|Pre Dawn Launch|
It was rise & shine at 3:45 this morning for a 4:30AM drive to the Balloon Fiesta site. Traffic on I 25 was backed up almost a mile at the exit for the Fiesta, and it was stop & go all the way to the parking lot. Lots of @%&$(%# (You can insert your own term here) drivers that drove past the mile backup at the exit and forced their way into the waiting traffic just before the off ramp.
The Fiesta in not inexpensive - $15.00 for parking, and $10,00 each to get in. What's more, they consider the morning & evening different "sessions", i.e. you need to buy new parking & entry tickets if you plan to come back at night.
The Fiesta is billed as the largest ballooning event in the US. I believe it. hundreds of balloons taking off in successive groups with new launches occurring all morning. It was ideal ballooning weather - Cool, and light winds in enough layers in different directions that many of the balloons landed back on the field after traveling all over Albuquerque. The "Glow" was interesting, as was the launches before dawn. The lighting got harsh as the sun came over the launch area, particularly when shooting towards it. Quite an experience!
Here are a few examples, more have links posted at a page I started for the Fiesta, or use the link at the bottom of the pictures to get to this morning's photos.
We waited in lines (Anne in a short one for a funnel cake) and Don & I in a very slow moving (45 minute) line to get pins & "T" shirts. After that we headed back to the campground to relax after the early morning.
Dinner was a couple of sandwiches, then back to the Fiesta for the evening fireworks.
Until Tomorrow -