Saturday, October 2, 2010


This is the what the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park looked like on Thursday when we arrived. The little white markers are the assigned spot for each balloon. We volunteered to be part of the chase crews and our balloon's spot were H-9 each morning and R-1 and T-2 for the evening.

Friday morning we woke up to this sight. This was pre-fiesta, but there was about 50 balloons in the sky. The President and the Vice-President had been here the beginning of the week and balloons are not allowed to fly when they are in town.
We went to the field about 5:00 on Saturday morning. We are close enough to ride our bikes, on a very nice bike trail (about 1 mile), and then they had valet bike parking. The weather predictions for the week are kind of ifee because of winds and rain. There was no dawn patrol today but by 7:00 the balloons started to fill. The balloon on the left is the Albuquerque balloon and the USA flag is hanging from it. The National Anthem was sung as it flew over. The building in the background is the Balloon Museum. We visited it on Thursday and found it very interesting and interactive.

We are part of the chase crew for Heinz Kaiser from Germany. His balloon is shaped like this pitcher and is 10 stories high. Unfortunately he chose not to fly today because of the air currents were taking the balloons where he knew he would have trouble landing. We have three more mornings to be his chase crew so I hope I will have some terrific pictures of his balloon to send later.

The back of Heinz Kaiser and other members of his chase team.

The first group to ascend.

Many of the shape balloons did not fly today. Some of them filled but didn't leave the ground. It was great to take pictures but by then my camera was pictured out. Sorry, hope to get some later. They are really amazing.
This is the back of Jack in the Box. He went up and made the box flight. Which means he went one direction on the lower air current, then went higher and caught an air current coming back the other way. and then came back down and landed close to the field where he went up.
Albuquerque is famous because of this flight pattern.

Pepsi balloon, it is a sponsor, and also you can see the When Pigs Fly balloon.

The sun just rising. It is a beautiful morning, not very cold at all.

Getting a balloon ready to fill. They go up in groups. Each balloon is given a signal by an official ( called the zebra for they are dressed in black and white) when it is safe for them to launch.

These are the balloons that were next to us. The red on is getting filled with air. It is Sky Heart.

It is really a fiesta. There is a strip of vendors mostly food and souvenirs, that was like walking down the boardwalk. There is some entertainment and at the far end there was a chain saw wood carving competition. What beautiful carvings they were making out of large redwood tree stumps. Their creations are raffled off later and the proceeds go to Make- a -Wish. They are too big for our RV I'm afraid. Between biking , standing and walking we came home very tired by 11:00. We will rest up and head back to help with the balloon glow tonight.

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