What a beautiful day in Chateau d'Oex! There is a beautiful covering of snow and it looks like we are going to have a window of a couple of hours to have our final flight. The balloons were serenaded by THE BAND! We had not seen the band from Chateau d'Oex for several years and we excited to see that they we as crazy and wonderful as ever! They always have a new theme and this time must have been Scottish school girl! What a hoot!
We were looking forward to one more flight in this beautiful valley. Al and Barbara joined Jon on the flight.
The crew had a difficult time getting back on the field to retrieve the fan, sled, etc. and were a bit delayed in beginning the chase. The balloon and passengers had a beautiful flight over the valley and the La Braye ski area om Chateau d'Oex. The winds took the balloon up the ski slope instead of down as we had hoped.
Since Patrick and Eske skied the mountain yesterday, they had a good perspective of where the balloon was headed. They found the road up the mountain between Les Granges and Rougemont. We headed up a one lane road for what seemed to be miles until we reached a barn under the chair lift. Jon landed on a ski run not wanting to go any further up the mountain and perhaps over the top to L'Etivaz. Patrick and Eske hiked up the mountain to assist Jon, Al and Barb. As the crew waited, we saw a snowmobile head up the ski run to also assist. The envelope deflated on the ski run and was packed up. The snowmobile brought the basket down with Patrick and then returned to pick up Barb, Eske, Patrick and the envelope. He then returned for Jon and Al who had started hiking down. We thanked our snowmobile hero with champagne and pins! Then he was off like Lone Ranger to assist others in need!
Since this would be our last flight prior to shipping the balloon back to the states, we returned to the launch field to re inflate and get all the extra snow, etc. off the envelope. After refueling, we headed back to the chalet for a shower and nap.
To celebrate our last dinner as a group, we headed to La Croix d'Or in Les Moulins for a wonderful meal cooked on individual pieces of granite heated to 450 degrees. Your steak, chicken, lamb chops, etc. is brought to you raw and then you cook it to the desired temperature (no blaming the chef for a bad meal!). There were lots of other goodies on the menu like calzones (Mary Jo went for the escargot!) and the soup made from the local morel mushrooms was super!