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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
January 1, 2012 (v)
Passengers: Leslie Quinn, Anne Gro Asbjornsen, Christer Asbjornsen, Tone-Lise Olsen

What a GREAT way to start off 2012 and with a group of people from half way around the world. Our passengers are all European, three from Norway and one from the UK. At the passengers (and gang’s) request we are going to try a mid-day flight and Mother Nature is cooperating fully as we meet at 11:00 at site ‘C’ in Keizer. The grass on the launch site is really wet so I move us to a middle school, Whittaker a few blocks away to use there big & dryer parking lot. We all get to work on the balloon and get the inflation started with several “lookie loos” in the area. We use this site from time to time, but have not been here at noon that I can remember. About 20 minutes into the pump up and we are standing tall and ready for the passengers to board. I get the briefing done, the radio’s checked and we are off the lot with a slow and easy drift to the south for a bit then a slight push to the east. I climb up slow so all the “lookie loos” can get there photos (I just bet) we will be on the evening news some where this evening. At about 800 feet we have a great view of four of our famous mountains, Hood, St Helens, Rainier and to the south Jefferson on this clear and crisp afternoon. The track carries us over some of the industrial area for a bit then over the Parkway and over I-5. The “gang” is close as there are not a lot of options to cross the freeway. Thirty minutes in and we are in the Lancaster Drive area with the wind aloft falling of a bit and we hit a lull for a bit before I can find some steerage to get us to a workable LZ (landing zone). I spot the LZ and have the “gang” move over to McKay Park for the first set-up. The “gang” reports a bit of wind in the face (about 2/3 MPH) on the surface from the west so I will have to find some steerage to shove me to the west to set the shot. I find it and we are on the ground safe and sound. We unload the passengers and get the balloon deflated and the breeze causes a bit of a “spinnaker” effect as the do the take down. The pack up is started, the “bag sit” is done with the help of the passengers and we head back to the get the cars and proceed on down to Cokie’s for the brunch and conversation.

I get the story started, the toast is done and I present the “gift” that will be worth hundreds of Millions of dollars (in about 200 years) to our guests. A fun day with some really enjoyable folks, Thanks for flying with us today!

Leslie: “Thank you for our majestic balloon trip. We enjoyed awesome scenic views over the towns of Keizer and Salem.”
Anne Gro: “This was a perfect way to start the New Year, thanks to Captain Jim and the crew for an amazing trip!”
Christer: ”Thank you for a lovely balloon ride.”

A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um)
Tim, Dr. Todd, Cecil, Molly & the “boss” Shirley Jean

Average Speed: 4.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 3.6 Miles

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