We have been down for LONG time and this is the first fight of the 2014 season!!! YEAH !! I call for one of the north sites as the winds aloft forecast is for light this AM. The piball (test balloon) confirms that this will work well for us today and we move to the school parking lot for inflation. The boys get the top in as I get the bottom end put together. Once we are up and ready I have the passengers join me in the basket and we are off the lot with some “basketball” clinic lookie-loos for the send off. We drift off to the south at an easy pace toward the “main drag” of Keizer, River Road. I climb to about a thousand feet and check in with the tower. We get a look at the river and can see the HIGH water and what it’s done to the farm land in West Salem. I really don’t want to cross the river today so I drop some altitude to see if I can find a drift to the east. I do find some “down slope” breeze that kicks us to the east but its short lived and we cross the river anyway. We do have workable LZ’s over here (in spite of the high water) and I spot a good one and have the “gang” move to it. I miss the field and do a drop line in the street with a tow to the LZ. We get the balloon down on the road and in the bag for the “sit” . Since we are in WINTER mode we move to a favorite restaurant for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.
PASSENGER COMMENTS: Dale: “A Blue Heron is also called a ‘shit a quart’.” Judy: “It was a very enjoyable flight. The weather was great, the crew & pilot made us feel special and well taken care of. Thanks to all!!”