2019 Balloon Fiesta Draws to a Close

Our 48th annual International Balloon Fiesta comes to an end tomorrow, Sunday, October 13th after its 9 day run.

I performed my final volunteer activity this afternoon when I led my 6th tour in the museum. I put in 39.5 hours as a volunteer for the Balloon Museum this past week. I also was up at 4AM on 5 separate days to help crew for my balloon – the Rising Star.  Not being what you would call a morning person, I am happy that is behind me.

This weekend, Deborah heads up to Ghost Ranch, near Taos, for a 4 day retreat with a few of her artist friends. Ghost Ranch was the home and retreat of famous artist Georgia O’Keefe, who is one of Deborah’s inspirations.

Then on October 30th, we set off for a 22 day trip to the Scottish Highlands. I should certainly have many pictures from that trip.

Here are some pictures from this past week. There are descriptions that go along with each picture.


Mass balloon ascension on a beautiful day for flying



Special shapes are a particular favorite at our Fiesta. This year, we had 106 special shapes registered.



The first balloons up before sunrise are the group we call the Dawn Patrol. As they ascend, it is beautiful to see them lit up by their burners.


Craft tents are a big part of Fiesta as well. Here is a wood carving of Big Foot – about a 7 foot tall sculpture.



More special shapes and one of our many big crowds.


Roger Volunteer Activities

Here I am doing a few of my volunteer activities – driving a courtesy cart for the museum and working with my balloon ground crew.



This was taken from our balloon as it flew from the main field and eventually landed near our home in Rio Rancho. This is looking down on many balloons nearing the Rio Grande river. One of the bucket list items for almost every balloonist is to do a “splash and dash” in the Rio Grande – touch down briefly in the water and then go right up again. Not sure how many of these were successful, but the winds certainly put a lot of balloons into a good position to try.



Another shot looking down on lots of balloons over the Rio Grande.



This was a special shape from Brazil – Jesus spreading his arms in a blessing – an homage to the famous statue overlooking Rio de Janiero.



This is the “Rising Star” – the balloon for which I am part of their ground crew, and occasionally get to ride in.


About the picture in the header for this post …

The first mass ascension day was cancelled due to an eerie fog that covered the field. But I did at least get that great picture. Fog is not unusual here, but usually it burns off by 7AM. This time it lasted until 8:30AM.

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