Again we are getting onshore flow and it’s overcast but should burn off or at least thin out about picnic time. I call for Keizer City Hall and the pi-ball (test balloon) tells us that we move to the school for the launch site. We have a lot of “lookie loos” today as this a birthday celebration for Jan and Gary. The gang (all 2 of them) gets the gear out and we start the pump up. Cecil goes inside to clear up some lines and it’s time to add the heat. We are off the lot and drift off to the south at a “brisk” pace. At 400 feet we are doing 7 MPH according to the GPS so we will cover some so distance today it seems. We pass over the Claggett Creek wetlands then on toward the Capitol mall area and I call for lower Bush Park as the LZ and hope that that the fact it’s in a 80 foot hole we will slow enough for a safe catch for the boys on the ground. We slip down over the Capitol then its low over the university football field and still at 5 MPH drop into the park. I have to take a couple of hard bounces to get us to a stop, not one of my better landing this season. We get the balloon tagged and put the damp mess back in the bag. We load up the van and head back for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.
PASSENGER COMMENTS: Brownyn; “Was a beautiful ride very peaceful. Staff and pilot were great. Thank you!!” Jan: “Thank you so much! It was great & the crew is fantastic! Bucket List item marked off !!” Mary: “Thank you Jim for a safe, interesting trip to celebrate Gary’s birthday. I’ll remember that squishy landing.” Gary: “Thanks for the adventure, I’ve been looking to float in the air all my life.”
A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um) Cecil, Tim