The weather cooperated Friday night, so we finally got to see the Special Shapes Glowdeo. Unfortunately so did thousands of other people. It was really crowded!
The balloons are especially colorful when they fire up the propane burners.
The Wells Fargo wagon was HUGE.
As was this devil wearing sneakers. We were too close to get a picture of the whole balloon, it was so big.
The wind was right the last couple days of the Mass Ascension in the morning, so we had lots of balloons come over the RV parking area again. Every day we spotted different ones we hadn’t seen before. It sure looked like they would land on the RVs. but they always made it past. There was one report of a balloon landing in a tree, and one that made a hard landing and caused some minor injuries, but no one was seriously hurt this year.
So now that it’s over, what did I really think of the Balloon Fiesta?
First of all, we had a great time visiting with the other Lazy Daze owners, some of whom we had met at previous get togethers, and others we met for the first time. It was a really good group of people, and we enjoyed the happy hours, pot luck dinners, gawking at the balloons together in the early hours of the morning, etc.
Albuquerque is a nice city, with Trader Joe’s, Camping World, and every other store we needed. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that there are 400 miles of bike trails in the city. We went riding several times last week, on paved trails along a canal and the Rio Grande. We also hiked the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, but never found the time to drive or take the tram up to the peak. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities in the Albuquerque area.
The Balloons! What can I say? Even after 9 days of watching, I never got tired of seeing them. And the logistics of putting on an event like this every year is mind boggling, but the organizers do a fantastic job. The porta potties always had toilet paper, trucks came around frequently to water the dirt in the RV parking lot to help keep the dust down, and for $20 a truck would come by to pump out your tanks or fill the rig with water.
Now the downside. The dust from sitting in a dirt lot for 10 days, and the traffic noise from being so close to Alameda Blvd. (We were in the second row back from the road.) Also lots of diesel fumes from the water trucks, generators, and other vehicles driving by. We were very fortunate we had just a few drops of rain the entire time we were there. I imagine it would be quite muddy, which now that I think of it would have been a nice respite from the dust. Having said that though, I wouldn’t consider staying anywhere else and having to drive to Balloon Fiesta Park. The traffic was horrible before and after the events, so it was nice to be able to walk across the road or just watch from our lot.
We’re glad we got to see the Balloon Fiesta, but for us this was a “been there, done that” kind of thing and we most likely won’t attend another.
Here is one last shot of Jim on top of the rig taking pictures, taken by our neighbor Gil.
We are now at Bluewater Lake State Park, near Grants, NM, enjoying the peace and quiet.