At the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day One
We made it! Cross one more item off of our bucket list. After traveling through Nevada, Utah and Colorado we made it to New Mexico and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
We wanted to experience this for a long time. When we got an email from Escapees back in February that they had slots available we knew this was the time to do it. We checked to see if we could get in to the Fiesta independently and found out that they had over 700 RVs on the waiting list! After a call to the Escapee HOP coördinator we made our reservation to get a prime spot for us.
Enchanted Trails RV Park
We first stayed at the Enchanted Trails RV Park and Trading Post just outside of Albuquerque the day before so we could have an easy drive to the Balloon Fiesta the following day for check-in.
Setting up at the Balloon Fiesta
After getting a little lost, we found the Escapee HOP area and got settled in. After check-in we attended a Balloon Pilot presentation from a crew that demonstrated balloon etiquette for those helping out. Shortly afterwards was social hour and a catered dinner.
Balloon Fiesta Day One
First thing next morning we were up before the crack of dawn to enjoy the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day One! Our first full day started off with a great breakfast supplied by our Escapees HOP hosts Barb and Roger Maxey along with John and Faye Humphery our co-hosts.
We were absolutely blown away by balloon take off the first day. Our campsite is just a couple of RVs away from a field where many of the balloons landed. All we did was take our chairs down to the edge of the field to set up our cameras and enjoy the show.
After more than a year on the road, this was our first extended boondocking experience. With our solar panels and lithium batteries we are set to enjoy the Balloon Fiesta with a minimum amount of generator use.
Getting up so early we decided to have a laid-back day, so we spent the rest of our time this first day just hanging out with the dogs and meeting our neighbors until the evening activities got started. Social hour at 4, then catered dinner at 4:30. Afterwards we watched the launch of the gas balloon race start then once it got dark we watched the fireworks. What a great day!
Check out the link on the Gas Balloon race – these folks started out in New Mexico and teams ended up in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Main etc. Serious long-distance high altitude ballooning!