Up in the Air

We set the alarm for 4:30 am. We were out of the house and into the car at 5:15 am hoping to make it for the Mass Ascension 7 am at the famous annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta‘s kickoff yesterday. We took I-40 E and drove 105 miles on it, then I-25 N (toward Santa Fe) for exit 230 where the Fiesta Park is located.

We got there on time, well, just about at 6:57, buuuuut…, there was a 2.5 mile back up at the exit. It reminded  me of the days when students used to camp out the night before in front of the ticket office at the Penn State football stadium hoping to score tickets for the game. We were way late. So, we decided to make the best of it, drove on to the next exit met by the same situation, and kept driving until we came upon a wide shoulder and an area to pull off the road where several families had already parked their trucks. Tailgating for balloons, cool!

The shot above is not clear mainly because my camera is just an amateur’s toy and also because the sun hadn’t quite risen yet.  Anyway, we were there until close to 9 am and had the opportunity to take in the launching of more than a hundred balloons and get many shots. Here are some of my favorites below!

After the close to two hour drive to ABQ and then the two hour long contemplation of balloons and all that they could possibly mean to us, we asked our nuvi to take us to the closest Starbucks. With a dark roast churning our insides out, and buttery croissants soothing that upheaval, we were ready for the day. More to come, stay tuned!