This is an exciting week! Ever since I began living on the road, I knew that I had to hit the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta at some point. Well, that didn’t take long, because this is only my second year as a technomad, and here I am… in Albuquerque… for the Balloon Fiesta. Yay!
But wait… it get’s better! Just days after we arrived in New Mexico, Cherie and Chris (aka Technomadia) decided to pass through Albuquerque en route to a bus rally. (Definitely check out their story HERE.) We scored them a spot next to us at the the RV park we’re staying at. Ben and I have spent so much time with them lately that it actually seems weird when they’re NOT our neighbors! Now, as if that weren’t wild enough, our Vegas friends, Steve and Beverly, ALSO flew in for the event! Gosh, life on the road is so darn lonely … NOT! We all got together one night for a nice dinner at a local brewery. Perfect!
On Sunday afternoon, I made my first trip to the Balloon Fiesta with Chris and Cherie (Ben had to fly out to give a seminar in Boston). Now, we knew this event would be great, but we had no idea just how great it would be! We were just blown away by these gorgeous balloons … and just how many of them there were. Hundreds! One of the things that surprised us the most was how close we could get to them. There were no boundaries. You could walk right up to all of the balloons, even as they were filling up! This made for some amazing photography.
During the evening event, dozens of balloons filled up, but stayed on the ground. It was called the evening glow, because they would simultaneously light up and create one of the most beautiful vistas I’ve ever seen. We also met up with Steve and Beverly that night, which made it all the better! When the balloons were finally deflated, and the sky was black, a fireworks show started and it was just spectacular. Life is good
We were so impressed by this event that us night owls decided to wake up at the butt crack of dawn the next morning for the “Dawn Patrol” and the ascension that followed. It was worth it. MAN was it worth it! There were hundreds of hot air balloons erecting in waves and then slowing climbing into the sky. They are peaceful to watch, and amazing to shoot! To be honest, it was a little difficult for me as a photographer because it was like sensory overload. Everything looked great and I wanted to aim my lens in every which direction! I’m hoping that I will be able to review my first batch of shots, learn from them, and go out again later this week to shoot in a more creative style.
While many of the balloons that went up that morning were doing so for fun, there was also a bunch that was taking part in a competition. The competitors launched from places outside the Balloon Fiesta Park and had to navigate inside and over the field to drop rings over target posts that were placed in the field. It was so tricky in that they had to descend enough to make a toss but ascend again, quickly enough so they wouldn’t hit the ground. It looked so hard!
There are also a lot of kiosks around the main field area. Many of them supplied food, and some of them sold souvenirs, arts and crafts. It seemed so funny to me that “breakfast burrito” were the most commonly seen words in this area, but then I thought about it and realized that most of the events here go on super early in the morning!
In this post, I’m including a bunch of shots I got during my first two days at the Fiesta. Ben is now back from his trip, and we plan to head over there a few more times to take more of it in. Chris and Cherie had to move on, as they’re heading to their first bus rally!
More to come!