Albuquerque, NM

 

DAY 1, October 9, 2018

Our trip was slow getting off the ground, as the flight from Philadelphia to Albuquerque was canceled and we were re-booked on a flight through Phoenix four and a half hours later. Arriving at 1030PM, we missed the welcome reception at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort which is leased from a Native American Tribe, The Santa Anna Pueblo Indians.

DAY 2, October 10, 2018

Two time zones earlier,  5000 feet elevation difference from Wyomissing, and a 5:15AM departure made for a short night, and 38 degree F was enough to eliminate any thought of a warm bed and another 10 minutes in snooze mode.  First stop: The Albuquerque Balloon Fest.

This the 47th year of this international balloon festival. The field was already populated with over 600 balloon teams, awaiting the green flag signaling winds below 8 mph. Wind direction was also a factor, as pilots landing on Reservation land are subject to hefty fines. Owners of alternative landing sites register their properties. An estimated 800,000+ spectators purchase tickets for this event.

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First view of field.

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Each team lays out the balloon then blows air into it. The fan is by the man in the red jacket.

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Then propane burners heat the air causing lift.

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There are field monitors giving an order for lift off.

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I shoot canon.

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Up, Up and away!

After the box breakfast, hot coffee, and complimentary Tasty Creme cookies, etc., we assemble for the trip to The Nuclear Science and History Museum.

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Two of the early rockets carrying an atomic payload.

The tour guide was one of the staff at Los Alamos during the development of the Manhattan Project, a person very knowledgeable in Nuclear Physics and the culture of the site. One interesting fact: Los Alamos was the “city” in the US with the highest number of PhDs.

One the way to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and lunch, we were taken by coach on a quick visit to “Old Town” Albuquerque. Old Town is a rather small area, easily visited on foot.  We saw several courtyards where Southwestern art jewelry and clothing were for sale, and were directed to this small chapel.

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After lunch, we were treated to a demonstration at the Pueblo Cultural Center of Native American dance and music.

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