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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
November 10, 2011
Passengers: Jeff & Ashley Fergus

Fall or winter flights require a lot patience from the passengers and flexibility from the crew too. Today is a prime example as I made first contact (by phone) with all about 6AM with the weather word, FOG! After some conversation with Jeff it was decided to wait out the weather and I would contact all about 9AM and take another look. At that time most stations were reporting that the fog was lifting so I said we would meet at the south launch site at 10:30. As the fog lifted the winds shifted and the pi-ball showed me that we needed to move north. I picked the parking lot at St Edwards as I prefer a dry spot to stretch out. Almost all our launch sites are on grass and this time of year usually is VERY wet. I have a light “gang” today so I will put the passengers to work on the throat as the boys handle the crown lines. We get the balloon up and standing, ready for the passengers to get on board. As the church bells ring for noon mass we are off the lot heading to the south at a nice easy pace. With a mid day lift off we draw a large amount of “lookie loos” as we pass over the fathers residence. The early drift carries us past the Renaissance Inn as we proceed down River Road North. This time of year makes for a spectacular flying with the trees in the midst of the fall color change. The gang is on the move and stage at the paint store for a bit as our speed varies between 2/3 MPH low then picks up to 6/7 above a thousand feet. I will want to stay on the east side of the river today as the fog is still holding at the break between the hills in West Salem. As we get close to the hour we are holding over Keizer but the drift to the west and a river crossing gets the gangs attention. I do find a slight push to the east at about 900 feet so we will stay on the “right” side of the river. I have the boys head to the park on the south edge of Keizer as this will be the LZ of choice today. I set up for the shot at the soccer field in the park as the boys hit the field. As I drop into the field I get a push back to the south and have to reset (check TRACK B) for another try. The second shot works as planned and we are on the basketball court. We get the balloon towed to an empty section of the parking lot and get it tagged up for the pack and the bag “sit” . Since it is still rather cool we go to one of my favorite restaurants for the picnic, Cokies in downtown Salem.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.

Ashley: “After a long week of work this trip was amazing. I always told my boyfriend that I wanted him to propose to me in a hot air balloon, so it was amazing!”
Jeff: “It was great, the time of my life!”

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

close up of landing TRACK B
Average Speed: 2.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 2.6 Miles

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