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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
February 4, 2012 (v)
Passengers: Nick Winn, Keith Bondaug, (crew) Molly, her twin’s, Brett & Lance

The weather is FANTASTIC for February so we got a call from Nick yesterday asking if we can fly his party of 2 today and YES is the answer for sure. I call for the meeting at the parking lot at Keizer City Hall and the pi-ball (toy balloon) we send up tells me to move us further north. I call Ruth Weathers out at Finney Lake for a fog report and she said come on out it is clear at her airport. The “gang” get to work unloading the gear on the tarmac. We have plenty of “boots” today as we get Starship out of the bag and un-clipped. We get the balloon stretched out then start to pump some “really” cold air (31*) into the balloon. Cecil does the up honors for me and we are standing tall and ready for boarding. We have a light load (only 2) and plenty of “boots” on the ground so I put it to a vote as to who gets the “spiff” ride today and Molly & the boys are IT! Now we have a full load in the basket, first six pack for this season. We get the “plank” rigged up and are ready for lift off. We say goodbye to the gang and are on our way to the south at an easy pace down low. First shot is the gravel pits at the end of the grass runway, where we get a nice reflection shot off the water. Then I drop us down over the tree nursery for a look at a backhoe doing some digging. It is a real treat having young ones in the basket again, good way to start off the year. The drift is putting us over farm country for a bit and into the edge of Keizer soon. We are truly blessed today as looking to the south Salem hills we see fog in the Albany area. We have arrived in Keizer and pass by LZ (landing zone) #1 the soccer fields at Whittaker School, way to early to land anyway. We fly over the Keizer Station, another really good LZ and may cross over I-5 and that will not make the “gang” on the ground happy. I decide that I need to go higher to find a push from the east and keep us on the west side of the freeway thus making the chase a bit easier for the “gang”. The move works and I find a nice push from the east at about 850 feet. We track past the Kroc Center then I call for the State Fairgrounds as a possible LZ. When I drop down to set the shot that push from the west catches us and NO fairgrounds today. The “gang” is moving off the grounds and Tim radios that “you really didn’t want that LZ boss, way to wet”. So now I have to find a spot BEFORE crossing I-5. We pass Washington school before I can set another shot, dang a good spot too! I have spotted the Park & Ride lot on Market Street and see that it is relatively empty so that is the next shot. I call the tower and tell them this will be the shot, they say fine and “have a nice day”. The “gang” move into the lot as we drop altitude for the drift into them. Once we clear the trees we are right on top of the “gang” and I send down a rope so we can be sure to stay off the light poles. I fly down the rope and we are caught by the “gang” once again. We get to work with the deflate, then the pack up with the “bag sit” done and we load up for the trip back for the cars in Keizer. It is still pretty cool out so we will go inside for the picnic at Cokie’s Landing in downtown Salem.

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!

Nick: “Thank you for sharing your passion with us, it was a blast!”
Keith: “Thank you for the amazing adventure! I’ll check this off my bucket list and I’m sure you’ll see us again.”

A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um)
Mike, Tim, Mitch, Dr. Todd, Cecil (in basket) Molly, Brett & Lance.

Average Speed: 8.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 8.6 Miles

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