Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Day 15, 16 - Albuquerque, NM

Tuesday (15)
 - This is but a fraction of the balloons in the sky as seen from our parking space aka “Box View, South RV park”. Our front windshield faces a large field where some choose to land. No utilities at all but it’s a great location. The sections of the park with utilities are really cramped. Slide to slide. 

This morning after the balloons were done, I moved our frozen items back to the RV refrigerator as it has been running fine. I powered off the basement freezer to see if we could get more out of our batteries and solar setup. I also cleaned the panels as they were pretty dirty from sitting for four months. 

Later - Due to the low sun angle of 45° and some scattered clouds, the peak wattage that I saw was around 320 watts. This is about half the rated output. So the generator will come on around sunset. Plus I want to make some chocolate chip cookies and our only oven is the power hungry convection-microwave. 

Full-time friends, Ken and Lynne, who we’ve met in AZ and AK, stopped by to visit. They had a 5th wheel before and now have an older diesel pusher. Their tow vehicle is a RAM 1500 and it has a lot of storage capacity. And the 6.7 Cummins has no problem pulling it all. 

Wednesday (16)
 - We caught the 6:15AM shuttle this morning in a light drizzle. They had the yellow flag out which meant that the mass ascent wasn’t cancelled but they were watching the weather. I picked up a green chili breakfast burrito at one of the many food stands and we waited to see what was going to happen. Around 7:30, they changed to a green flag and the first group of balloons started to blow up.

The first group seemed to be mostly commercial tours with paying passengers though there were a few international balloons. After that, balloons started to inflate all around us. This went on for a couple of hours. I almost had enough coffee but  my phone needed to be charged. Too many short video clips.

I’m not sure why but this seemed to be my favorite balloon. The patchwork pattern was definitely unique from the mostly geometric patterns. I’m not sure watching the mass ascent was any better than our view from the RV park but it was different. I wish I had brought a folding chair. The grass was still kind of damp from the early morning drizzle.

Another favorite was this African savannah themed balloon. Nice colors and it also stood our from the commercial tour groups. There were a lot of commercial tour balloons. And a number of balloons sponsored by businesses. Tomorrow is supposed to be mostly the special shaped balloons. 

Late morning, I went to a YouTube meetup with Phil, Stacy, and Matt. Two different channels. It was entertaining as they were very personable. 

Afterwards, we went to the balloon museum. Admission was only $10 for both of us and there was a lot of history that I was not aware of. Such the use of balloons during WWII. They had the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic gondolas and the all important smashed penny machine. 


  1. I think I would have liked to have seen the WWII Balloon history stuff.

  2. I am surprised that balloons had been used in the war. They seem way too easy to destroy...

  3. The balloons (gas filled balloons) were used by bot the Japanese and Germans. The Japanese one crashed in California carrying several bombs and accounted for the only casualties within the continental US in WWII.