"Balloonin' USA" Visits Delmar

April 10, 1996

The big day had finally arrived. For weeks since Kevin Kuehn's message annouced his intention to visit Delmar Elementary the excitement among teachers and students had been building. The day before his visit rain and snow fell on Delmarva and canceled any hope of a liftoff but our spirits were not dampened at all.

The students gathered in the cafeteria for two assemblies the morning of April 10th and listened as Kevin spoke to them about his travels around the USA. He commended them for their Internet activities and reminded them that it was this interest in reaching out to others around the USA and the world that had brought him to our school. We are grateful to Mrs. Myrna Hastings and Mr. Curt Twilley for drawing our school into this project.

Visiting Delmar and present at the first assembly were the mayors of Delmar, Maryland and Delmar, Delaware, the superintendent of Wicomico County schools and members of the Delmar City Council. The Delmar police presented Kevin with a Delmar police patch showing that Delmar police have jurisdiction in both Maryland and Delaware. Mrs. Hastings also presented Kevin with an engraved pewter cup as a reminder of his visit to Maryland and Delmar Elementary School.

After the two assemblies, which were filmed by the generosity of Comcast, Kevin visited Mrs. Crouse's first grade classroom and each of the third grade homerooms. The heart of Delmar's participation has been centered in these classrooms and Mrs. Cindy Phillips' second grade classroom where maps of the USA, paper mache balloons and Balloonin' writing samples remind all visitors that telecommunications can be a vital part of any curriculum.

Several days after his visit Kevin posted his update for Maryland:

Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 19:19:32 -0600 (MDT)
From: Balloonin' USA Information To: balloon-updates@tie.net
Subject: Balloonin' USA Update (Delmar, MD)
Delmar Elementary School, Delmar, Maryland


38 degrees, 25 min. North
75 degrees, 10 min. West

Conditions on Wednesday, April 10th, 1996:
Visibility: 5 miles; light rain and snow
Temperature: 33 degrees
Dew Point: 28 degrees
Surface Winds: 15 knots
Barometer: 29.95 in/hg

I was told that Maryland is sometimes referred to as "Little America." This is because Maryland has all of the same land formations as America does, only on a smaller scale. From the mountains in the west to the plains in the east, it truly does have a varied topography.

Arriving from the west, I saw in Maryland some of the same magnificent mountains that can be seen in the Virginias. There is a pass through one of these hills called Sideling Hill. This pass was cut in order to pave a road through it. The walls of the pass have some of the best geological formations I've seen in a long time. A plaque near the pass states that approximately 320 million years of history is visible there. Different bands of sediment of such distinct colors makes it very easy to see. The bands of color bend so you can also easily see how the crust of the earth has been pushed up. It's pretty cool.

Just down the road at coordinates 39 degrees, 45 min. North; 78 degrees, 10 min. West, is what I believe to be the narrowest point that you can stand and have four sides of the same state surrounding you. In my estimate, the state of Maryland is only about a mile wide at that point. If you know of a narrower point in any other state, let me know.

As I travelled across the eastern part of Maryland I almost thought I was back home. Eastern Maryland has fantastic flat fields that look like they produce some tremendous crops. It is truly amazing how closely the land resembles areas in the midwest. I was told that much of the crop produced goes to feed the huge number of chickens that are raised in the area. In fact, I'm told there are more chickens here than there are people.

For you aviation history buffs, Maryland is the site of the first "ascension" in America. This first flight was made on June 24th, 1784 by 13 year-old Edward Warren, in a balloon owned by Baltimore attorney, Peter Carnes. This was only the first of many historical aviation events that have been made by men and women in Maryland. If you are interested in learning about other interesting events that have taken place in Maryland, you may ask the students at Delmar Elementary, their e-mail address is:


The town of Delmar has the unique distinction of being located directly on the state borders of Delaware and Maryland, thus the name Delmar. In fact, the combination of names is commonplace as evidenced by the entire region being referred to as Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia). With half of the town lying in one state and half in the other, Delmar has two mayors and the school obviously has students from both states.

About six miles outside of Delmar is the Middle Point monument of the Mason-Dixon line. The stone that marks this spot was originally erected in 1768 and marks the starting point for the famous Mason-Dixon survey. What do you know about this survey? Again, if you would like to know more, the students from Delmar would love to tell you.

I've eaten many different foods along my trip, like crawfish and catfish. As I mentioned, we have both of these in South Dakota but I had never tried them before. We also have muskrats in South Dakota, and to be truthful, it never, ever, crossed my mind to eat one. Luckily I didn't have the opportunity to try one, but I was told that there are restaurants here that actually serve them. Let me guess, they taste like chicken?

My visit to Maryland was far too short as it has been everywhere, but I have to keep moving. My last state to visit was actually the first state. Do you know where I'm headed? Soft Landings,
Kevin Kuehn
Balloonin' USA

More images from Kevin's visit: Up, Up and Away with Mr. Bill Hummer

Go to the Delmar Balloonin' pages

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