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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
October 8, 2011
Passengers: Gaye Mc Dougall, Bobby Culp, Molly Stevenson

We have a “surprise day” flight today with Molly trying to spring the “trap” on her Mom, Boyfriend and Mother Nature all at the same time. I have called for the south Salem site as the forecast is for a ‘lull before the storm” and we have brief opening today before fall rains slip in. I have a feeling that this is going to be a fun group to play with today and Molly is pleased the SURPRISE really worked. We get the balloon out and ready then it is time to have this “wild bunch” climb on in. Gaye has a couple of questions and we get the radio check done and we are ready for the “teeth” shot. We have “lift off” and we are on a slow drift off to the south. A look around shows a bit of haze to the east and mostly clear to the north. As I gain some altitude we are tracking right over Commercial Street and it will make for an easy chase on the first half of the fight. I get a slight hook to the west and really don’t want to hold this track as we have heavy fog on the west side of the valley creeping in on the river from the Dallas/Independence area. I call the tower with a Pilot report to inform them of the fog and request a drop in altitude to find the push ahead of the fog to get us more to the east. The move works and we will definitely stay out of the fog now that I have found the right altitude. With the correction we slip by several schools, Wright elementary then South High who had there Homecoming game last night. I still have a nice easy drift to the north with just a hint of east as we pass over the Bearcats field and Bush Park with a nice look at the Rose Garden. We are at the hour and I start looking for a spot to park. We are closing in on the Capitol Mall which is balloon friendly (we landed there 2 months ago) but as I drop for the shot we still have the south push and NO hook at all to the east so we will miss the mall. Next shot is the Green or Yellow parking lots but today is Saturday and the Farmers Market has both lots tied up. I see a steam plumb off one of the building and see that at tree top we have a line on the State Archives building which has a large grassy area on the south side. I start the set up for the shot and the “gang” move into the lot. I find the track toward the field and have a slight hook at tree top and it will be tight to make the field. I use the top of a tree to “bounce” us into the guys for the rope drop and once they have us we hook into the field for the catch. With a short tow to the parking lot we have the deflate started, the tube up done and the bag sit is completed. We load up and head back to the Park for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

Gaye: “What a wonderful way to spend my ‘almost’ 70th birthday. One thing on my ‘bucket list’ I can cross off!”
Molly: “Great flight! I had so much fun surprising my mother for her 70th birthday and my boy friend for his 44th birthday”.
Bobby: “What a surprise from my girl friend, it was great! Thanks to our pilot, Jim for getting us through the trees. Fun ‘pinball’ shot!”

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: 4.4 Miles

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