Balloon beats letter from coast to coast

Published May 21, 1992|Updated Oct. 11, 2005

A helium balloon floated across country to New York state in less time than it took a letter confirming its arrival.

The balloon, released by the Odd Fellows Home on May 13, was found 24 hours later in Natural Bridge, N.Y., about 2,100 miles away.

Susan Stenoski's letter about finding the balloon took three days to reach Walla Walla.

The balloon was one of 100 launched by the home, spokeswoman Mary Ann Applebee said Tuesday. Inside was the Walla Walla address and a note: "Have a good day from the Washington Odd Fellows."

The National Weather Service said speedy balloon travel is possible because jet stream winds move at up to 120 mph.

"It's one of those things that make you say, "Can this really be possible?' " Applebee said.