We heard about International Balloon Fiesta through a friend, named James, and we quickly googled it and were immediately sold! We originally were set to go up on Sunday, but the weather wasn’t favorable and no balloons flew. MAJOR BUMMER. Thankfully, we didn’t have anything else planned the next few days so we were rescheduled to fly on Tuesday morning.
We spent 2 days exploring Albuquerque, trying New Mexican cuisine, went to a handful of antique shops, and visited the Georgia O'Keffe Museum in Santa Fe.
We had to get up at 4am on Tuesday morning and were at the park by 5am. Our pilot was named Mark, Irish, but was based out of Toronto, Canada, with Sundance Balloons. Once they got the green light from patrol, they immediately started to blow up the balloon, using large fans and fire. It was awesome because a dozen others were being blown up at the same time, and I guess you don’t really realize just how massive these balloons are! We all jumped into the balloon and away we went. It was amazing how quickly we ascended and immediately we were among others that had gone up earlier and above hundreds that still had yet to take off. IT. WAS. AWESOME. There were about 400+ balloons up that day.
About 45 minutes into the flight, our pilot started to scout possible areas for us to land. I asked the pilot how restricted they were on where they could land – and he said, that they could pretty much land anywhere. And you could see, balloons landing in soccer fields, parking lots, rooftops, etc. We tried for a gravel area, but didn’t make it. We tried for a parking lot, but there were too many wires. And finally, we ended up in a residential area in the middle of the street. How cool to be living on that street and all of a sudden a hot air balloon lands right in front of your house?!
Another amazing adventure and a pretty sweet finale to our camping trip through the west.
Definitely making plans to do it again!
- Allie and Jonathan