Floating Inside the Albuquerque Box at Balloon Fiesta

As much as I loved my jersey wall perch on the bluff Saturday, there is nothing that compares to the emotion and thrill of being on the field during a mass ascension.  Excited kids of all ages add buoyancy to hearts and balloons.  Sometimes the shadows cast by the balloons and by nearby Sandia mountains make getting well lit photos tricky from the field.  To navigate among the spectators, I perform an intricate dance to avoid crown lines, rising ballons and photobombing stranger’s snapshots. But wandering among the billowing envelopes among the roaring fans (both mechanical and human), burner blasts, laughter and erupting cheers more than compensates for the creative challenge.

Albuquerque Internatinoal Balloon Fiesta
Visit the Balloon Fiesta during the week to avoid crowds

If the opening day crowds at Balloon Fiesta shown in my first post have discouraged you from attending this event, I have great news.  The early week morning sessions are not crowded at all.  On Tuesday I move easily about the field unimpeded by the orderly throngs in attendance on the weekends. 

Balloon Competition Target
One of the targets for the balloon competition

Although the pre-dawn temps are near freezing, when the the sun finally appears the chill subsides and the winds align to provide a perfect Albuquerque “box.”  Hundreds of balloons float over the field lingering more than 2 hours as the agreeable winds aloft allow them to circle at will.

Tuesday my goal is to finally observe the Sid Cutter Memorial Balloon competition.  This flying contest tests balloon pilot’s skills at finding and hitting targets with a baggie.  They are required to start from at least a mile away and use the winds to help them aim for various targets on the Fiesta field. 

 A Short Clip of the Balloon Competition

Balloon Fiesta Photos from the Field

Waiting for launch
Waiting for launch
Laser Light Show
This probably would have been a sharper picture with a tripod but all I had was a chair-pod – sometimes you have to make do and hope for the best!
Coffee Sign
With temps in the low 30s, this was a welcome sign for most
Ice Cream Sign
Too cold for this at 5:30 am
Hot Air Balloon
Getting ready to inflate
Awesome Chase Vehicle
Awesome Chase Vehicle
Balloon Crown
Balloon Crown
Still launching
Looking up
Inside Balloon
Inside Balloon
Unusual Passenger
Unusual Passenger
Elephant Balloon
I feel like this some days
Hot Air Balloon
A fellow volunteer Linda’s favorite balloon
Balloon Fiesta
On a day like this it is hard to keep your feet on the ground!




About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

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