Westward Ho Ho Ho!

Rich, Alice, Larry, and Jean Visit New Mexico

October 7-11, 2006

It was awfully wet for an alleged desert, and the first three days of the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta got wiped out as a consequence, but things worked out just fine in the end: we even ended up on the ground crew of a balloon team from Oklahoma.  Click on one of the three thumbnails below to jump to the appropriate album, then watch the videos at the bottom of the page!

Albuquerque . No balloon events to be found on Day One, so we visited a craft fair that, fortuitously, had an Indian Market taking place next store.  That event was graced by a series of dances, performed by children from Taos Pueblo.  We also took the famous Sandia Tramway to Sandia Peak (10,387') and enjoyed the obligatory gorgeous New Mexico sunset.

Bandelier National Monument.  Another drizzly day took us to Bandelier, north of Santa Fe.  The main event is a hike through Frijoles Canyon, dotted with cliffside cave dwellings of the long- (and mysteriously) vanished Anasazi.

Balloon Fiesta!  Hot air balloons at last, on our final day.  There were something like 700 participating balloons, and after gawking at one being prepared in an open field, we were invited to participate in unfolding and inflating it, and so ended up as officially part of the ground crew.  Two nights earlier we had attended a nighttime "Balloon Glow", in which, because there was too much wind, the crews fired up all their burners in the dark like giant propane candles.

And now, the Indian dance videos.  Click on the thumbnail to see (and hear) each video (each about 30 sec long):



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