Albuquerque Travel Blog› entry 158 of 167 › view all entries
BALLOONS!!! I'd peeked out the back window- gorgeous hot air balloons were headed our way! We flew around the camper getting dressed. A gush of propane sounded directly overhead! We opened the camper door and waved- they waved back as they flew just 50 yards or so above us.
We stumbled out of the camper and watched a few more headed toward us. From the balloon basket they yelled down, "Have you got any coffee? Hi Mom!" and we all laughed and waved back. What a blast! There were about 7 balloons that lifted off this Thursday morning. Fiesta officially starts Saturday.
We enjoyed our Lazy Daze friends, did laundry, found a nearby sanistation at the Conaco on Alameda, bought the important glow-in-the-dark necklaces at the Dollar Store, and cheered when new Lazy Daze friends arrived at our parking area.
Another RV'er had come by our Lazy Daze group with big news. We could crew a balloon if we just signed up! Wow! In fact, if balloonist didn't get about 1200 more volunteers, many wouldn't be able to launch. Crew needs were critical. Who knew?! What an opportunity!
We joined our friends, Charlie, Marti, Karen, and Terry in going down to the Balloon Park. Quickly we headed to the Launch Tent and were assigned "Afternoon Delight" at S-2 field location for Monday morning at 6am with pilot Edward Pottoff! We cannot believe our good fortune! Terry and Karen are also at S-2 with a different Pottoff for "Ghost Rider" balloon (spouse or relative?) and Marti and Charlie are at S-7 nearby.
Since the field (a former landfill and now a beautiful grass soccer complex) is as large as 56 football fields, it is marked out in a grid. We rode our bikes around to locate our spot for Monday morning. We also saw a crewing video in a nearby tent (required and informative). We cannot wait! (Bikes are extremely useful- bring them if you can to the Fiesta!)
We found pictures on the internet of our balloons, since we'll need to spot them in the sky as we chase after them in the crew chase vehicle! http://hotairballoon.us/pictures07/pix07.htm
As an added benefit, we got passes into the Fiesta for every day of the event. At $12 per day ($6 for each morning and night) per person, that is quite a nice unexpected perk.
Excitement is in there air! All the venders were setting up their tents along the field. We saw enormous logs that will be used in this year's Echo chainsaw log statue cutting competition. It is beautiful weather and perfect for the Fiesta!
A news reporter and photographer came by our group and we voted Marti and Charlie from Seattle to give an interview. The reporter wanted to discuss how the poor economy and high fuel prices limited attendance, but with 32 or so Lazy Dazy coming this year, one of the highest numbers ever, we didn't really support that theory. But they were nice and that was amusing.
Virginia and Jim got the VP debate on their TV and we crowded in to watch it. The kids and kids-at-heart played with all the light-up necklaces (Kate, of course) and then it was early to bed. Terrific Day!