Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ballon Fiesta, Part III, October 5-11

Yep, it's been almost three weeks since I posted more on the Balloon Fiesta.  The remaining days of the Fiesta turned out to be very busy.  Keystone Willy competed in the Special Shapes Rodeo as well as the Glowdeo  (short for Glow Rodeo) in the eventing.  This meant we crewed everyday and twice during the Special Shapes Rodeo. Our days started with an early morning shuttle ride to the launch  area while it was still dark, returning to the boomer area around noon, and then returning to the launch area around 5:00 P.M. for the Glow show.  Needless to say, we were pretty tired and busy.  One evening it was so windy that the Glowdeo was cancelled and another evening Keystone Willy was almost  completely inflated  but then collapsed due to the wind and then re inflated.  There were more than 100 Special Shape balloons this year, making for good competition.

The first day of the Rodeo, Keystone Willy was one of the few balloons that made the target and scored, but wasn't so successful during the rest of the competition.  The winds were not cooperative making it difficult to even launch.  One day, Keystone was able to reach the target but the marker was not in place so the bean bag was not deployed.

Mornings start very early.  These photos were take at 5:45 for the dawn patrol.

Up and away.  This morning the sky was clear and the mass ascension was in full force!
 Keystone Willy was launched and catching the morning sun.

Perfect morning shot of Keystone Willy.
Early morning launch off from the foothills in ABQ.

Sitting down on the job? No, the guys are just squishing the air out to get the balloon packed down in the bag.  It's called the the "Hiney Maneuver.  "

Keystone Willy during the Glodeo at night.

Several evenings there were fireworks  and laser show on the field, which were visible from our RV site.  During the Glodeo we stayed and watched the fireworks and laser show on the field.  I didn't have a tripod with me, so the photos are not as sharp, but you get the idea.

The crowds were huge, over 20,000 plus per day.  I was told there were over 9,000 RVs parked in the RV park in and around the Balloon Fiesta area.  There were 51 RVs just for the Boomers. What is amazing, is that traffic grid locks were far and few between and everything was very will organized.  Bicycles were encouraged and a few time we rode the bikes to the launching area, where they were parked in a free, secure bike corral.  Buses ran continuously, beginning at 4:00 A.M. (our alarm clock) and continued until 9:00 P.M.

I mentioned that there was over 100 Special Shape balloons.  In my next post, I'll upload some of my favorites.  On the last day of the fiesta, Keystone Willy was grounded, so instead of crewing, I had an opportunity to take photos and wander through the crowds, which was a treat.  Almost all balloons were inflated, but not all launched.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures. This is on my bucket list. I've only been to a very small balloon festival and it was so much fun.