We Found Them!

5 10 2011

Who would think that you could go to Albuquerque, NM on the first day of the Balloon Fiesta and not see a single hot air balloon?  The live news reports showed balloon after balloon being launched at 7am and an estimated 600+ balloons participating in the Mass Ascension.

It’s simple really.  All you have to do is head down to Albuquerque around 11am, when the temperature is rising and all of the balloons have landed and been scooped up by their Chase Crews already.

So you can imagine my skepticism when we planned on heading down to the Balloon Fiesta the second day to watch the Morning Glow and Mass Ascension.  On the drive we joked about there being a conspiracy and that the news coverage was actually from past years.   Even when we arrived on the festival grounds, in the dark, I still wasn’t sure what to expect since there were only one or two balloons being inflated.

Yes, I clapped like crazy when the 10 Dawn Patrol balloons lit up and launched to start the day off.  But this in no way prepared me for the next two hours.

Row after row of ‘sleeping giants’ started to appear out of no where.

These balloons are huge.  It doesn’t seem possible that they can creep up on you, but they do.  And it doesn’t seem like you should be able to have free reign to walk around while all of this is happening.  But this is a full participation event.  You can walk around the balloons as they are being inflated, look straight inside the balloons, help hold down the basket before it launches, get shoo’d aside by the “Zebra” (balloon launching official), and pretty much stand in awe as balloon after balloon launch in all directions right beside you and right over your head.  I even had a balloon lean on me as it was being inflated.

As each balloon launched in front of me I felt it my duty to clap, yell, and wave at the pilot and crew as they floated overhead.  It was almost sensory overload and after 2 hours, we decided to head out and try to find a viewing spot to see the balloons dip down to skim the surface of the Rio Grande River.

Although we weren’t able to get to the exact spot the balloons were touching down (it’s hard to predict the whims of the wind), the further we got from the actual event grounds, the more surreal the hundreds of balloons in the sky looked.

This post was “Freshly Pressed” on October 6, 2011. 

 

 

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168 responses

6 10 2011
Pigeon Heart

fun!!!!!!!!!

6 10 2011
tracilee

It was so much fun! Hot air balloons and ice cream – everybody loves them!

6 10 2011
6 10 2011
justalittlebrit

I’ve been wanting to see this in person for forever!! It looks like such a nice morning, too! Very cool!

6 10 2011
Mikalee Byerman

Absolutely spectacular. I live in Reno, where we have an annual balloon race — there’s nothing like Dawn Patrol, the stirring music, the sounds of the crowd ooh-ing and ahh-ing, the majesty of the balloons and mass ascension.

🙂

6 10 2011
changeoursociety

omg just gorgeous, gorgeous!And such a nice day too …

6 10 2011
jenniesisler

I recently watched an old PBS documentary about the balloon fest and they showed the bee balloons. Did you get to see them kiss? I absolutely adore hot air balloons but as scared of heights as I am, I would never go up in one. Plus, as you said about the whims of the wind, I don’t really trust an aircraft you can’t steer! Gorgeous photos made me feel like I was there. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

6 10 2011
tracilee

Thanks! I’m so glad I could share these photos with everyone. Unfortunately I didn’t see any kissing but I do have some quick videos that I’ll be posting so keep an eye out!

6 10 2011
maydelory

I love this pictorial! I would imagine the emotional draw would be different in a lone hot air balloon. Thanks a bunch! Love it!!!

6 10 2011
aaronfrale

Being an Albuquerque resident (and having the uncanny birthday that lands on the Balloon Fiesta, my mother had me believing they were all for me), there really is nothing like the mass accession. It’s like being caught color vortex from b-rated sci-fi movie.

6 10 2011
morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

That is adorable! Your mom came up with a special birthday treat every year. I love her for that.

Ronnie

6 10 2011
tracilee

So cute. I wish I had 600+ balloons in the air for my birthday. Great present!

6 10 2011
Nonstepmom

Always a great way to spend the day !

