.......by the dawn's early light!

October 11, 2017 Up at 4:20 a.m. to catch a shuttle bus in the dark to the Festival Grounds.  Cheerful guide directed us to the vendor row for breakfast as we waited for the "morning glow".  We were not completely prepared for the pre-dawn cold (about 40 degrees).  As dawn approached, we found ourselves smack in the middle of the dozens of balloons preparing to launch.  Then, as the balloons launched, the rays of the morning sun brought out the amazing colors.  We were both blown away by the mass ascension all around us--quite a sensory experience!  Please check the photos on this page.

October 13, 2017  BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  Lyle finished posting our Balloon Festival photos last night, planning to leave Albuquerque early this morning.  We were ready to pull out of the RV park, but looked up to see the sky full of invading balloons--heading our way to land in the field adjacent to the RV park.  As you can tell by some of the photos some of the balloons came very close to the motor homes.

It was a show we had not expected and a show unlike others of the festival.  We were amazed at the colorful invasion!  One particularly notable photos include an up close visit to our motor home from Darth Vader!  After we left the park on the way to I-40, we spotted what must have been a spectacularly expert landing by the pilot of a balloon in between a building and trees--all of which could have been damaging or worse.

Finally (again), the staff and volunteers at the Albuquerque Balloon Fest were cheerful, friendly and helpful...probably not easy considering up to 80 thousand people crowded the grounds each day,  Thank you!

More from October 12, 2017  We went back to the festival grounds for the Special Shape Glow-deo.  The balloons are inflated, but tethered to the ground and then the propane burners are ignited in unison.  Big crowds!  This is our last night at the Balloon Festival, leaving early tomorrow across New Mexico and into Oklahoma on I-40.  The event was on Judy's bucket list and Lyle had no idea how spectacular it would be.

Some stats about the Festival.  More than 600 hot air balloons took part this year, tens of thousands attending.  Hundreds of RV's are parked around the festival grounds,

October 12, 2017  This morning at the Balloon Festival featured a "Special Shapes Rodeo" although we saw a few of those in yesterdays mass ascension.  It was not as chilly this morning--yaay!  Neither of us were prepared for the number of elaborate and whimsical designs.  Neither did we expect the early morning crowds, including many small children.  The festival grounds were packed!    We won't try to identify (we can't) all of the different balloon characters, but maybe you can.  The first launch of the morning featured the U.S. flag with the Star Spangled Banner over the PA system.  Pretty cool view!

 Motorhome Experiences of Lyle Dean and Judy Lebsack