40th Anniversary Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

10 10 2011

It’s been in the planning stages for months, finally on Wednesday we loaded up the camper and begin travels to Albuquerque for the 40th annual Balloon Fiesta. Spanning 2 weekends, 9 days total, Mass Ascensions are planned for mornings and Balloon Glows with fireworks in the evenings on both weekends. This year the schedule calls for a Special Shapes Balloon Glow on Thursday followed by a Special Shapes launch on Friday morning with the traditional mass launches and glows on Saturday and Sunday. We’ll spend one night at Trinidad Lake State Park before arriving in Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon.

The first weekend of the Fiesta opened to typical New Mexico fall weather, calm winds, abundant sunshine and temperatures in the low 80’s – perfect for flying balloons. Unfortunately by the time we leave Colorado, a cold front is approaching, threatening to bring wind, rain and colder temps to the entire mountain west. As we depart from Trinidad Lake State Park on Thursday morning, the front has arrived – temperatures have dropped nearly 20 degrees and strong winds make travel with campers and trailers difficult. Arriving in Albuquerque, winds and drizzle make it nearly certain that the evening Special Shapes glow will be cancelled. Friday turned out to be very cold and wet, with Mass Ascension and Balloon Glow cancelled. We did manage to enjoy Mass Ascensions on Saturday and Sunday plus a Balloon Glow with fireworks on Saturday. We departed Sunday afternoon with an intermediate stop in at Trinidad Lake before continuing home on Monday.

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