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Old 09-28-2022, 12:12 PM   #1
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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, a running trip report

The Balloon Fiesta is our absolute favorite even and is really the only event we’ve gone back to multiple times during our RV road trips.

We got here on Monday to get the closest spots to the launch field. The actual event doesn’t start until Saturday, October 1st.




View of the Sandia Mountains. Pretty soon, every one of those spots will have an RV parked in them.




The spots are something like 20’ wide x 55’ deep. You’re cozy with your neighbor.

In other areas (specifically the South RV Lot), you’re parked back to back with other rigs and it’s even cozier. We, at least, have a driving lane in front of and behind of our RV for some breathing room.




Looking past my RV, the launch field is just past that gate. Our view will soon be blocked, but we often will go up onto our roof for unobstructed views.




I've posted about this in another thread, but here's what I'm doing temporarily for my Genturi. It is supposed to be a vertical exhaust stack for the generator. The issue is my camper has a slide above the exhaust so I need a horizontal extension first.

But to keep from gassing out my neighbors, I’m blowing it forward for now.




We've had impressive clouds roll in each afternoon and yesterday had one heck of a storm drop down out of the mountains:




Night time peacefulness. We know families who fulltime (aka live and travel in their RVs) in about 6-9 rigs near us through Fulltime Families and The Republic Of Nomads. It’s going to be a near 2-week party!

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Old 09-28-2022, 12:38 PM   #2
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I'm envious Doug and hope to get there in the next year or two but the Light Police are going to fuss about that last photo!
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:50 PM   #3
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I'm envious Doug and hope to get there in the next year or two but the Light Police are going to fuss about that last photo!
lol, it's my neighbor! He turned it off when they went in.

Now, we did have our own issue last night- someone has an antenna pole with a flashing light on top. I don't know if it's wifi or what but it definitely left a disco into our room. But you know... pulling the blind down a bit fixed it. Who'd have thunk?
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Old 09-28-2022, 02:26 PM   #4
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Third pic, is that 5er going to level up a bit?
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Old 09-28-2022, 02:31 PM   #5
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Third pic, is that 5er going to level up a bit?
It's a trick of the photo, they're level. It's a huge Luxe. You ought to see their truck!
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Old 09-28-2022, 03:52 PM   #6
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Yes, some camera lens can cause more distortion around the edges (which makes a building’s straight lines look curved). I would imagine smartphone cameras could be susceptible to this.

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It's a trick of the photo, they're level. It's a huge Luxe. You ought to see their truck!
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Old 09-28-2022, 04:19 PM   #7
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Yes, some camera lens can cause more distortion around the edges (which makes a building’s straight lines look curved). I would imagine smartphone cameras could be susceptible to this.
Yep, I think I may have used the wide angle lens on my phone and all.
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Old 09-28-2022, 04:36 PM   #8
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I'm jealous. We went several years ago and haven't been able to get back.

Your neighbors are going to be grateful that you're exhausting away from your rig. We were in that lot where you're backed up to your neighbors and it was definitely a close encounter with our side neighbors. We had people running generators all day behind us and intermittent generators next to us. Not a pleasant experience.

Luckily, the Balloon Festival made up for the inconvenience. Have a great time!
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Old 09-29-2022, 07:42 AM   #9
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It's a trick of the photo, they're level. It's a huge Luxe. You ought to see their truck!
You will have to point their truck out to me, we arrive next Wed, with the FROG Rally
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Old 09-29-2022, 01:30 PM   #10
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Still waiting on the Fiesta to start, we drove up the Sandia Mountains yesterday evening to the Sandia Crest lookout. Pretty drive up the switchbacks but we did it late and it was a bit hazy/in the clouds once we were up there. And driving back down was nausea inducing for my wife (even taking Bonine- the dark, she was tired, and had just eaten something so her stomach wasn't at rest/peaceful).

First, this post on Imgur has a nice video of looking out over Albuquerque:


But, if you don't want to click that, someone stitched it together into a panoramic photo:



It's not the best photo due to the sunglare and atmospherics, but the Balloon Fiesta field is the oval in the upper 1/3 of the picture, about centered. Our RV is the blurry area just to the right:













And then, it was cold up there! > 70° down at the RV parking area and 49-50° up on the peak!

