Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Part 1

After watching prismatic colors float across the sky all last week; yesterday we made the sojourn to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I say sojourn with tongue in check, since we only drove 3.3 miles to the Park-and-Ride location nearest us. Then, rode the bus less than ten miles. This is one of the largest Balloon Celebrations in the world, and people travel thousands of miles to attend it. For us, it was more of an emotional and awe-inspiring "sojourn" than anything.

To begin with, Tom was quite cross... asleep at 11:30 pm, woke up at 4:30 am, no Coca-Cola, and "the bus was bigger the last time (he) rode it".

Once we arrived and Tom paid three dollars for a 16oz Pepsi, AND he snatched back his sweater (which I was wearing under my rain coat), all was right with the world. He had a delightful time, as did we all.

We arrived at the park around 5:30 am for the Dawn Patrol which gave us a taste of what a Balloon Glow might be like.

As the row of balloons lifted off, they synchronized and flashed their burns.

(Yeah, you try taking crisp night-time photos of moving objects without a flash!)

I am glad we arrived so early because after the Morning Glow lifted off, things happened so quickly!

Before we knew it, we were surrounded by balloons... which are colorful, but also noisy! The crews are all a-chattering, the balloon chasers are departing, fans are inflating the balloons, and the propane tanks are burning all around.

This is perhaps my favorite photo of the day. What do you think?

After feeling like you are being swallowed by bright colored "tents" on all sides... turn around and see the sky filling with colors.

You realize that you are in the middle of Mass Ascension.

Words (and pictures) just can not describe it... which is saying

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