I have always wanted to fly. I guess my love of birds points to this. Many nights I have dreams of soaring among the mountain tops, light and free of my body, catching a current just like an eagle does. My biggest dream as a child was strapping a jet pack on my back and just taking off.
So when I saw this story, I responded with awe. Others I showed it to viewed it with the idea that the fellow is crazy, but I was simply impressed.
It turns out that 47-year-old Kent Couch strapped 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair a couple of Saturdays ago and took off from his home in Bend, Oregon. He drifted east for 9 hours, using bags of water as ballast. His family and pets followed him from below in a car. After he traveled 193 miles, he used a BB gun to pop the number of balloons needed to make a soft landing.
He climbed at about 800 feet per minute, to a cruising altitude that averaged 11,000 feet (the mountain range seen here is The Three Sisters).
“When you’re lying in the grass on a summer day and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them,” he said. “This is as close as you can come.”