Monday, October 11, 2010


Friday, October 8 – This morning was the Special Shape Ascension....unfortunately most simply inflated and did not lift off because of a couple showers in the area. It only rained (a few drops) for about one minute the entire morning. It was still an amazing sight to see all the balloons inflated on the launch field.

Opening ceremony balloon


Another one of our favorites. America One…53 feet tall, 78 feet wide, 29 feet from front to back & weighs 530 pounds.


The Space Shuttle- Patriot…178 feet tall, 115 feet wide and weighs 992 pounds. The Patriot does fly but must have just the right conditions. Launching off is not the problem. It is so big that it needs tons of room to land.  The real Space Shuttle is 184.2 feet tall, and 78.06 feet wide and 4.5 million pounds.




FLIGHTHOUSE-The Flying Lighthouse…115 feet tall, 53 feet wide and weighs 440 pounds.


If you would like to read more about the three balloon above and see amazing pictures, click on the pilots website. It is excellent!

This is the first time we saw any remote control balloons. This one was the biggest of the group. It is called Super FMG.



Darth Vadar is one of the big favorites here. They have their own crew. When they enter and leave the field, it is a parade!



If you have never attended this event, seeing the balloons up close is an super experience. Many special shape balloons are so detailed.

Airganic Garden


These are worms in the tomatoes. They even wiggle.


The stem is full of air to make it look like it is growing.


Huge butterfly


To see a few more pictures, click HERE.

We went to El Pinto Restaurant this afternoon for our “taste of New Mexico” dining experience. When we are in an area for any length of time, we like to sample the local dining experience at least once. The restaurant was built in 1962 with one dining room and a small kitchen. El Pinto can now seat 1,200 guests and is the largest restaurant in the state of New Mexico. The restaurant has five patios, three indoor dining rooms, and a cantina. This was a very nice restaurant. We each had the special Mexican luncheon was delicious!

We worked again tonight at the Crew tower recruiting balloon crews for the remaining days of the Fiesta. We were finished in plenty of time to walk among the balloons during the Special Shape Glowdeo. There was a HUGE crowd and they were treated to an amazing display of lighted balloons.



Flexi The Cat



To see more Glowdeo, click HERE.

They were also setting up for the gas balloon long distance launch for later tonight. The two-person balloon teams competing in a long distance race will launch after a two day delay caused by weather problems down range. America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race is in it's 15th year. Three of the six participants are traveling in hydrogen-filled balloons, while the others are in helium-filled balloons.

Two weather balloons carrying extremely bright glow sticks will be the first balloons launched in the race in memory of balloonists Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis. The pair disappeared in their balloon over the Adriatic Sea during a European race last week. Richard Abruzzo, is a well known local pilot whose family has played a pivotal role in ballooning in the Albuquerque, national, and international levels.

You can follow along with the balloon's flight path by going HERE.

Saturday, October 9 – Paul is interested in the Gas Race and was up and headed to the launch field by 4:30 a.m. to see the gas balloons launch. Opps! They were all ready 110 miles away.....they had launched at midnight....darn, missed it! Back to bed until the regular launch at seven o'clock.

Beautiful fly over this morning. We both decided to stay at the RV Park this morning. The balloon fly right over the park really low.....many landing just outside the park....AWESOME!

Airabelle, The Flying Cow



Baby Bear II



Haunted House and Sponge Boy


Did you notice this unique balloon in a past blog? It is called Star Tet. This is balloon is a Tetrahedron shaped balloon which means the balloon has faces that are equilateral triangles

Star Tet

Tons of other pictures of individual balloons HERE.

Did you know…



Right over our motor home.


Back of Coco the Clown



More pictures of balloon groups HERE.

Here is something a pilot should NEVER do! The pilot forgot to pull in the crown rope. This could get tangled in electrical wires, trees, etc. Lou, our boss, told us that a few years back a pilot did get wrapped up in an electric pole. They tried to pull him lose by wrapping this rope around a truck bumper. The truck pulled the balloon but unfortunately too hard, and the balloon tipped over. The people fell to their death.


We made reservations at High Desert RV Park for tomorrow afternoon. We'll stay there a week to finish are time in Albuquerque and to visit Santa Fe and Taos. It will be sooooo nice to have hookups after nearly two weeks in the dust without any hookups.

Tonight is our last night of work.

NOTE: This was an amazing experience. Not only did we enjoy the balloon launches and being with friends, but we received all types of freebies. These included the following: camping for 12 days, all breakfasts, snacks, lunches, three appreciation dinners, transportation to the launch field (but we chose to walk the ¾ mile each way several times per day for exercise), two Balloon Festival coats valued at $200 each, 2 sweatshirts, Balloon Festival pins for trading (we gave them to little kids), Paul won a watch at the appreciation dinner, and other souvenirs. Pretty good for a volunteer gig!!!!

Thanks for stopping by. We hope you visit again real soon. Have a great day!