Thank you Lorna Eliason for forwarding the information about this great event!
Chadron Nebraska BLAST! – 7/15/14Michael had a Nebraska BLAST! session in Chadron, NE this week. Part of the teacher-training included a high-altitude balloon section (our 38th successful launch and retrieval). It was a little windy so they set up right next to the school building as a wind break.Chadron Middle School is in the bottom left of this next photo, but the campus of Chadron State College is also visible.Box Butte Reservoir is easily identified in these next two images.Three vehicles went on the chase and we were able to use our magnetic car signs again.The actual landing site was 3.88 miles from the predicted landing site. You can see the Box Butte Reservoir left of center on this map.The temperature was in the 70s, so it was a little cooler than usual for summer. It turns out that was a good thing for the recovery. The terrain in Western Nebraska is different than the corn and soybean fields that we are used to seeing in Eastern Nebraska and into Iowa. We are accustomed to land being sectioned into one mile by one mile segments. That is not the case on the prairie where you can drive for miles and miles before finding an official road.Here is a short video (1:25 min.) with the drive on the trail sped up 20x.Once the vehicle came to a stop, it was a 0.79 mile hike to the payload.  This is what happens to your tennis shoes when you tromp through the grasslands.After the group walked back to the vans, they discovered that Michael’s keys were lost somewhere along the 1.5 mile walk across the prairie. Using the handheld GPS, they followed the exact path a second time to try to locate them, they could not find the keys and had no choice but to leave that vehicle there and return to Chadron. A spare key was sent overnight express to the hotel where Michael was staying and he was able to retrieve the vehicle the following day and make the long drive back home across the state.