Monday, October 3, 2011

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta


(Chuck) The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a spectacular annual event. It is the premier ballooning experience in the world. This year marks the 40th year that it has been held in Albuquerque , NM . The weather this year has been excellent and at this point all events have been held. Sunday’s example of the "Albuquerque Box” was a good display of why the event is so successful. Albuquerque has a thermal and wind feature which allows the balloons to take off and drift downwind for a period of time and at the pilots discretion to rise to a higher altitude and ride a reverse wind back toward the take off area and beyond.  


106Special Shapes Balloons


007004We have found once again that there is a big benefit to being in the company of the Escapee Boomers. It is a group of experienced RV’ers who know how to get the most out of life. Our group of 40 rigs are only a fraction of the thousands of rigs here at the fiesta, however we have prime spots and at reasonably modest rates that Boomers are accustomed to. The Boomer hosts for this Boomerang are Luke and Judy Reinheimer, and they have once again provided us with a great experience. In front of our motorhome is a “landing field” that has been a center of activity for the last two days. Fifteen to twenty balloons landed here today and at any time this morning there has been at least a hundred balloons in the sky.

Most Boomers are “crewing” with a balloon, which means that they prepare the balloon for flight, inflate it, chase it, recover the balloon and pack it away. It can be a lot of work and a lot of fun. The mornings are cool and the afternoons are hot and everybody seems to walk around with a smile on their face and a camera in their hand.

019Chuck and Jan joining Boomer friends Diane and Elise in stabilizing a balloon on the ground upon landing until their crew comes to retrieve them. One of MANY photographers getting that ‘perfect’ shot.028 IMG_6951A balloon drifting through the drainage canal behind our rigs.

Balloon teams from all over the world participate in this event and news coverage originates from more than 50 countries. It has become the most photographed event in the world.

Here is a link to a web-cam which is at the balloon field. Check at about 6:30 to 7:00 am on each day.

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