6 10 2011
My Camera, My Friend

That sounds inspiring. Now I’m going to have to chase down a balloon festival. Great photos, I especially like the 2nd and 3rd.

6 10 2011
karyl33

beautiful!

6 10 2011
drwebs

Awesome pictures, love the bee balloons!

6 10 2011
Smedette

So cool. Have some friends who have been there, but I have not. Need to remedy that.

Great photos.

6 10 2011
Amber

I’ve always wanted to go. How magical. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

6 10 2011
excrementaleducation

That first picture looks like a giant blob like they use on lake’s for people to bounce off from. Looks like a lot of hot air (and fun)!

6 10 2011
PCC Advantage

Your photos are gorgeous!! There’s something so peaceful about watching dozens of hot air balloons float through the sky… 🙂

Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

6 10 2011
tracilee

Thanks! This support is unbelievable. So glad I could share

6 10 2011
Gracie Sam

Wonderful!

6 10 2011
bparrish

These are beautiful photos!

6 10 2011
Jen

How cool! I’d love to go someday (my grandparents live out there and often talk about the event). I just recently went on a hot air balloon ride for the first time. It was so peaceful up there! There were only a few other balloons up though so my pictures aren’t as colorful as yours are. Yours are great!
http://jenmarie33.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/floating-through-the-air/

6 10 2011
tracilee

You should definitely go! Unbelievable experience to be surrounded by all those balloons. I checked out your post. Great close up photos and it’s true, I never realized how small those baskets are. One of these days I’ll have to go up for a balloon ride.

6 10 2011
Dounia

Your photos are great and all those balloons must be an amazing sight, plus it looks like it was a really beautiful day. Thanks for sharing and congrats on freshly pressed!

6 10 2011
fireandair

Okay, cool. 🙂

6 10 2011
Just Ramblin' Pier

Stunning photos! The colors are so brilliant : )

6 10 2011
Anita Mac

Very cool! Love all the colours. Amazing how they can all be so close together – I only ever see them on their own! Nice post.

6 10 2011
Romantic Asian Guy

Wow I’ve never seen so many balloons in one spot before. Congrats on being freshly pressed! Great photos:)

6 10 2011
Wise Sass

Gorgeous. Really beautiful. There is just something so gentle and majestic about watching a hot air balloon launch.

Last month we had a similar event in Boise – here are some of my pics from that: http://wisesass.com/2011/09/04/the-spirit-of-boise-classic/

6 10 2011
Sam DeBord (@SEATTLEHOMEoCOM)

Traci, great post and what amazing pictures! You two look like you’re having a great time, see you in Seattle soon!

6 10 2011
Sarah

What an adventure. I like how you called them sleeping giants awakening. The colors are so vibrant.

6 10 2011
tracilee

They honestly did creep up on us. One moment the ground is flat and then you turn around and there’s a whole row of inflated balloons

6 10 2011
meredith

very colorful and lovely shots!

6 10 2011
Jasan Pictures

Wow…. wow… lovelyyyyyy….
Love the colors.. wish I get a chance to see them some day 🙂

Regards,
J
http://mycreationz.wordpress.com

6 10 2011
amyuthus

The balloons all look so happy! You can’t help but smile as you see these pictures; I can’t imagine what it’s like in person.

6 10 2011
tracilee

It’s true. I couldn’t stop smiling (and clapping and cheering) while we were there

7 10 2011
Tracy

they are so pretty and colorful makes all joyful and stuff 🙂

6 10 2011
maxiecole87

I went to the Balloon Fiesta every year when I was a little girl. My family is part of a ballooning crew. No better way to see New Mexico, ugh and the green chile breakfast burritos, yum!

6 10 2011
Ronnie Hammer

What a beautiful experience! Those photos will be wonderful to look back on always.

Thank you for adding such beauty to a ho hum day.

Ronnie

6 10 2011
tracilee

Glad I could share them. Stay tuned I have some quick videos I’m going to post that really showcase the experience.

6 10 2011
tuneclub

Nice looking out!

cheers

6 10 2011
bernardoporfirio

Amazing, absolutly amazing.

