Don and Vicki, Co-Rulers of Oz - James L. Fuller L. Fuller
During the last year they have been working on a dream. They want to set a new record. It is to be the youngest and fastest to pilot a hot air balloon from coast to coast across the United States of America. They earn their balloon pilot licenses. Vicki's Father designs, builds, and tests a new hot air balloon made from the latest materials for them to fly.
It took a year to get everything ready. The ground crew has the balloon prepared. Flight plans are filed. Aircraft are assigned to shadow the balloon along its whole flight. They check the weather forecasts. The weather looks great! Everything has been accounted for. What could possibly go wrong?
The balloon flight starts with coverage by local radio and television stations. The takeoff is perfect. The flight goes as expected for the first few hours. Boredom is setting in. Then they fly over the Chocolate Mountain Gunnery Range. It gives the balloon a twenty-one-gun salute. That is reserved for rulers of countries. It must be some mistake! What country could Don and Vicki possibly rule?
The flight continues as expected for nine more hours. Then they receive a weather update. It says thunderstorms are likely over the mountains. A storm catches the balloon before they can decide what to do. They lose contact with their shadowing aircraft. Updrafts catch the balloon. The balloon bounces all around. It rises out of control. What will the storm do to them? If they survive the storm, will they get to set the record? What happened to them in the storm? Was it a dream or real?