Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

7 10 2015
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

We’re enroute to Albuquerque for the world famous Balloon Fiesta!  Our first stop is at the Alamosa KOA.  Fairly typical for a KOA, our $37 buys us a fairly flat, gravel space with electric & water – and in this particular site, a bit of a privacy break with a tree and some sage brush on our slide-side.  Facilities appear to work well, the nearby bathroom is clean but the shower house has a bit of a locker room smell – not particularly inviting.

Our second stop is to a familiar RV park, Santa Fe Skies.  We first visited Santa Fe Skies in the truck camper back in 2010.  Our “thumbs up” impressions sticks – this is a nice park, on the outskirts of Santa Fe, with great facilities.  Our $50 here (we’re close enough to Albuquerque to feel the effects of Balloon Fiesta pricing) gets us a fairly long pull-through site (Aster #7), very tight with a huge coach to our curb site and fortunately no neighbors on our slide-site. The site had electric, water and sewer.  Normal rates at this Good Sam park run about $35/night.

Santa Fe Skies RV Park

Santa Fe Skies RV Park

Arriving at Balloon Fiesta on Thursday morning for the 2nd weekend, we find the Premium and Standard RV spaces very full.  With 5 rigs in our group, it’s not immediately clear that we’ll even be able to park near each other.  But, “Bob”, the friendly and more than accommodating organizer finds us a perfect spot in the last row of the standard (dry camping) area.   With new, more stringent fire regulations being enforced, we’re unable to build the previously planned compound with our trailers encircling an open social space.  But, after a bit of finagling of a couple of the trailers, we’ve built an acceptable space that will accommodate all 12 of us.

Our past few trips to Fiesta have brought some fairly miserable weather conditions and plenty of event cancellations. This year’s final weekend is a beautiful example of why Fiesta is held in Albuquerque in early October.  With cool, clear morning skies and afternoon temps in the 80’s, we’re treated to Special Shapes and Mass Ascensions every morning of our visit.  Only 2 Balloon Glows  end up being cancelled due to winds.   On Saturday, the Music Fest kicked off with performances by Two Way Crossing, Gloriana and The Band Perry.  Splurging on “Premier Seating” for $50/seat, we enjoyed an enclosed seating area, a nearby bar and easy access to a huge line of porta potties.  Well worth the extra $’s – especially on an afternoon when the temps were pushing into the low 80’s.  After the concerts we hang around the Fiesta grounds, grabbing some dinner from the Midway and watching one of the largest Balloon Glows in Fiesta history.

On Sunday morning, after viewing the Farewell Mass Ascension from the RV lot, we are making preparations for watching the Denver Broncos at the Oakland Raiders.  With lots of awnings, towel and blankets we manage to make a shady spot for all 12 of us to crowd around a much-too-small TV screen.  After a tight game, but Denver finally squeaking by, we begin to wrap up Balloon Fiesta 2015, bidding good night and good bye to those that have early plane flights and therefore will be departing the Fiesta RV lot way before sunrise.  It’s been a great 44th Annual Fiesta – with good times had by all.

As it typical, we’ll stop on the way home – this time at another favorite southern Colorado State Park – Lathrup.  Impressions of Lathrup are here:  LATHRUP STATE PARK.  This may well be our last trip of the 2015 RV season.  After winterizing and storing the camper away for the winter – we’ll be back on the road next spring as we hit the road to escape the end of the winter weather…more then.

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