6 10 2011
Lakia Gordon

Wow, this is amazing 🙂 I always wanted to get in a hot air balloon!!

6 10 2011
graciehart1

Amazing photos. I’ve always wanted to go to a hot air balloon festival. I don’t know that I would ride in one, but I would jump at the chance to photograph one.

6 10 2011
Stubborn

WOW. Stunning. Great photos…

6 10 2011
The Arbitrary Fairy

Beautiful! I took a hot air balloon ride once. It was fun! Going to an event like this looks a lot more fun, though. To see so many of them in one spot like that. Amazing.

6 10 2011
jlsalinger

Beautiful pictures!

6 10 2011
Oh God, My Wife Is German

Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing the hot air balloons with us!

6 10 2011
tracilee

Thanks for stopping by everyone! I’m so glad that I could share these photos with you. I’ve been hoping to get “Freshly Pressed” for a long time now…and I’m glad it was this post. Keep checking in, I have video of the balloons to share that really showcase the experience, and many other adventures to share. 🙂

Traci

6 10 2011
natasiarose

So awesome! My wife and I went on a hot air balloon for out honeymoon. The view was amazing.

6 10 2011
lsner

I do like the many colors of balloons and the pic

6 10 2011
alice

WOW! Your photos are very beautiful...

6 10 2011
conniewalden

That looks fun. I’d do it myself if I weren’t afraid of heights (my hands sweat just watching someone up high on t.v.) Thanks for sharing the photos.
Connie
http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

6 10 2011
Edward Hotspur

They go over my house all the time, in 2s and 3s. But never so many!

6 10 2011
gandawahine

That was cool!!!!

6 10 2011
Peas and Cougars

I’ve always wanted to go to a hot air balloon festival. The pictures I’ve seen of them are always so gorgeous and magical.

6 10 2011
Mormon Soprano

I loved this post! You just can’t help smiling and feeling “lighter” looking at these great photos!

Congrats on a well deserved Freshly Pressed – MoSop

6 10 2011
Alfonzo

Wow, i mean WOWZER! That is seriously funky. Imagine waking up to loads of hot air balloons- even better than ninety-nine red balloons!

6 10 2011
A Photographer

I love the colours!
Amazing, just amaing!
Nice silhouettes too!
Keep going….
http://www.thecameraangle.wordpress.com

6 10 2011
ditchthebun

Awesome! Loved the photos,my favourite is the bees!!!

6 10 2011
k8edid

That does it, I’m going next year.

6 10 2011
Lowongan Kerja

beautiful moment, great pictures

6 10 2011
ashazenzi

i’ve always heard of this festival. i’d love to be able to take my kids to it someday.

6 10 2011
tracilee

It’s such a great event for all ages. Tons of kids there having a great time

6 10 2011
: )

awesome

6 10 2011
polarmatic

This is awesome!

6 10 2011
Catherine

So beautiful! Never thought I had a particular affinity for hot air balloons but these pictures made me want to be a fan!

6 10 2011
Maggie L R

I am going to have to make a point of getting to this festival in the near future, beautiful photos… great post..

6 10 2011
Cristina Luisa

Great photos!

6 10 2011
GraceLynneFleming

wow… great photos!

6 10 2011
Modern Seoul

Beautful

6 10 2011
Modern Seoul

Beautiful

6 10 2011
Oranges and Avocados

I love this! Your pictures are fantastic. Thank you for introducing me to something I never knew I wanted to do. Now I must find a balloon fiesta!

6 10 2011
tracilee

I know what you mean. Once I experienced the event, I thought, ‘how have I not known about this before now?’.

6 10 2011
leilanidance

Been to the New Jersey balloon festival this past summer. It was amazing 🙂

6 10 2011
Happily Lost

Great photo, my boyfriend and I went a couple of years ago and it was incredibel. They really do seem to wake up all at once and fil the sky. Nice post.

6 10 2011
Jezzmindah

Stunning photography, gave such a great feel for the “sensory overload” of the event! Beautiful. Thanks for the blog!

