Been down a few days due to weather but that has changed just in time to celebrate Mothers Day for two lovely Mom’s today. I call for one of the Keizer sites to meet and check the test balloon (pi-ball) for the current drift. It looks workable for today so we move to the school to use there empty lot. The “gang” gets the top in and in a few we are ready to have the passengers “come on board”. A bit more heat and we are off the lot heading gently to the south. The passengers settle in, all except Nick who has some trepidations like I had when I took my FIRST flight in 1985.It’s not uncommon to have a bit of concern as ballooning is totally different from ANYTHING that you have ever done. I usually “creep” up slowly to get the feel for the winds and once I top out at about a thousand feet I dropped back down a bit for a turn to the east and Nick was getting his “basket” legs in shape. I drop down over River Road Park to get some “down slope” off the hills to the west as we are close to crossing the river, not something I or the GANG on the ground want. We get the push to the east and move toward the Capitol Mall area which has several good LZ’s (landing zones) for us. The east push is stronger and we miss most all the spots below us and will move across Mission Street into the industrial area. I call the tower and give them a heads up for a possible landing inside the fence, but down low I get hooked to the south a bit and will use the “model” air park today. Once over 25th street the gang is on the ground waiting for the catch. We lay the balloon down on the pavement, get the “sit done” gear to the truck on the side of the road. We load up and head back to Keizer for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates