Salina, Utah Eyes to the Sky

Media flight sunrise

We ended up camping in the Wasatche national forest after leaving Driggs and Jackson Hole on the way to Salina, Utah for our third balloon rally.  The roads were clear over the pass but the snow was still about 4′ high along the sides of the road and many of the campgrounds were still closed from snow or flooding.  We found a camp that was open and after talking with the camp host we discovered he used to crew for one of the balloon companies in San Diego years ago.  He also told us about 4 moose in the area as well as a bear that was spotted 1/2 a mile away but we didn’t get to see any of them.  The girls did get a chance to run around and play in a secluded meadow we found by following a dirt road that was blocked at 2 places by fallen trees.  One I could move the other Ernie had to drive around.
Friday in Salina was media day and it began with lots of clouds, rain, rainbows and thunder cells in the surrounding areas so all flights were cancelled to Paula, the organizer’s, disappointment.  Saturday was clear with lots of wind layers so I flew our sponsor and his 3yr old grandson who when you ask him will tell you he is “White trash”!  His family owns White’s disposal service.  I tried to do a hop to get our dedicated crew, Deb and Andre, a ride but so many of the fields were planted late this year that I wasn’t able to.  In the afternoon we headed down to Richfield to meet up with Deb and Andre for an ATV ride in the local mountains.  We didn’t make it to the top of the mountain but it was fun with great views of the valley.
Saturday night was the balloon glow which is always a crowd pleaser.  Apart from one old, smelly balloon causing people to check their shoes to see what they stepped in when they walked by, everything went well and the crowd seemed happy.
Sunday once again, had threatening weather so no flights and the brunch was moved undercover from the rain.  From Salina we headed to Salt Lake City to store the trailer and balloon while we spent the next 4 days at Kent’s cabin in the mountains where we got to relax and catch up on sleep, laundry and the Tour de France.

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