Today we are in a “transition” in the weather with a large upper level low hanging out in the southeastern Washington so I call for the west site as our launch site. We get the balloon out and on the parking lot for the pump up and it is soon ready for the heat to make it stand tall. Once we are up it is time to call for the passengers to board. I have added our crew person, Beth Richards to the mix for her FIRST crew payoff ride (we “bribe” our crew with rides) so Mackenzie (her 6 yr. old-just yesterday) will ride with SJ and the “gang”. We are off the lot just after 6 AM and catch the drift to the south, then back to the east and will head over the ball fields where there is a tourney in play to day. We get a slight hook to the north and head toward the river and will get a look see at the Willamette today. We get on the river for a bit but the drift is still to the east so no wet feet today. We head into the Highland area of northeast Salem off the river and the drift is toward the Oregon State Deaf School. The winds this morning have me a bit “spooked” as that low has started to infill into the valley. I tell the passengers that we will have a “short” flight today as I’m going to take the field just north of the school as our LZ (landing zone) for this morning. I set the shot and will land un-assisted as the crew is still on the Parkway heading our way. Not a problem as I set the shot and we are down easy with only two bumps and a hop. The “gang” comes rolling in and we move to a cleaner section of the field for the take down. We get the balloon tagged, then bagged and have the passengers do the sit. 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.
PASSENGER COMMENTS: Bob: “I had a wonderful time and look forward to doing it again!” Asier: