Sunday was day 2 and it started off slow as winds were too strong to fly! However, that decision was not made until the pilot meeting at 0615. So we reported as normal at 0615 and stood by for instructions which were to "stand-up" the balloons for display but leave them tethered to the ground.
There crowds and crowds of folks wondering thru the forest of balloons standing up for display. After about a half hour the balloons started deflating and packing up! But, Sunday ended fabulously. It was "The Glow". Our balloon did not participate so we were free to enjoy the beautiful sights of The Glow!
After dark the balloons are stood up tethered to the ground and the pilot will ignite the burner for short bursts which light up the balloons from inside. How beautiful! And, every now and then they would all do it in unison so the whole field was lit up. It would start out with one or two making several short bursts, then others would follow and more and more would join in and in about 30-45 seconds they were all lit for about a minute or little less. They were limited on how long they could light the burner since the longer the burner was on the stronger the balloon tried to fly!!
|A balloon with its burner on!|
|Many balloons lit at once!|
|The fruit basket?|
|A "mass burn"!|
|The kids balloon!|
One of the things that apparently make this the biggest and best Balloon Fiesta in the world is the Albuquerque Box, a wind pattern that is great for flying balloons and is unique to Albuquerque and its surrounding terrain! When the box is in place the balloons lift off from the Fiesta field and the wind takes them on a southerly route over the city, several miles down they encounter a wind them moves them west away from the mountains that are east of the city. The balloons then move to a higher altitude and catch a northerly wind that takes them back toward the launch field where a easterly wind can take them back over the field and they can land where they took off or make the circuit again!
The Box is not a constant, it takes certain weather conditions to be in place! But, when it is in place you can see balloons in the air, some going south and others moving north! It does not seem like a big deal but it is impressive when in effect!
Always at home, no matter where we are!!