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Visitor finds Balloon Block, wins $500 and Saturday balloon

Jul 19, 2013 - Staff

Randall Hatcher is glad he came from Vancouver, Wash., to visit his brother this week.

Hatcher found the Riverton Rendezvous Balloon Block Thursday afternoon, and he's $500 richer for it.

He and brother David Hatcher were looking for the object on the Rails to Trails path near the Riverton Holiday Inn when Randall spotted it just off the pavement.

"A mower had just come by and went right over it," he said.

The prize wasn't damaged by the mower.

Hatcher also wins the opportunity for a balloon ride Saturday morning with pilot Rocky Neal. He said Thursday that he hadn't decided whether he would accept the offer.

Hatcher grew up in Fremont County and graduated from the old Fremont County Vocational High School in Lander in 1963 and attended Casper College before beginning a 20-year military career. He then worked as an aircraft mechanic before retiring a couple of years ago.

He said others appeared to be in the area looking for the Balloon Block.

"One guy in a blue shirt was looking, but he just went right by it," Hatcher said.

Six of a possible seven clues had been published in The Ranger before the Balloon Block was returned.

"When we saw (Thursday's) paper, we knew it had to be there somewhere," he said. "It was right there near the (Big Horn) co-op building."

Hatcher said he knew exactly what he'd do with the prize money.

"I'm going to get me a new pair of boots," he said.

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