Jul 16, 2014 - From staff reportsA student who sat down Tuesday afternoon for a water break in the shade ended up with more than a cool drink. He found The Ranger's Rendezvous Balloon Block.
Jesse Canady was working on a summer school assignment of identifying trees and was in the east side of Jaycee Park in Riverton, where there is a line of about half a dozen cottonwood and green ash trees.
"I sat down under a tree to drink some water, and it was right there beside me," Canady said of the 8-inch object fashioned out of old-style blocks of lettering used in previous generations of printing.
The 19-year-old from Pine Bluffs in in Riverton this summer for some classes and community service work before enrolling full-time this fall as a criminal justice major at CWC.
He said he was aware of the Balloon Block search but didn't know many details until he showed it to his teacher, RaJean Fossen.
"I asked her, and she knew all about it," Canady said.
As his reward for finding the Balloon Block, Canady wins $350 from The Ranger, with $100 contributed by Riverton Rendezvous. He also has the opportunity to fly in this weekend's Rendezvous balloon rally with pilot Russ Griffes in his balloon named Glitter and Glow.
Canady said he would be there at 6 a.m. Saturday.
"I've never flown in a balloon, but I want to," he said, adding the he would bring a couple of friends along to assist the balloon crew.
Five of a possible seven clues about the Balloon Block's hiding place had been published in The Ranger before Canady returned it. The object rested at the base of a tree on the grassy ridge between the Jaycee Park parking area and the adjacent Babe Ruth baseball field to the east.
Tuesday's clue was "fourth tree in," referring to the number of trees between West Sunset Drive and the hiding place. Wednesday's clue would have been "near the ballpark," and Thursday's final clue would have been "Babe Ruth." Earlier clues had mentioned green grass and also established the general area of the hiding place in town.
The balloon rally has two main ascents planned for Saturday and Sunday from the launch field on the north side of theCWC campus.
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