6 10 2011
thong tin bat dong san

beautiful

6 10 2011
tmcinto3

I was crewing for one of the balloons in Albuquerque! (The balloon is actually pictured in your fourth picture from the top- it is the balloon to the far left still being inflated.) What a great event! I’m so glad that you were able to enjoy it.

6 10 2011
tracilee

A crew member knows their balloon like a captain knows their sailboat. You can always spot it from a distance. That’s so cool that we crossed paths like that. Hope you had some good rides this week.

6 10 2011
Shannon

Gorgeous photos!!! I lived in Albuquerque for a couple of years and braved the cool temps and early mornings for Balloon Fiesta a couple of times. These pictures made me really miss it, hopefully one year soon I will make it back there! Congrats on your FP post!

6 10 2011
luaydpk

Colorful and biautiful….in the sky!

6 10 2011
Caroline

Amazing! That’s one of my dreams is to fly in a hot air balloon.

6 10 2011
TEN THINGS AMUSING HORIWOOD.COM READERS « Horiwood's Blog

[…] Albuquerque Balloon Festival – Adventures on the road. […]

6 10 2011
gaycarboys

Magnificent. There are just no other words.

6 10 2011
dramaqueen1913

The bees…..I die. ❤

Looks like so much fun!

7 10 2011
readingmikeortiz

nice pictures !

7 10 2011
rmiah

That’s kind of cool. I wish I was there.

7 10 2011
deroutante

Wow… it must have been a wonderous sight. I’ve only ever been on a hot air balloon once, lol.

7 10 2011
mikphire

crazy awesomeness!! Would love to experience that myself! great shot of the you guys with the balloons in the background 🙂

7 10 2011
Jan Simson

Fantastic pictures! Congrats on being freshly pressed!

7 10 2011
Alice

Absolutly beautiful, keep on traveling and taking photos. Congrats on your wordpress recognition. !!

7 10 2011
tracilee

Thanks Alice!! I knew you’d get a kick out of it.

7 10 2011
Victoria

This is soo cool! My brother lives in Albuquerque and has told me about this event, but I’ve never seen pictures like yours…this is amazing!

7 10 2011
Raxa Collective

Gorgeous Photos! We spent a year living in Nevada in the 90s and were able to see the start of a festival there. Totally surreal. Thanks for posting and congrats on the FP!

7 10 2011
Balloon Festival… | Upon My Word…

[…] https://tracilee.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/we-found-them/ LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "333333"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "0066cc"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "f2f7fc"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_url", "ff4b33"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "nothin-muchjust-thinkin"); LD_AddSlot("LD_ROS_300-WEB"); LD_GetBids(); Rate this: Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Nothin much…just thinkin. Bookmark the permalink. ← Blogging… […]

7 10 2011
hemachatus

Never seen anything like it. Incredible. Next goal should be to get a picture from inside one of the balloons. What a sight that would be

7 10 2011
austin

baloon festivel very amazing.and very funny.

7 10 2011
hardilee

loving it, and Never try it me

7 10 2011
Lorna

Hot air balloons are so photogenic!
There is a place in Turkey where hundreds of hot air balloons take off every morning in summer – it’s just incredible!

7 10 2011
gamberettarossa

i so much love air balloons even though i had the opportunity to fly just once in beautiful china. it was 2yrs ago and just a couple of months later a group had a terrible accident, with 5 european tourists dead. on new year’s eve i was in luxor, egypt, and i was looking forward to flying over the river nile but i had a temperature and i had to give up. my friends who could do the trip told me amazing things about it. now the next places i’d like to see from above are:
INNER MONGOLIA – MYANMAR – CAPADOCIA. pls advise if you have had this trip. ciao – roerta – milano, italy

7 10 2011
arifqodari

That’s amazing. very very amazing.
and I appreciate your photos. great shot. 🙂

7 10 2011
thebigbookofdating

What an amazing colourful adventure

7 10 2011
Andreas Moser

Don’t fall down.

