Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

We slept a little later this morning and watched the US flag...

Next came the "Flight of the Nations".

Ballooners from each country represented here selected one balloon to carry their...

A little later the balloons took off from the launch field for...

There was a light north wind that carried the balloons right over...

There is a large field in the center of the campground that...

Pilots attempted to fly over the target and drop a bean bag...

They kept coming in waves and nearly all of them passed right...

The first few photos were taken looking north toward the launch field.

Now looking south the first 30 rigs belong to our Boomers group...

The target is by that barely visible white strip "below" the large...

The balloons try to get on a heading toward the target and...

Each bean bag has a 3' streamer that has a tag identifying...

I'd guess that fewer than one in ten pilots get close enough...

Here you see a balloon coming in low to the east of...

Look very close and you can see the bean bag in flight...

This guy came in very close to the target.

This one is almost right on top of the target (white patch...

The Pepsi balloon nailed it from about 3' directly above the target!

 

 

 

 

 

This one was also very close to the target.

Mr. Kangaroo got too low, caught his "foot", the basket hit the...

Here it is just about to land on its nose.

His partner Mrs. Roo crashed at the same time and about the...

It took some time for the ground crew to get the air...

A little later this beautiful parrot came in a little too low...

... and met a similar fate.

Soon after that another balloon crashed to the east of the field.

The competition went on for about 2 hours with wave after wave...

 

 

 

Da Honu had a ring side seat and enjoyed watching the balloons.

 

 

 

 

 

Some were coming over so low I was afraid they might take...

 

 

Here are some close up shots of a few of the interesting...

A very large angel.

 

 

 

 

Stork and baby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humpty Dumpty

 

 

Mrs. Kangaroo with her two joeys in her pouch.

Mr. Kangaroo always flys with Mrs. Kangaroo.

One of the giant bees that is a huge favorite with the...

 

Darth Vader

 

 

 

 

Had not seen this one before today - very unusual shape

 

 

 

 


(Ron Writing) Our pilot decided to spend the day watching the competition rather than fly so the crew had a day off. We got to sleep a little later and then just before we finished our breakfast, the north wind started carrying balloons right over our campsite and the large open field just to the east of where we are parked. We had a super “ring side seat” for all the action this morning. The competitors took off from the fiesta launch field, flew south toward our campground and attempted to drop a beanbag onto a target marked on the large open field. The prizes for these competitions are several thousand dollars so the pilots get pretty serious about these events.

Some did not get positioned properly and flew off to the side of the field, some were quite high when they came over the target, some got too low and “crashed” near the target area, and a few almost nailed it. We saw at least three balloons that came downs to less than 10’ elevation right over the target and drop their beanbag. That takes a lot of skill on the pilot’s part. It’s more than luck. I watched the very distinctive Pepsi Can balloon rise high over the launch field, jockey around at different altitudes to get positioned properly while watching the flight paths of other balloons at different altitudes below him. Then he made his way down and slowly crossed right over the target at about 5’ off the ground – very impressive.

Our pilot gave the crew free passes to the ABQ zoo and aquarium which were good for today only. We went to the zoo around noon for a free hamburger and/or hot dog lunch along with free soft drinks or beer/wine. We enjoyed the lunch in a nice shady park-like area and then spent some time touring the zoo. By the time we finished that we were too tired to go over to the aquarium so we headed back home. Luckily I forgot to bring the camera to the zoo – I’ve got way to many pictures to process already!

Later this afternoon we attended the happy hour and heard all about the adventures and mis-adventures the other Boomers experienced today. The weather was beautiful again.



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