Shenandoah Valley balloon ride: June 12
The balloon before launch; Jacqueline is on the right. The Columbia Furnace Church of the Bretheren is in back. Many thanks to Don Warner of Valley Ballooning for a thrilling, yet safe ride.
A view of the town of Columbia Furnace, just after the balloon launched from the Church of the Brethren, seen at the left edge. (Note the black van and white trailer.) Wolf Gap, which leads to West Virginia, is visible on the distance on the right.
Jacqueline & Andrew in a hot air balloon, a few miles northwest of Woodstock, Virginia, about 15 minutes into the flight, as dawn was breaking.
Panoramic view toward the southwest from the balloon, midway through the flight. Note the balloon's shadow in the center, and the converging shadows, which are indicative of a wide-angle lens.
Almost too close for comfort! A couple times, the balloon came within a few feet of the tree tops. When the air is relatively calm, as it was on June 12, balloons can be guided with great precision.
Civil War-era cannon outside the New Market battlefield visitor center.
Closeup view of flowers from a Catalpa tree.
Pond along the entrance road to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, with Mary Gray Hill in the background.
The former DeJarnette Center, which once housed mental patients in Staunton and is now abandoned. It would make the perfect setting for a movie by Alfred Hitchcock or M. Night Shyamalan!
ABOVE: The Staunton "skyline," from the southeast. Mary Baldwin College is in the center, and a building from the former Staunton Correctional Center is on the right.
Staunton downtown, from Sear's Hill on the southwest side. The "Wharf" district (19th-Century brick warehouse buildings) is in the foreground, and the Augusta County Courthouse is behind that, with the statue-topped dome. (Retouched to remove obstructing electrical wires.)
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