Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Oct. 2018
Every October balloon enthusiasts from around the world converge in Albuquerque, NM. This year 600+ balloons from 16 different countries were in attendance. Spectators in the thousands, traffic backed up for miles every morning beginning at 4:30am. Fortunately for us, we were in an RV parking area, only 1/2 mile walk to the launch field. The RV parking area had over 1,000 sites, lots of people walking, plus bus and golf cart shuttles. We usually walked, although some mornings we lucked out...a nice golf cart driver would pull up to us and ask if we wanted a lift. At 5:30 in the morning, dark and chilly out, and rushing to the field, we eagerly jumped in. Those devoted shuttle drivers (volunteers) start at 4am in the morning. The festival was very well organized and supported by many many volunteers. As part of a balloon crew, we too were volunteers. Volunteers receive a weekly pass into the event. It's such an exciting place to be.
|Vincent Van Gogh from the Netherlands was one of my favorite balloons. |
So artistic and creative.
Our pilot brought 2 balloons. Here we're laying out the balloon, "MyAir FlyAir" getting ready to inflate. She also had a little smaller balloon, a racer, that she used in competition flying, it was easier to inflate and pack up. We liked it better.
|Our pilot Myia checking things over before the inflating.|
Pilots have fun dipping down and touching the water, known as a "splash and dash", sometimes getting their feet wet inside the basket, the balloon Hearts of Fire is getting ready to Splash.
|Night Glow. The Special shape balloons are creative and amazing.|
|Sunset at the launch field.|
|Night glow. Balloons inflate for static display.|
|Christ the Redeemer from South America.|
My favorite balloon. Very huge, was quite the sight in the air.
|Another special shape balloon.|
|More special shapes that got a lot of attention.|