Here’s one of the balloons right in front of Lola:
Nice morning for the Balloon Fiesta again! We have great weather, fantastic breakfasts and dinners through the Escapee Hop and fun side-trips to keep us busy.
Gas Balloon Challenge
The first evening of the International Balloon Fiesta launched several gas balloons. They are now in the eastern US and Canada and still travelling! Amazing how high and far these balloons go. Gas Balloon Challenge Results here.
The Sandia Mountain Tram is the longest tram in the US, and the longest public tram in the world! The early bird gets the worm and we head off right after the balloon launch to catch the tram as soon as it opens.
It is a quick drive to the tramway, and saw several balloons along the way as well as from the top of the mountain. The tram goes 2.7 miles and rises 4,000 feet. There is a ski facility and lots of trails to hike once you get there.
Operated by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, The Pueblo Cultural Center has history, art and demonstrations of Pueblo culture. We enjoyed the live entertainment at the center as well as the craft tables and shop.
We learned a lot about the Pueblo Indians. They were one of the few truly agricultural Native American groups in the Southwest. Most of the other groups were hunter-gatherers.
Wow – so many things to do when in Albuquerque! Balloons and so much more!
Balloon Fiesta Day 5
Last day in Albuquerque! The Balloon Launch included a competition to drop a sand bag in a circle or land and take off in a specified area. Good wind conditions brought the balloons right to us again for some great video.
The Morning Dawn Patrol was so cool this time. Yesterday there was a good breeze and at dawn the launched balloons went by pretty fast. This morning it was very calm – and as the balloons lifted off and headed toward us they get in a loop. About half way to the field in front of us they gradually started drifting back towards the launch site. This made for about 40 or 50 minutes of entertainment. We dressed warmly, brought our chairs and tripod to sit back and enjoy the show. We took the best 8 minutes of video for the final video.
National Petroglyph Monument
After the Dawn Patrol, we watched some of the balloons float overhead – some landing among our RVs – before we headed out to the National Petroglyph Monument.
There are several trails at the monument. After talking to the woman at the visitor’s center we picked the Rinconada Trail. We found out from another couple on the trail that this trail was not as well-marked as some of the other trails, but we found lots of petroglyphs to photograph. Folks have come up this canyon and scratching stuff on rocks for over 3,017 years! Yup – earliest petroglyphs date to about 1,000 BC (BCE). The last carving from Native Americans date from about 1700 a.d. The volcanic rock in the area is from an eruption about 200,000 years ago. Way back before Jeff was even around!
The trail is just over 2 miles long, so we left the dogs behind. They are getting too old for that long of a walk.
Next, we drove to Old Town Albuquerque. Lots of neat little shops and the old square and church. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and there are still some old buildings that date back to that time. Parking is a challenge – especially on Sunday during Balloon Fiesta! But we found a spot near one of the museums a few blocks away.
Once we got back to the RV and had dinner with the Escapee Hop group we took a school bus to the Fiesta Grounds proper. We are amazed at the number of people and vendors there. THOUSANDS of people with DOZENS and DOZENS of all type of shops. We ended up not buying much because we were looking for things a bit more unique than most of the vendors had for sale. What we really came for was the Twilight Twinkle show. We walked up a small hill away from the crowds so we could have a good view of the evening entertainment. We were NOT disappointed. Even though we forgot a blanket to sit on it was fun. Jeff set up a little tripod for the camera and Christine made friends with a retired couple from Alberta Canada.
Well worth the trip to the Fiesta Grounds & making your way through the throngs of people.