Saturday, May 18, 2013

5/18/13 Balloon dreaming

For some reason, on the way back from Red Rocks this morning, and seeing yet another solo balloon floating peacefully over Chatfield Reservoir,

 I realized I was going to go to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival this year. 

I'm still not sure which weekend, although I'm leaning toward the opening one, and I'm just insane enough to drive down and tent camp in the RV lot (yes, it's allowed and yes, there are far fewer tents than RVs) Friday night so I can get up at 5:00 Saturday morning in the cold and just walk to the Dawn Patrol, and then the Morning Glow, and the Mass Ascension. The photographs! (And yes, if it's windy or raining, I could very well be out of luck.) That night will be the twilight glow and fireworks. Then Sunday morning, I can do it again before heading back. How awesome does that sound?

So, while this is all percolating in one of those "I am making this happen, just as soon as... (enter variables X, Y, and Z here), a few interesting tidbits about the Festival, just because I'm excited.

In 1972, 13 hot air balloons took off from a parking lot and the Albuquerque Ballon Festival was born. It is the largest balloon event in the world, with up to 600 balloons participating each year. This is down from the 90s  when over 1000 balloons entered the Festival, prompting new rules, first capped at 750 and now 600. You are allowed to walk among the balloons, up close and personal, throughout the Festival.

Albuquerque is ideal for hosting the event, because of it's bizarre "Albuquerque Box" phenomenon, which means the wind blows north at one elevation and south at another, allowing for predictability in piloting up, around, and back to near the same place that you departed from instead of many unknown miles away. 


  1. Tori, how exciting! What is it about watching a hot air balloon floating through the quietly until that burst of fuel?? I'm so happy for you and can't wait to see photos! Have a wonderful time!

    1. Thanks Becky! I imagine I'll shoot a thousand a day!

  2. Becky sent me, as I also posted about balloons this morning and I AM SO GLAD SHE DID. I love balloons and try to get to our balloon festival every year. Magic in the air.
    And what a co-incidence - the first word WV asked me to put in was cold.

    1. This will be the first time I've been to one, so I guess I might as well go to the biggest, right?!? :)

  3. 8-9-13

    Hello Tori,
    You are using a copyrighted image of mine in your 5-18-13 blog Balloon Dreaming.
    Please remit my standard fee of $500.00 for use of the image. You also spelled my last name incorrectly.
    Failure to remove the image or remit the fee within 72 hours will force legal action to begin against you and your site.
    Thank You.
    Thomas Woolworth -