Want a balloon in your backyard?

As hot air balloons float over the Sequim-Dungeness Valley this weekend for the Sequim Balloon Festival, there is a chance one may land near you.


Captain Crystal Stout, "balloonmeister" for the festival, said she made an effort to contact landowners in the valley to determine which fields could be used for landing and which could not.


"When we do land and a landowner comes out, we love to give them a short hop up in the balloon," she said.


Stout said pilots have a map of what field are open for landings and in the event of an emergency landing they do carry insurance to compensate landowners for any damage.


"I would encourage people who have large amounts of property to contact me if they do or do not want balloons to land on it," she said.
Stout's phone number is 360-601-2433.


She said if landowners are amenable to having a balloon land, they can place a sheet out in the field to signal an OK to the pilots.


Sometimes balloons will get close to the ground, almost appearing as if they have landed, when really they are still tracking the wind and navigating and will actually lift up again and land elsewhere, she said.


"This is a wonderful community," Stout said. "Every place our pilots are landing they have been met with enthusiastic crowds and we've been trying to share our love of the sport with everyone."
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