Thursday, October 20, 2016

More Balloons

Our second day at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta began a bit later.  We were still up before dawn, but took the shuttle bus as it was getting light.  It was a spectacular day as far as artistic clouds.

I really liked this balloon of balloons.

But it was special shapes day and the wind was iffy.  At one point there was a gust that did some damage and the special shapes balloons never took off.

I had to laugh.  It looked like some giant kid's pile of toys.

We wandered over to the chain saw competition.  The contestants had 90 minutes to complete their entry.  I know you can't really see this heron but I didn't want to use a flash and cause an accident.

This fire engine serves as a chase car.

It was fun to see all the balloons up close, but I was a little disappointed that they didn't take off.  On our way off the field, we laughed at the number of crew members for the Wells Fargo wagon balloon seen here.

Here it is deflated with the massive crew.  I wonder if they're all employees and were given the day off with pay.

We came back for the evening festivities and got to see the chain saw carvings from the second competition.  These took hours to make.  The bear won second place.

And this very unique oak leaf/acorn chair won the competition.

But for the reason we returned . . .  The Escapee Boomers traditionally crew for some of the balloons.  This involves getting up way too early, but we were offered the chance to help with the Special Shapes Glow on Thursday evening.  The glow involves inflating the balloons and our job would be to hold one in place.  Although I did picture us hanging on to the outside of the basket as it rises into the air, they assured me that wouldn't happen.  LOL

We helped with Annie the Lady Bug.

It's hard to imagine that big balloon is packed in this bag, but you see how many people it took to carry it.

Next came the basket.  Here the burners are being attached.

We spread out the balloon with her cute face up.

The untrained help (us and another couple) held the opening as a giant fan blew air to inflate the balloon.

And then the propane flames heated the air to lift the balloon to vertical.

Then our main job kicked in and we held the basket in place for about 15 minutes.  (Ron was holding for both of us while I took the picture.)

I have to say that the special shapes don't make as nice of a showing as the traditional balloons because they don't really show up well.  For instance, you can't see the car running through this auto repair one.

Once again, I didn't get a picture of our lady bug.  I didn't want to leave Ron holding it that long.

The Glow was followed by pretty impressive fireworks.  Here's a terrible picture of them.

I have to say it was a lot harder to get that giant balloon back INTO the bag.


  1. What a great experience! Hope you enjoyed it.
    That chain saw chair is really impressive.

  2. Wow the colors are amazing! I know it was cool to learn more about the whole process of getting it off the ground!

  3. The night time ascent has to be a scene to relish. I guess I will have to brave the crowds one year to experience it for myself. When Mui and I went ballooning in Charlottesville, the passengers were all expected to crew ... it was lots of fun.