Missouri (cont'd)


I flew over the Franklin County R-II Elementary school, which sits all alone in the middle of farmland.


The skies to the northwest continued to get darker, although I could not see any actual rain. The hot-air balloons were already landing to the north. I called Bob and Brian on the radio, to let them know that I would be trying to land in the next twenty minutes or so.

I shot an initial landing in a pasture, but the wind at the surface was faster than a few hundred feet up, so I was still too high when I was coming up on the edge of the field. I leveled out and flew on. I floated up a gently sloping hillside, staying twenty or thirty feet above the treetops. My crew was a short distance off to the east, following a road up the hill. They pulled off to wait for me at a house with some cleared grassy area around it, but although I was angling toward the road, I was still too far back in the woods to land there. They got back on the road, staying ahead of me.

I was getting closer to the road now. I passed over a house, which unfortunately had a number of power line running through the back yard, and crossed the road. On the other side was another house, with power lines in front, and some big trees. It seemed like there might be room to land behind the house. I called crew on the radio, telling them to come back and directing them up the gravel road behind the house.

I dropped ballast to clear the trees, then released a balloon to set up a descent to where Bob and Brian were waiting for me on the gravel road -- a perfect landing, other than Brian's insisting on holding me up by one foot for pictures before letting me land.


Some of the crew went up on tether. A few local residents came by and helped us put the balloons away.



And just as we put the last of the equipment in the back of the car, it began to rain.


Celebration LXV

Crew Chief: Bob Dunnington, Brian Shafer

Principal Crew: Marjorie Walters, Edie Dunnington, Kelley Morgan, Kay Morgan

Special Thanks to: 21st Annual New Haven Balloon Race (Brad and Ellen Zobrist); Pepsi Cola Bottling of New Haven, Missouri; inflation volunteers

Photography: Marjorie Walters, Darrin Henderson, Kay Morgan, Edie Dunnington, Brad Zobrist, e-Missourian, John Ninomiya

Video: Kay Morgan










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