Balloon Festival – put it on your bucket list!

balloon festival

In 2003 my friend KJ and I took a trip with the Sierra Club to the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you have never been, you must put it on your bucket list.balloon festival

These photos were taken with my little Olympus film point & shoot then digitally transfered to CDs. So while the quality isn’t that great, the memories certainly are!

balloon festival

We had to get up at 3:00am to be at the festival field before 5:00am. It was COLD and DARK!

balloon festival

So I have to tell you my story. I had to go to the bathroom in one of the Andy Gump type latrines. It was pitch black. Absolutely not one speck of light at all. I couldn’t see anything.

balloon festival

I have a problem with blood circulation to my hands on a Southern California summer day at noon.

So you can imagine, my hands had gone completely numb with the cold. If somebody had cut off my hands with a hatchet I would not have known the difference.

balloon festival

So I’m fumbling around in the complete dark. I can’t see anything and I can’t feel anything. I had to get my zipper undone to take a pee!

balloon festival

Let me tell you, this was one of the weirder experiences of my life!!! Somehow or other I managed to take care of business. But let me assure you I never want to go through that again… EVER!!!

balloon festival

Nevertheless, witnessing the balloons lying on the ground all around, then watching them ascend into the heavens is something I will never forget.

balloon festival

The word “awesome” is so over-used. But that is what it was.

balloon festival

I’ve been fortunate to have some glorious experiences in my life but this one still stands out. Do I wish I had a better camera in 2003? Of course, but these photos bring back the moment┬ánevertheless.

balloon festival

We took the Amtrak train overnight from Los Angeles to Albuquerque. In the morning, this Indian guide entertained us with stories, music and song.

Click on an image below for slide show:

balloon festival

Near our hotel was this famous hot dog stand. We didn’t indulge.

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