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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
August 25, 2011
Passengers: Pat & Luke Fritz, Debbie and Jessi Keller

Again we are at our Brooks site as the wind forecast has been holding with the push form the NNE and the surface is calm. We had a cold front pass through the area this morning and it dropped some scattered showers, I had a wet windshield on my rig at home. The radar showed that the front has fallen apart and I call for the flight as scheduled and at site we have a beautiful pre dawn look. We get the balloon out and pumped up ready for the standup. It is time for the passengers to join me in the basket. We are off the tarmac as the guys pack up for the chase. We head out over the hops then I get a hook to the west. Looking off to the sunrise we see very few clouds left over from the earlier front that passed by. Our track is taking us a direction that I really don’t want to go as the Willamette River is only a couple of miles away if I hold on this track. I have to find some kind of breeze that will keep me on this side of the river. I drop low looking for something and we will play in the trees for a bit as I search. I do slow down a bunch and find a bit of a drift to the south but still have a push west, just not as fast. Now we are about 1/3 of a mile from the river and it is now a mater of finding a workable spot to park with all these nurseries and hops below which are NOT anything close to a landing zone. I stay low as I do have some help from Mother Nature with a slight push to the east at tree top which is the down slope off the Eola Hills in West Salem. I’m even considering using the gravel yard of Windsor Rock as a last resort to stay on this side of the river. I call for the boys to stage in the drive into the operation in case I can hit the open field next to it. We have a employee of the rock company that has been in contact with the office and we have permission to use there property as long as we don’t interfere with there traffic pattern. I set the shot for the field, small as it is and the boys are on the spot for a drop after I clear the tree line. We get the balloon deflated in record time, no trucks are delayed and we have it ready to pack off the side of the road. The passengers get the “sit” done and we are off to the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented. Then we all sit down for some conversation about today’s “adventure” and thanks for flying with us!

Pat: “This was definitely a trip of a lifetime! This is something we have always wanted to do regarding our ‘bucket list’. Thanks for an amazing experience! You are the greatest.”
Luke: “Great experience, thank you!”
Debbie: “Had the most amazing experience! Beautiful and peaceful, great Birthday memory with everyone including my daughter! Thank you!”
Jessi: “This was so cool, thank you so much!”

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

Average Speed: 3.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 3.4 Miles

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