Mother Nature is giving us a ONE DAY break and it’s all for Lydia’s Birthday. The winds forecast is for 3/5 MPH out of the north so I call for the Brooks site and the pi-ball (our test balloon) proves that this site was a good call. The “gang” puts the balloon together and it’s time to load up and get airborne. We are off the tarmac and head out to the south toward the hops. We are drifting at the predicted speed and I drop us down over the Knife River ponds for a quick “splash and dash” for the birthday girl. The track carries us across the gravel operation and right over the engine of the “train” that is loading up for it’s morning trip to the Portland yard. The gang is already staged ahead of us as we move across the “bottoms” area toward the edge of Keizer. We skirt the edge of Wheatland Road and I’m looking for some breeze from the west to hook us to some batter LZ’s and I find it over the Golf course. This turn to the east will put us over several good LZ’s in the medical center area. We cross over the condos on the east edge of Mc Nary Estates and the shot is set for the road next to the center. The gang is on the ground as we drift past the apartments for the catch. Since we are on an “active” city street we jump on the pack-up and get the envelope “tubed” up and out of the way in record time. We get the “sit” done and head back to the airport for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.
PASSENGER COMMENTS: Lydia: “Great ride, good times. One more off the bucket list!” Mike: “Very nice, enjoyed both the up and down and the entire flight!”