Well Mother Nature is acting up again after a beautiful flight yesterday on our “normal” track (north to south) I have to move us to our west site as the winds have shifted 180 degrees. We have some “puffy” surface winds and it takes some discussion as to a “go/no go” flight. I decide that we will go as I have great “boots” on the ground and if we do need some help at the end it will be there. We get the gear on the ground and fill the balloon with cold air. Cecil gets Starship heated up and the passengers are loaded up. We are a bit close to the street lines so I do a “hot” shot off the lot and catch the push to the north t about 200 feet. I glance at the GPS and see that we are doing 14 MPH at 500 feet and it looks like we will have a FAST flight today. We do our first crossing of the river a Rapids Park in Keizer. I drop low into the “bottoms” looking to slow us down so the chase crew can catch up as they had to run thru traffic to get out here. We get a look at Clear Lake and it’s looking like we will cross the river again somewhere around the Wheatland Ferry. I spot a open field on the track and the gang is way ahead of me on the way to it. It’s amazing as the lower I get the slower we go and we have a great catch and a stand up landing. We get the balloon deflated, tied up and back in the bag for the “sit”. We get loaded up and head the LONG way back for the picnic.
I get the story started, the toast is done and the certificates are presented.
A BIG thank you to today’s Crew (I can’t get in the air or back on the ground without’um) Ed, Joe, Tim, Cecil