July 27-28, 2018
Location: Eleven Mile Reservoir, Lake George, CO.
Hosted By: River Deep and SCI HOP
Participants: Operation TBI Freedom, Ft. Carson WTB, Peterson AFB
Eleven Mile Reservoir Camping, Boating, Fishing & Hot Air Ballooning
What a weekend! We had almost 100 wounded veteran and family members gathered at Eleven Mile Reservoir for a weekend of camping, boating, fishing, hot air ballooning and an incredible BBQ dinner prepared by Roosters BBQ, the owner is also a wounded veteran. It was some of the best BBQ this group has had, but first we enjoyed boating and fishing. We were in pontoon boats and two Kast King bass boats from our friend Al Noraker, who is a big supporter of our Anglers of Honor program, and he also supplies us with the Anglers of Honor fly rods.
The boats stayed busy all afternoon taking everyone for pleasure rides and fishing. As it got close to chow time, everyone gathered at our main campsite as the clouds were also gathering. We had Kansas City Ribs, chicken and all the sides, just fantastic! The rain waited until we were done eating. There was a quick downpour and everyone headed to their tents. After the rain, we had a beautiful rainbow and clear skies which drew everyone out of their tents and back to the camp fire where we roasted marshmallows.
It had been a great day and was even better the following day when we rose with the sun and drove about 10 miles into a valley where The Celebration of Honor hot air ballooning took place. There were 15 balloons along with coffee and donuts waiting for our group. We were each assigned a pilot and balloon. This was a family treat, kids and their parents all got a chance to fly. With almost 70 participants, the pilots made multiple flights and it was a phenomenal sight to see all those balloons in the air along with big smiles on all of the passengers. After the flight, we all gathered at the launch site and had lunch prepared by the Ballooning Society of Pikes Peak. They have a ritual which dates back to the beginning of time for all the first time balloon passengers. It's been a great weekend and a big thanks to all the groups that gave their time and caring to help the men and women who have served and their families. Special thanks to Taskforce ISO and their crew for capturing our weekend in photography. A huge thanks to everyone involved with making this weekend so wonderful.
SCI, VP/Humanitarian Chairman
River Deep, President