Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 5 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

This morning we stayed in camp to rest up, but I was up early to see the Dawn Patrol.  It was great seeing the balloons high in the air here at camp instead of up close on the field.  They even had two waves of the Dawn Patrol.  They were so early this morning that it was still dark and when they lit up their flames they light up the balloon and are so pretty.  The light was not good for pix, but it was so wonderful.

The Albuquerque Box is a weather phenomenon where the lowest winds are moving in one direction and the higher level winds are moving in another. More specifically, in a perfect example of the Albuquerque Box, the high winds are from the south while the low winds are from the north. This is beneficial to ballooning because then the balloon can take off and land in almost exactly the same spot. Balloon pilots do not have a way to steer their hot air balloons. While they can control where the balloon flies vertically (by heating the air in the balloon to go higher), they rely on the wind to determine their direction. The Albuquerque Box allows pilots to better control where they fly and where they land. Since the winds are blowing from the north in the lower levels, pilots rise just a little and fly towards the south. Then they can ascend higher by lighting the burner and warming the air inside the balloon envelope, catch the winds from the south and fly back to where they took off, to land. When the Albuquerque Box is working, tourists can then stay in one spot and watch the balloon launch, drift away, then drift back and land all from the same location.  Well this morning the "box" was in full force so the balloonist took full advantage.  The came in low on direction,  went up high and flew the opposite direction back to the park and landed home.


 The balloons that are on the ground are really really close to our RV's.



Today after the balloons had all landed we headed up to the Sandia Tram and to the top of the world.  Up there we had lunch.  

 The Sandia Peak Tramway is an aerial tramway located adjacent to Albuquerque.  It stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains. and has the world's third longest single span.

  This is the tram to the top of the Sandi Mountain.


 The little house on the mountain top.  It is built out to the rock here by the CCC's.


We are looking down on Albuquerque and beyond.

    That little green patch is where the Balloon Fiesta is held and where we are camped.

We came back to camp and were served Margaritas and Nachos.  We all had a great time.


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