The skies have been filled every morning for the past week. This world (attended and flown by international balloonists) entertainment event occurs over the 5,000′ altitude city every fall as the morning temperatures drop, making it easier for the heated balloons to lift into the sky.
The Albuquerque ‘Box’, a wind anomaly caused by the mountainous background to the river valley, is unique to ABQ NM and allows the balloons to rise and fall in semi-synchronous rhythm, thus maintaining a relative position near the large, specially maintained grassy field, as the numbers of balloons in the air increase in count. It is quite a performance, not easily forgotten. A 360 degree panorama, yet hemispherical in dimension, live action opera of sorts.
This morning was especially interesting, due to the wispy cloud layers that played peek-a-boo with the balloons, as they rose and descended through the clouds. Numerous many are intricately designed ‘Special Shapes’, representing familiar characters from around the world.
The Rio Grande (Grand River) was the scene of countless ‘Splash and Dash’ balloonists trying their luck at wet touches, before pouring the flame into the envelopes for ascension.
Our family and their extended families in ABQ, including several from out of state (not us) left their homes and hotels at 4am to be part of this days (Sat) mass ascension observers.
Joining the 100,000 balloon aficionados on the field, wandering into and among the crayon colorful fray of engine powered fans and flames inflation and liftoff, creates a lifetime memory. The one million attendees mark for the week long event, becomes a closer reality every year.
550 balloons, lifting in waves of 100 each, is the registration limit imposed these years. In the past, a thousand have filled the skies and floated as a cloud of out of control brilliantly colored, hissing locusts over the city.Pics of ABQ NM balloon adventures :>)