I tried going a bit higher one last time, but up above there was still no wind to take me back west into the valley proper. I watched Kurt a mile or so down the valley; he was higher than me, but his balloon likewise not making any progress to the west.

 

Ed Stockard

 

So I dropped back down, and let the lower wind carry me southeast up into the hills on the east side of the valley.

 

Marjorie Walters

 

I drifted up the hillside. I could see a road winding its way up from the valley floor, and a few houses scattered here and there. Rather than take my chances flying out of the valley entirely, I decided to land there.

 

Greg Winker

 

I radioed my intention to the crew, and released a balloon to set up a shallow descent -- the hillside was sloping up below me, so it didn't take much. After a few minutes I passed over a house, where a couple was standing outside, watching me. We exchanged "hellos" and one of them took this picture:

 

Ed Stockard

 

I passed another house, then drifted just a few feet over a building under construction. I took a couple of dancing steps at the end of the rooftop, then released a final balloon to land just as my crew were pulling up the hillside road.

 

Marjorie Walters

 

I took a few last joyful hops with my balloons, out to the adjoining empty lot.

 

Marjorie Walters

 

Marjorie Walters

 

Ed Stockard

 

Some local residents showed up to observe, including the couple who had watched me fly over their house. As it turned out, they had been at the balloon launch field earlier, and the man, Ed, had taken a number of photos which appear here.

Several people had the opportunity to go up on tether before we put the balloons away.

 

Ed Stockard

 

Then we drove back up the valley to Winthrop, the old Western town. Imagining something wonderful can sometimes make it come true, I've been told.

 

Marjorie Walters

 

 

Celebration LX

Crew Chief: Ernie Hartt

Principal Crew: Craig Herlihy, Marjorie Walters.

Inflation Volunteers: Ben & Brenda Reed, Gary & Reva Reed, Ed Hudson, John Owens, Pat & Janet Estes (and many others -- please let me know if I've missed your name!).

Special Thanks to: Winthrop Balloon Roundup, Morning Glory Balloons (Kurt and Melinda Oakley); the Winthrop Inn, Wintrhop Kiwanis Club, Twisp Grange, Oxarc

Photography: Greg Winker, Ed Stockard, Marjorie Walters, Ernie Hartt, John Owen, Neil Rotstan, Michael Pruett, Reflected Light Photography, John Ninomiya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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