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Old 09-29-2022, 01:55 PM   #11
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Very nice!!! Thanks for posting
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Old 09-29-2022, 02:06 PM   #12
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Very nice!!! Thanks for posting
Hope to get a chance to say hello! Let me know when you head to the launch field, I'll come out and visit.
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Old 09-29-2022, 02:34 PM   #13
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I'm jealous. We went several years ago and haven't been able to get back.

Your neighbors are going to be grateful that you're exhausting away from your rig. We were in that lot where you're backed up to your neighbors and it was definitely a close encounter with our side neighbors. We had people running generators all day behind us and intermittent generators next to us. Not a pleasant experience.

Luckily, the Balloon Festival made up for the inconvenience. Have a great time!
Yeah, we're super lucky to have attended multiple times now. We absolutely love it here!
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Old 09-29-2022, 05:47 PM   #14
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Welcome back Doug
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Old 09-30-2022, 07:34 AM   #15
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Hope to get a chance to say hello! Let me know when you head to the launch field, I'll come out and visit.
I will text you when we arrive on Wed
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Old 10-03-2022, 01:52 PM   #16
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Ok, let's play some catchup. The Fiesta officially started on Saturday, October 1st.

Here's a very small smattering of pictures. Looks like I took more video than anything else. You can see all of that on Imgur (an image/video hosting site):

https://imgur.com/gallery/zmNWfh0


Saturday, my entire family woke up before our alarm sequences were finished and all 4 of us were up before 5am. If you know anything about our family, this is no minor feat. Before we got on, I thought I'd go up top of the RV and take a quick picture:




My son was too young to crew (ie, helping the pilots get ready for launching) the last time we were here. This time, dude is busting his butt helping out. Makes me proud.




The Zebras are dressed in black and white and are the launch directors of the field. Super cheery, but you don’t mess with the Zebras.




Looking up into Skaleidoscope. This is the balloon my daughter has been crewing on each of our visits. She’s a hard worker and the pilot + crew chief ask about her each year we aren’t here.




Walking back to the RV area, past the KOA balloon seemed fitting.




A quick look around from the roof. You can see the RV lot, field, and sky of balloons.




The folks in the registration tent deal with buttheads more than they will admit. We have taken them treats every couple of days, this time baklava from the Grecian Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church.

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Old 10-03-2022, 01:56 PM   #17
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Great photos Doug.
Thanks for letting us visit vicariously!
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:01 PM   #18
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The second morning of the Fiesta, the weather was iffy and the field was under a yellow flag. This means you can get setup but you can't inflate or fly. Fortunately just before 8am, they went to a green flag. Some pilots still bailed on the idea of flying, but a lot went up.

As usual, there are videos on Imgur:

https://imgur.com/gallery/ldAZY8p


Instead, we had pretty views of the mountains from about 5:30am to almost 8:00am:




A rainbow over the Carried Away trailer (which now holds the Skaleidoscope balloon):




When the green flag went up! And it went from a ho-hum morning to ALL THE ACTIVITY!




Looking down the crown line of a balloon. The crown line is to help the balloon from rolling over/around when cold inflating and then for controlling the balloon while it stands up during hot inflation.




Two balloons being inflated side by side. The left balloon is the balloon that my 10 year old son helps crew for, Fallen Heroes (aka the British flag/Union Jack balloon).




Watching the cold inflation of the Fallen Heroes balloon.




The kids work so hard when they’re crewing. The pilots we crew with are amazing with the kids. Involving them and treating them with respect.




Fire! Going hot!




More balloons going up.




Lots of balloons all over.

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Old 10-03-2022, 02:01 PM   #19
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Balloon Fiesta, day 2 continued:




VW Bus balloon, complete with a horn.




So many standing up and flying.




Walking around, we came upon the remote controlled balloons. I jokingly offered crewing help to one of the pilots and he was actually quite grateful for the help. Turns out, the Fiesta requires that he has 2 crew members and he hadn’t brought anyone. So my daughter and I jumped in.




They’re legit propane burning hot air balloons.




We did some minor cold inflation but the wind kicked up.




On this coming Wednesday morning at 8am, they're going to attempt at besting a world record of the # of remote control hot air balloons in flight at the same time. The current record is 55 balloons and they have 80 signed up to participate. Hopefully the weather gods smile upon us!
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:02 PM   #20
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Great photos Doug.
Thanks for letting us visit vicariously!
Thanks for the kind words! I love this event so very much.
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