Monday, July 29, 2013

Balloon Festival - N51

Saturday Morning Launch
Our interest in these fabulous flying machines continues to grow. Kathy found the notice for this event after attending the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque last year. She did a great job planning for this. The weather was spectacular and it was well attended and very well managed. 

We arrived Friday and went to the hospitality tent for dinner and "the show". A beautiful ascension of about fifty balloons. The assortment of colors and shapes simply wondrous. As the daylight faded we wandered down to the stage to experience "Blues Traveler". Only "WOW!"

Saturday started early. We met in the lobby at 6:30am and bleary eyed made the twenty minute drive to the airport. Having the parking pass made life MUCH easier. We made our way across the field just trying to get our bearings, but didn't see any balloons being prepared for flight. Time for breakfast at the Quick Trip tent. Amazingly good service for an egg and sausage sandwich. And coffee. By the time we finished and found our way back up across the field the balloons were being inflated. There was a slight mist in the air. It was cool. The winds were calm to nonexistent. Many times they just hovered in place ten or twenty feet overhead silent except for the whoosh of the propane burner. By 8:00am it was done, but perhaps the most impressive part of our whole experience. We went back to the hotel to nap.

We regrouped in the afternoon to wander the runway and taxiway converted to thoroughfares for a wide variety of vendors selling trinkets and food. After a few hours of walking in the hot sun we again returned to the hotel to freshen up for the evening concert; "REO Speedwagon". Fantastic performance.

This is a "Five Star" event. If you can, do it.

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