Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day 3
October 7, 2002
Page 1

Not too many pictures today. Since there were competitions today half of the balloons were to launch off the field. We were one of those that launched from another site. And since there was a pretty strong wind up high, Rick was able to fly for a long distance so we spent most of the day chasing our balloon! He wound up landing miles and miles away from the launch field, and we spent a lot of the time driving just to keep up with him!
10-7-02-125 Here's some of the crew pulling the envelope out. That's part of a balloon crews' job to get all that fabric back inside that bag at the end of the flight, not always an easy task, but it's always fun to pile on middle of the bag to push all the air out!

You can see that this is a pretty dusty launch site so most balloons had huge tarps they laid out under the envelopes in order to keep them clean.

The yellow balloon is called "High Society" and I'm unsure of the blue balloon's name.

Tweety (Wichita KS) and Emerald City (Houston TX)

Tiger Paw Express (Hallsville, MO); unknown; Coca-Cola (Gonzales, LA); Mariah (Grand Prairie, TX); Unknown; Cricket's Dream (? - Cheyenne WY)

Brilliant Shadow
Peralta, NM

Fired Up
Albuquerque, NM

Wiley Coyote - San Marcos ,TX (on the Ground) & Magic Toy (Wolfforth, TX)

Nice view of the porta-potties too! I, for one, was extremely grateful that they thought to put them there!

Sante Fe, NM

Click for names

Left to Right: Unknown; Cricket's Dream; Hot Flash (Champaign, IL); Nizhoni Gallup (Gallup, NM); A Little Exposure (Albuquerque); Bill;s Turn (Longview, TX)

Once our balloon got off the ground, we hung around the launch site to watch the other balloons. It wasn't until most of the other balloons were out of the way that I noticed the fire truck and crew. Apparently there's always a truck around balloon launches just in case of emergency! Not sure what the name is of the balloons, neither had a picture listed in the program or on the website.

Just a nice shot of a mass balloon ascension.
10-7-02_2-10 The next few hours were spent driving through reservations trying to keep an eye on our balloon. Once he finally landed we thought we'd be able to get to it easily, doesn't look too bad. The balloon is just on the other side of that mesa.
10-7-02_2-13 Looks like a good spot, there are roads leading in, only one small problem...
There's a padlock on that gate!!!!

Luckily the land owner saw the balloon going over his house and decided to come out and see if we needed a hand! Thank goodness, this could have been a real nightmare otherwise. As it was I stayed back to keep a guard on the gate as the owner of the land had to leave, he didn't want anyone else to enter and made me promise to lock it up when we left. So I got the lucky job today!

By the time we got the balloon packed up and everyone loaded back in the van and explorer it was getting late so we beat feet back to the launch field hoping to make it before the propane pumps closed so that Rick could refuel his tanks. No such luck though, it was too late by the time we made it back so we had the obligatory champagne toast and that was it for the day. I couldn't resist snapping a shot of this crew though, they brought their own oasis with them, including palm trees! Tomorrow I get to ride in the balloon! Fair warning, I went a little nuts taking pictures...hard not too though, the day was just perfect!
Next Page - Tuesday - Day 4 - My Balloon Ride!! ---->

Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - Day 6 - Day 7 - Day 8