|Venus and the moon shine brightly at 5 AM|
We had to drive six miles, check in at a small strip mall by 6 AM, and then drive a few more miles to a city park where our balloon would be launched with several others.
It was still dark at the park, as we watched them spread out the seventy foot envelope for our balloon while our "sister" balloons were starting to fill.
These two were a father and son from Chicago and were our fellow passengers. They held the bottom hole open while the large fan blew cool air in to inflate it.
Mona, our pilot, fired the burner to add hot air and complete the inflation.
Once it was upright and tugging at the mooring lines, we all climbed aboard and were off.
The sun was just coming up over the mountains as we floated away from the park. This picture is of one of our sister balloons.
Pictures from the ride:
We saw the balloons from the Fiesta Grounds flying and landing in the distance.
Flying or floating?
Our sister balloon is below us as we both float over the Rio Grande River.
The pilots were in radio contact.
But, another balloon had the same destination in mind, and there was a wind shift just before touchdown. Mona very skillfully took us to a rough, narrow space along the outer edge of the fields. We bumped a bit, but we were safely down.
The second flight landed in a field with lots of large sagebrush and cactus, but no trees! Rather than try to deflate there, we walked the basket to the edge of the bordering road. This was accomplished by Mona giving it just enough heat to cause the basket to rise off the ground, but not to fly away. Then with the help of all, it was guided around and over the brush.
A local family came out and were very excited to see the landing and help with the pack up.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been quite an experience. Going for a balloon ride was an unforgettable and wonderful experience.
Blog Post #1000
When I started this blog in 2010 I only hoped, dreamed, and imagined traveling the country as a fulltime RVer. The idea of doing this was actually my husband Craig's idea, brought up some years earlier when he wanted to retire early. At first I couldn't see how we could make it financially, considering health insurance costs and all. I also could not imagine not having a house, nor doing my sculpture work on the road. But little by little the idea did grow on me, and by 2010 I was ready. Of course it took us several more years to get the house fixed up and sold, but it all worked out.
Craig continued his employment for a few more years, I retired the art business, we aged into Medicare and Social Security, and the proceeds from the sale of our house provided enough income to allow us to travel without debt.
So here we are and I'm writing my 1000th post, two years into living full time in our Alfa motorhome. Still healthy. Still excited about what we are doing each day and the new places we are traveling to.
What was once only a dream, is now our reality.
RV life is good!