Sunday, October 15, 2006

10 04 06 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

We returned from a week spent in Ohio visiting our families and meeting each others family and friends. John Priest a WIN friend picked us up at the airport. We were liked by the families so I guess we can keep each other.

On Thursday we moved into the fiesta grounds rv park and settled in. Got our rig back together before meeting a friend we had met in Colorado Springs for dinner. Friday we went to crew orientation and then ran errands. We met some Escapees Boomers and joined them for a pizza party.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed over to the launch field and met our balloon pilot for breakfast and the morning events. It was sprinkling but it cleared off and we inflated the balloon. Then a breeze kicked up so we didn't launch. It was practice for inflating and deflating. Denni and Shiho, our pilot and his wife gave us passes for all the breakfasts and today's lunch, Beer and Brats. The Brats were cooked by Johnsville on the world's largest barbecue. 4pm social hour with the Boomers again.

Sunday events were cancelled in the morning but we did get our free breakfast. Green Chili soup, tortilla and eggs. We walked around the vendors then rested all afternoon. In the evening we went over for the Glow but it was too windy for anyone to inflate. Several burners were fired off for the "candleglow". After we were back at the RV the wind died down and we watched the fireworks show out our back picture window. On the way back from the field I met a lady and her companion who were on my Lewis & Clark trip in 2004. Louise and Haywood.

Monday we woke to a downpour so again all events were cancelled. The park is clearing out and there are many rv's surrounded by mud and puddles. Luckily we are on asphalt and high and dry. It cleared off late morning and about 20 of us Boomers (we joined) went hiking to Tent Rock National Monument. The rocks were teepee shaped. On our way we crossed an Indian Reservation and we were stopped for a funeral procession. The people walked to the cemetery and carried the deceased on a stretcher wrapped in an Indian blanket.

Tuesday, we launched and Bob and I chased.
Denni's wife went up and the landed near the museum. Back at the rv balloons landed right in front of our Cardinal. In the afternoon we joined the Boomers at the Elk's Lodge for a great steak dinner that Bob and I had arranged.

Wednesday, I got to fly. Had a fabulous 1 1/2 hour flight ending in a parking lot. We had recruited Tom, Kay, Dean and Kris, Boomer's, to help crew. After the social hour with the Boomer's Bob and I attended a party at the Marriott for a balloonist. Great dinner and dancing.

Thursday, Bob got to fly. He flew about the same length of time and landed in a field. Denni provided tethered rides to about a dozen kids and their parents before we packed up the balloon.

It was special shapes day and we flew in the morning and had a glow in the evening where the balloons fire their burners and glow. It was cut short when the winds picked up. Mike and Darlene arrived for a visit and we got them passes to help. Mike worked with Bob.

Friday was a repeat of Thursday with the special shapes and Gail, Bob's sister arrived to stay with us and see the Fiesta. The conditions were ideal for the evening special shapes glow. It was beautiful and we all were in awe.

Saturday it was too windy again for our pilot. We all were invited to attend the pilot's awards brunch. Bob and Tom helped Denni move all his equipment into his new trailer. Gail left us in the afternoon after a lovely visit then Mike, Darlene, Tom, Kay, Bob and I went to Zio's Italian Kitchen for dinner.

Sunday is the final day. Denni our pilot left to go home to California so we are staying at the rv park to watch the final mass accession before leaving to go on to Arizona. We will be going to Phoenix to get my motorhome out of storage. More in the next blog.

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