When 11-year-old Ariana Myers and her siblings released balloons on July 5, she did not think of how far hers would travel or if it would be found.

While hiking in Nathan Bedford Forest State Park in Eva, Tenn. Aug. 13, Miles Christian discovered an American flag balloon that had Ariana Myers, age 11, St. Clair, Mo., and “God Bless America” written on it.

Christian contacted The Missourian in hopes of letting Myers know how far her balloon traveled.

He said he was hiking on a trail on the northwest corner of the park, not often traveled by visitors when he thought he saw a piece of trash.

“I saw the mylar balloon a couple of yards off the trail and it’s a rule of most hikers that if you see trash along a trail, to pick it up,” Christian said.

“This mylar balloon stood out against the leaves and the green of the plants along the forest floor.”

In an interview Friday, Sept. 1, Myers said she and her siblings released five balloons. Myers’ balloon traveled an approximate distance of 262 miles.

“I think it’s really cool and I never thought it would make it that far,” Myers said.

Christian said releasing a balloon is like a “dry land message in a bottle.

“My message back to her would be: Found by Miles Christian, age 46, don’t stop believing in America. Don’t stop wondering what’s over the horizon.”