Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

Mike Liberti and some of his friends out on the field waiting...

The following are more of the sights at this mornings Special Shape...










This is what the inside of a ladybug looks like!


Getting the air squeezed out of Annie after a flight is one...





Look very carefully & you'll see a "reflection" of Annie in the...


The owner has this van with a lift on the back. The...







Small balloon with no basket - just a chair for the pilot.


The space shuttle is huge and we never saw it fly -...








Lunch with friends and fellow full-timers Carol & Gene.

Annie's photo from the festival website.

(Elena Writing) The special shape balloons were again featured at the 7 AM “Special Shape Rodeo”. The kids didn’t have to go to school today since it’s Columbus Day so many came with their parents. We handed out many cards to kids and it was fun to see their faces lit up with a big smile. Traffic was very heavy but ran smooth, thanks to the police department of ABQ.

Weather conditions were not favorable for flying. Ron and I were looking forward to a balloon ride but tomorrow’s another day. Quite a few regular shape balloons did fly and so did a small number of special shape balloons. We did set Annie up for about 45 minutes just for a static display. During the process of deflating her, there were heavy raindrops but that dissipated in no time. We were back home at 9:05 AM...the earliest yet.

Yesterday I sent a link to a number of friends and classmates. Lo and behold, I received a reply from my classmates Gene and Carol, who are married to each other and are full-time RVers. They’re here in ABQ and they were at the fiesta yesterday morning! Luckily we were able to make contact and meet for lunch. We had a wonderful and fun time catching up on our lives and sharing experiences of our RV lifestyle. They treated us to lunch with their winnings yesterday from the casino where we met. Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch....thanks again, Gene and Carol!

Ron took a quick nap before happy hour but because of our busy afternoon I missed mine. I skipped happy hour and then, since it was quite windy anyway I decided not to go to the launch field tonight.

(Ron Writing) This evening another Special Shapes Glowdeo was scheduled. It was quite windy but just before it was time to set up Annie the winds seemed calm enough to give it a try. We got her set up and had about a half hour glow before the winds picked up and we had to quickly take her back down. It was quite a site with dozens of the special shapes all illuminated simultaneously on the field. But I was too busy working to take any photos. Our team also stayed for the fireworks since it was such a beautiful evening. They put on a great show.

The America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race was originally scheduled to begin on Oct. 5 but it has been delayed repeatedly due to weather both in this area and the areas along the expected flight path. Tonight they are getting their balloons set up on the launch field and they plan to begin inflating them with hydrogen at about midnight. They expect to launch at about 5 AM tomorrow morning. This evening some of us went over to see the gondolas they use. One of the pilots kindly spoke with us for quite awhile showing us all her equipment and answered our questions. Each balloon will have a crew of two so they can take turns sleeping during the flight which is expected to last about two days. They hope to make it as far as North Carolina.

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