7 10 2011
7 10 2011
Roman A Chimpsky

Wow…these pictures are AWESOME!! I keep missing the balloon festival in my area (http://atlanticballoonfiesta.ca/) but I’m determined to make it next year.

7 10 2011
zookyshirts

The colors are tremendous — these are amazing photos! Great job capturing this cool event!

7 10 2011
iamadamselindistress

wow! beautiful photos. ❤

7 10 2011
Julie Dawn Fox

Fantastic photos. Such a colourful day – I’d love to go to something like that. Will have a look around the rest of your bog now…

7 10 2011
Julie Dawn Fox

I mean blog:-)

7 10 2011
ela

great

7 10 2011
agirltravels

That looks awesome! I’ve always wanted to go to a Hot Air Ballon Festival. I’ve marked my calander to attend one in New Jersey next summer!

7 10 2011
JohnnyTomorrow

Amazing photos.

You really are so lucky to have an event like that “on your doorstep” as it were.

7 10 2011
theplaceswevebeen

Sounds like a great experience! Great post and amazing photos!

7 10 2011
photoshop911

Sooo colorful its nice 🙂

7 10 2011
l0ve0utl0ud

Beautiful!

7 10 2011
wisdomandlife

Love the shots and I’ll echo Alice:
Congrats on being recognized by wordpress. I was at The Adirondack Balloon Fest a few years ago and recognize several of the balloons here. Check out my images:
http://www.cjpphotos.com/g/adirondack_balloon_festival

7 10 2011
INDIATRIPPING.COM

wonderful photographs!

7 10 2011
Isobel

I have been to hot air balloon festivals but this one is the most amazing of them all! So many and colorful! 🙂 Great shots, by the way.

7 10 2011
jaynheidi6

I remember as a kid growing up in Farmington, NM I would sit on the porch of my aunt’s house and watch the balloons come over the horizon. It was the most amazing thing I ever saw. I haven’t lived in NM for over 30 years and still miss seeing this event.

7 10 2011
tracilee

Sounds like it’s time to head back for a visit. I have a feeling I’ll be trying to head out to the festival again next year.

7 10 2011
lovelylici1986

Those photos are AMAZING.
And congrats on the FP!

7 10 2011
tracilee

Thanks!

7 10 2011
wevelostcontrol

that is just fanstatic! the pictures and the balloons!!! what a nice event! thanks for sharing

7 10 2011
Ms. S

My in-laws are there this week! It is a ton of fun 🙂

7 10 2011
chinesetea2

One simple happiness, a worldly will grow old. Keep a young heart, do a simple people, enjoy sunshine and warmth. Life should be so.

7 10 2011
Tom Baker

Beautiful photography. I know ballooning must be so serene.

7 10 2011
Sophia Morgan (griffinspen)

I thought the bee balloons hilariously fun! I’d love to take a ride in a hot air balloon some day. These pictures are gorgeous!

7 10 2011
Gracie

These are beautiful, I went to one just recently, but it was no where near this many balloons!

7 10 2011
Robert Redus

I live in Albq…and see the sky filled with balloons this time of year….we had one fly 50 feet above the house the other morning….drove the dog crazy….your photos are great…the balloon fiesta is always looking for photographs to include in their calendar for the following year…yours could easily be in it…

7 10 2011
tracilee

You’re so lucky to enjoy the balloons every year. Just tell me who to contact to get these photos in the calendar and I’ll see what I can do!
Thanks for the comment Robert.

7 10 2011
Sarah Luther

Title: We found Them
Creater: tracilee
Web Address: https://tracilee.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/we-found-them/
Date Last Updated: Oct. 5, 2011

This article was so interesting to me because I love hot-air balloons. they are so pretty. one day i would like to go on one. not now because i’m a little afraid of heights. so hopefully in the near future i will be able to go.

7 10 2011
Muddyestuary

Nice pictures.
It’s like a wonderful world indeed !

7 10 2011
alexbpop

Awesome photographs!

7 10 2011
Searching for the Light

Some lovely photos, love the vibrant colours.

7 10 2011
ldsrr91

Sent your link to my friends in ALQ I am sure they will enjoy it.

