as we are closing in on the bend of the river, running out of land. The last parking is the old boat ramp and the gang is there as I toss a rope down for the catch. Well done boys, it is very tight between some big trees on the edge of the lot but we snake our way into the lot to the asphalt. The lay down is VERY tight but it works so we get down and packed as the “Birthday Gal” supervises from her “throne” . We bag up and head back to Keizer for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

PASSENGER COMMENTS:
Jan: “Thank you so much for my Mom’s 90th Birthday Celebration! Thank you for your donation to the MS cause.”
Ryland: “Amazing Trip! Thank you so much for the views of the river they were awesome!”
Hannah : “Beautiful day, great crew, amazing balloon, thank you for a fantastic trip!”

A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um)
Cecil, Al T., Mike

TRACK
Average Speed: 3.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 3.9 Miles

See the video of today’s Flight! NOTE: You will need Adobe Flash 9 to play this video
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