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Balloon Flying Service of Oregon     |     PO Box 3305  Salem OR 97302     |     (503) 363-9799
August 31, 2013 Boise
Passengers: Bonnie Shelton, Cecil Parker, Tim Gregory

Today is day #4 on the Spirit of Boise calendar but in fact only day 2 of flying weather. We are again in the beautiful Ann Morrison Park along side the Boise River. We did a tether for the local TV station on Thursday the 29th with Bonnie and she mentioned that she had done several reports on balloon rally’s but never got a “free” flight so today we will solve that problem. The “gang” gets to work on the balloon and soon we are full of cold air. Cecil takes our “guest” inside for a close look and how big Starship really is. We are ready for the heat so Cecil does the honors. Other balloons are already up and the field is starting to fill up with all the colors as some are lifting off already. Today is the first day of “free fight” and the target is open for scoring. As is the tradition in Boise the ‘X’ is “guarded” by a circle of 6 Porta-potties covered sponsor ads. We are close by and I will have to take a shot at one of these today. Our neighbor Whit Landvater gets the go ahead to launch from the “field directors” (with 40+ balloons in the park you need some control) and he has his crew give him a shove to the target to the right and that sparks and idea for me. After I get the ok to launch I do the same and hit the K103 FM yellow potty dead on…killing it DEAD! But by knocking it down it made our “target” shot with the baggie, DQ’d (disqualified and void). We hook to the left after the target and gain some altitude with other balloons doing the same. I spot that “Mickey” has left the field and joins the “” in the sky. I catch another change in direction and hook right again to the northwest and we have a “shot” at another Boise tradition, a “fly thru” the fountain. We get shoved off a bit to the west of it but get a bird’s eye view of another balloon as it takes a shot and it’s worth the try for the cash prize of $100 for the first one to get “wet”. After the MISS at the fountain we get the hook back to the northeast and will head toward the Boise River and another chance to get wet. This river is a lot smaller than I thought and even some of the smaller (about ½ our volume) balloons have trouble making it. The closest is the TV balloon from channel 7 (our passenger’s station) to get between the trees, but no dip. While playing here we get doubled back over our track and have a chance to “box” back to the park. Many of the “regular” attendees of this event have done just that and have parked so the chase crews have a short drive staying in the park all morning. Some of us are not that GOOD at reading the winds and we drift off to the north over the industrial urban area. Time to park and many already have as we play “follow the leader” and being the last one in the “chain” all the good spots are taken as we drift by overhead. I spot a school yard ahead but another balloonist has the first shot so we keep looking and drifting to the west. We are in a area of town that is older and most of the power lines are above ground so no LZ’s are in reach. We approach a newer area with a lot of apartments and Quinn Lake is in the track but not the parking lot that I expected as in the snow country here in Boise all the spots are COVERED! I decide to land on the water to take off some speed and give the gang some time to catch up. We slip off the lake and over the rapids on the Boise river with nothing to park on yet. Our track carries us over a main street and into a small industrial area with some small parking lots. The surface wind has died off to nothing and I send the gang to a lot that is bracketed by trees on one side a fence on the other and a building on the other. This is tight but we will make it work today. The twins do there “thing at the throat”, we get the balloon in the bag and we say Goodbye to our host then head back to the park for the celebration.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented, which Cecil missed as he was in the re-fueling line getting gas in for tomorrow. A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um)
Cecil, Tim, Molly, Brett & Lance, (Boise locals) Joe & Cindi, Skylor and the “bike guy” Tim

Average Speed: 4.0 MPH
Distance Flown: 4.3 Miles

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