DS

7 10 2011
tracilee

Thanks! Hopefully I represented them well.

7 10 2011
Queen Linda

Don’t ever go to another balloon festival other than Albuquerque — it can only be a disappointment. I’ve tried a few since attending in 1994 and am now sworn off trying until I can get back to Albuquerque. It’s wonderful to hear that the format is the same — right down on the field in the thick of everything! On a funny note, the Fiesta’s most recent electronic newsletter featured my horribly lame story of attending in 1994, but that just makes me even more determined to get back to it. Congrats on Fresh Press!! (But more congratulations for getting to the balloon festival!)

7 10 2011
tracilee

I know! My standards for Balloon Festivals are so high now.
I’ll keep my eyes out for your story. Thanks for checking in.
Traci

7 10 2011
einstein & shrek

Ohh! that was Amazing. I love the clicks, how you captured them in your camera. Refreshing to my eyes. we have that event as well in our place in Clarkfield Philippines during Feb.

Thanks For Sharing & God Bless!

J+Z

7 10 2011
Travelling Writer

entertaining illustrations!!! nice blog…

what a coincidence because we have the same theme. care to check out mine? http://travellersdiningdepot.wordpress.com/

7 10 2011
tracilee

Cool! You have some amazing food shots on your blog. Makes me hungry…

7 10 2011
Travelling Writer

mee as well! ;p

7 10 2011
ilse watson

Whoooo lucky you – I love these balloons and you got awesome images.

7 10 2011
Ammon

Who doesn’t like balloons? These are some of the most cheerful photos I’ve seen in quite some time.

7 10 2011
Running Sunflower

Love it! I’ve lived in Albuquerque for a few years now and I NEVER get tired of seeing balloons. They’re amazing. Glad you found them!

7 10 2011
D.Marie

When you tell someone about the Balloon Fiesta, it’s hard for them to truly grasp the sheer beauty and thrill of standing among the launching balloons, and seeing hundreds in the air. So glad that you did actually get to experience it!

8 10 2011
UK News | We Found Them!

[…] If you liked this site remember to add to your favourite! Read All […]

8 10 2011
8 10 2011
smallestforest

zomg, amazing! Great photos, too. COngrats on being Freshly pressed!

8 10 2011
euroben

Great photographs!

9 10 2011
Nin

Great pictures, I like them all, you are very fortunate to be there….

10 10 2011
Gavie Valerio

How beautiful! I’m adding this to my bucket list for sure! And I’m almost positive the photos don’t even do this event justice.

11 10 2011
carolannerose

Woah. Just. Woah. i LOVE your photos they are beautiful! I really want to go there!!!

11 10 2011
Cassie

This is so colorful and happy. Made my afternoon. 🙂

11 10 2011
soundmonkey

I love to watch them, would never want to ride one. Very nice pictures.

13 10 2011
Ronnie Strieter

I must say, youve got one of the finest blogs Ive noticed in a lengthy time. What I wouldnt give to have the ability to build a weblog thats as intriguing as this. I guess Ill just have to maintain reading yours and hope that 1 day I can write on a subject with as substantially expertise as youve got on this one!

18 10 2011
natashajaynedomain

So beautiful! Well done for capturing the beauty of it all so well.

18 10 2011
Margot Rutigliano

Such vibrant photos! Love hot air balloons…must have been such an experience to be there!

20 10 2011
Karine Howat

I have been checking out many of your articles and i can state nice stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog.

23 10 2011
Rustic Recluse

Very nice and colorful against the blue skies! wish I could’ve seen these first-hand with my loved ones … thanks so much for sharing!

26 10 2011
Nicole

I am impressed with this internet site, very I am a fan.

26 10 2011
Vicky

Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

28 10 2011
William

I got what you mean,saved to my bookmarks, very nice internet site.

31 10 2011
Sunday Jumble Spoiler – 10/30/11 « Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

[…] We Found Them! (tracilee.wordpress.com) […]

2 11 2011
trialsinfood

great photos! love the bee balloons! what an experience!

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