Posts From New Mexico


Mountains again (Water Canyon Near Socoro, New Mexico)

Journal entry for Sunday 3rd Oct, 2010 (day 569, miles 58247)

We continued due west for much of the day to Albuquerque and then south to pickup highway 60.

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Dunes, colors and a cook-up (Near Chama, New Mexico)

Journal entry for Thursday 4th Oct, 2012 (day 92, miles 11855)

A few more photos of the Dunes and then a lengthy stop in Alamosa for laundry and then we were on our way through Southern Colorado towards New Mexico. The drive along 17 from Antonito towards Chama New Mexico took us through La Manga Pass and Cumbres Pass (both just over 10,000') and presented a wonderful display of Golden Aspen and other fall colors.

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Our arrival at the Balloon Fiesta !! (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Journal entry for Friday 5th Oct, 2012 (day 93, miles 12019)

Heading down I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque we were conscious of how little we knew about the Balloon Fiesta we were headed to. We had camping reservations but no idea where the campground was, we had an offer of a driveway camping spot but no address, and we had a contact at the Fiesta itself but no arrangements for meeting. But luck and the internet came to our aid. Some directions from the Fiesta website got us onto the main entrance to the Fiesta grounds, which immediately turned into an entrance line for the RV parking area (a campground without facilities). We had only been in the line a few minutes when the SUV in front stopped and our contact Scott got out and strolled back to chat to us.

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Balloon Fiesta Day 1, Glow (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Journal entry for Saturday 6th Oct, 2012 (day 94, miles 12019)

I could say "our first day at the fiesta dawned to great excitement" - but in fact we were up and going, and excited, well before dawn. Thank to Scott's hospitality we were in one of the VIP hospitality tents having breakfast at least an hour before dawn hoping (like thousands of other people) that the wind would subside so that the first mass launch of the fiesta would take place. Unfortunately the wind remained and the launch was cancelled.

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Balloon Fiesta Day 2 - Mass launch (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Journal entry for Sunday 7th Oct, 2012 (day 95, miles 12019)

This morning we knew a little more about the routine. Up just before 5:00am, onto a free shuttle bus for the 10 minute trip to the launch field, grab a seat in the hospitality tent, get some coffee and a snack and wait for the activity to start. This morning the weather gods smiled on the event and the wind was light. In waining darkness the Dawn Patrol launched (about 10 balloons that go up in advance of the mass launch to sample the flying conditions). With the Dawn patrol in the air serious action started, with many other balloons beginning the filling process, canopies inflating and their burners lighting the morning sky.

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Balloon fiesta - Our final sessions (Chaco Canyon, New Mexico)

Journal entry for Tuesday 9th Oct, 2012 (day 97, miles 12019)

Monday and Tuesday are typically lower key days at the festival. The only event is the morning session (no evening display) and the format is a little different. The balloons divide themselves into two groups; those that want to compete and those that don't. The non-competitors launch from the fiesta field from dawn onwards (until about 8:00am). From 8:00am on-wards the field is closed to all balloon launches, vehicles and the public and is set up with a series of targets for competition. The competitor balloons choose a launch site at least 1 mile from the field and then attempt to fly to the field and drop a marker onto one of the targets.

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