July 6, 2008

Man Flies Across Oregon in a Balloon-Rigged Chair

A man flying across Oregon in a lawn chair rigged with a rainbow array of more than 150 helium-filled party balloons has reached his destination.

A reporter tracking Kent Couch for the Oregonian newspaper says he landed safely near Cambridge, Idaho, on Saturday afternoon. The 48-year-old lifted off at dawn from his gas station in Bend, Ore., and flew with the wind at about 20 mph.

"If I had the time and money and people, I'd do this every weekend," Couch said before getting into the chair. "Things just look different from up there. You've moving so slowly. The best thing is the peace, the serenity."

It was Couch's third try at the journey. In 2006, he had to parachute out after popping too many balloons. And last year he flew 193 miles to the sagebrush of northeastern Oregon, short of his goal.

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