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When You are Offered a Hot Air Balloon Ride Accept It [PHOTOS]

The 39th Walla Walla Balloon Stampede officially begins Friday morning but members of the media were offered pre-event promotional rides Thursday morning. I and two colleagues launched in three separate balloons from the General Wainwright VA parade ground in western Walla Walla.


Prevailing breezes (you don’t fly above a breath) gently moved our balloons easterly towards the airport over the picturesque town and countryside. With the Blue mountains to the east and rolling Palouse like hills as the backdrop to the north we headed toward a harvested fallow wheat field for what turned out to be a high speed (14 mph) rough landing.

Pilot Jeff did a great job bringing us in but nature provided a bit of a push as we bounced and scraped a 30 yard scar through the stubble as proof we were on the ground.

Enjoy the majesty and excellent photo opportunities plus the other great events that are part of Walla Walla’s 39th Annual Balloon Stampede presented by Gesa Credit Union.

Check out the Champagne Reception, sponsored by Columbia REA at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center, May 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm. $35 for plated dinner, champagne glass and all your beverages for the evening. A wonderful evening to pay tribute to all of our ballooning pilots that have traveled to fly in the skies of Walla Walla.

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