Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta!

We arrived at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta RV Premium Parking area around 12:30 in the afternoon on the Thursday before the Fiesta started. We only had 30 amp electrical service, which meant we could only run one of the two air conditioning units on the motorhome instead of both at the same time when we have 50 amp service. As it was unseasonably hot, one AC unit was not keeping the RV cool. We disconnected from shore power and ran the onboard generator so that we could run both AC units to cool down the motorhome. By evening, we were able to get by with only one AC unit, so the generator was shut off and we hooked back up to shore power.

Wind delayed the opening of the Balloon Fiesta Saturday morning. We were up early and attended the Mass Ascension and reveled walking among the balloons laid out on the ground, listening to the fans inflate the balloons and pushing the crowd aside as they expanded, then the roar of the burners atop the baskets (which were laying on their sides) to heat the air until the balloon started to rise. The local news reported over 500 hot air balloons took off that morning! 

After the early morning festivities, it was back to the RV for a nap. We returned to the launch field late in the afternoon/early evening for the Twilight Twinkle Glow. The balloons were inflated, but kept tethered to the ground, with the glow of flames from the burners lighting up the balloons. Although there were many balloons stretched out and ready to be inflated, only a few participated in the event due to wind gusts.

We woke at 4:00 AM Sunday morning planning to attend the Mass Ascension, but it was raining. We figured it would be canceled and we went back to sleep. I woke up around dawn to take the dogs out and was quite surprised that it wasn’t raining and balloons were lifting into the air! I woke Karen and we watched the ascension while sitting in lawn chairs next to our motorhome.

It was a different experience from the previous day, but an enjoyable one!

Later that day, we went to Old Town Albuquerque. Karen had learned there was a shop that featured hot-air balloon-related items and she wanted to check it out. She bought a few items there and we strode around the square. We found a place to enjoy lunch sitting in the courtyard of an old, long-established restaurant before heading back to the motorhome to get ready to attend the evening Twilight Twinkle Glow. Unfortunately, rain canceled the evening event!

We were up early Monday morning to prepare to leave and was quite surprised to see balloons landing in a field surrounded by motorhomes about a hundred yards from our motorhome. The winds had shifted from the previous days and we learned that this was actually a planned event. The goal was to take off from the launch field and try to land in the field.

It sounds simple, but only a few of the hundreds of balloons in the air succeeded, and a few landed in the roads in the RV park surrounding the field. A couple of balloons landed just yards away from our RV!

The morning’s event was unexpected, but immensely enjoyable. It was a great way to end our stay before heading to our next destination!

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