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Old 04-06-2017, 08:17 PM   #1
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Albuquerque balloon festival 2017

We got lucky and got a spot for the Albuquerque balloon festival this year. We will be traveling from Northern Virginia and was looking for tips or routes that anyone has or has taken to get to Albuquerque before.

Also if anyone from VA is also going to attend this the festival year I would love to chat with them.

Larry
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:04 PM   #2
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Are you just going to the Fiesta or planning a more expansive trip? Heading West from Virginia, we would head for Kentucky and into St Louis on 64. Then 44 into OKC to pick up I40.

We might swing down to Bowling Green to see the Corvette Museum and factory. They may be building 2018s or still shut down with the new paint shop startup and massive retool. Then we would stop in on the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. The Arch in St Louis is worth a stop if you have not seen it. Folks complain about the lack of security, so leaving the coach at a park outside town may be best. Ask around for current info. The Cowboy Hall of Fame is on the North side of OKC and not too far from where 44 ties into 35 before you connect with 40 to head West.

If you like the Ozarks or have interest in the associated lakes, you can drop South sooner and enjoy some nice scenery. Might even try out Branson if you enjoy their attractions. We have this area back in the plan after a 40 year absence. Seems like it might be worth another look.

If you do not have reservations for the night before you enter the Fiesta, you might figure out a plan. The parks fill up fast.

Hope to see you on the road. Pat
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:31 PM   #3
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Albuquerque balloon festival 2017

Pat,

Thanks for your suggestions. We are not in a hurry to get to Albuquerque and will be making a lot of stops along the way. Since we will be traveling thru so many States I want to get some advice from people that has been on the same trail.

Thanks,

Larry
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:46 PM   #4
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Looks like there are duplicate threads.

There is usually a WBCCI rally at the Fiesta.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:56 PM   #5
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Wbcci

http://balloonfiestarally.wbcci.net/

Yes, there is. Latest update was that the Rally was full with a waiting list. See link for more information.

Pat
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:03 PM   #6
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We were at the Balloon Fiesta last year, dry camping and it's a parking lot. Very hot last year not so pleasant time.

The balloons were fantastic, I would look for full hook up and you can walk to were the Airstream group is.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:31 PM   #7
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Several Airstreams left Santa Fe Skies RV Park last year for the Fiesta. Nice drive down, barely an hour. Nice park, too.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:17 PM   #8
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Been to the ABQ Balloon Festival the past 2 years.....kinda cool weather the first, and warmer but pleasant last year. You know it's boondocking in a parking lot adjacent to the field, so start thinking about how you conserve, mostly water. The fly-overs are quite dramatic (subject to wind conditions). We only took about 150 pictures this last year, so you can imagine how many the first year. Enjoy.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:04 PM   #9
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Yes, it is a parking lot. But a parking lot next to the action.

Waste pickup and water delivery is available, if you pay for the service. The missing element is power. You need a really big battery bank, significant power management, solar, or a quiet generator.

If it's hot, that will be challenging. However, it is hard to believe the nights will be hot in October. The elevation is around 5000 ft and average temps are reported to be a high around 70-80 with lows from 40-60. It is true that you can never forecast weather to any degree of certainty. So we may get hit by some of that odd variation which folks are experiencing across the country. If the heat gets outrageous we have some backup plans - the brother in a FHU site across town, neighbor with the big generator who might share some cool to try a few CA wines, trip to the mall with a drive around town to see the other sights, Balloon Museum visit, and ice in the foot soak bin with a couple of fans to move air around under the cooling awning shade.

There are some other issues as well. The sites are considered accessible to all as opposed to user private. The parking lot may be hotter than dirt or grass would be. The generator has to be elevated to meet fire code. There is no choice of site, as you get the one where they spot you. Probably are some others we can't even imagine.

We decided to try this event as an experiment. Not being dry campers, it's a stretch. But it is one of the few things truly on our bucket list. We thought we should give it a try and see if it opens up more options. It's one day in, two days of balloon flying, and a day to move on. We suspect it will be hard to leave as they fly all week.

But the smiles from all the shiny stuff should help make some really cool memories.

Hope to meet some of you on the road somewhere. Pat
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:01 PM   #10
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Baloon rally, Santa Fe Skys and where to stay in Amarillo TX

We went last year and it is really worth the trip. We dry camped for 5 days with small tanks and did fine using water conservation techniques. I used the porta-cans and mom used the trailer and we took sponge baths. We have solar so everything was charged up and never felt we needed the AC, however, others were using generators to run theirs during the day. Take a camera, you will tire of using the phone to take pictures. I used a DSLR and used a wide angle lens some, a long zoom for close shots of individual balloons but mostly the normal zoom lens. Attached are a couple of shots from last year.

I second Santa Fe Skys RV park on the West side of Santa Fe. If you are going thru Amarillo, TX stay at Palladoro Canyon State Park. Call a couple of weeks in advance. If that is full stay at The Oasis RV park on the West side Amarillo. Again, book it in advance. In town, Jack Sisemore's Traveland RV Museum is free at his RV dealership and very much worth seeing. He is an Airstream dealer if you need work. We had salmon and sirloin steaks at The Big Texan Steakhouse and they were really good and reasonably priced.

We had a great time.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:31 PM   #11
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When is the balloon festival. Who do I contact to sign up.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:39 PM   #12
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Some mis information here - we arrive on Friday morning and leave on Tues morning - gens are allowed on the ground - we are as close to the balloons as one can get - there is no full hookup camping near the fiesta site and the reason generators are to be raised across the street is because it's built on an old garbage pit - it is a very long walk from the camping area across the street - any camping or off site lodging requires entrance fees and parking fees and you need to be on the road about 5am and wait in a long traffic jam - as far as weather it has been high in the 80's to one year when we had snow - yup we are full for this year and waiting list is now closed - as far as it being a parking lot it its 150 airstreams parked together where friends are made and you don't have to get out of your pajamas to see one of the most spectacular shows you will ever see - and oh yes it is sardine camping to the max and it is an absolute blast !!!!

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Old 04-08-2017, 07:01 PM   #13
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Ken - thanks for the corrections and all the hard work to set up the show. Pat
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J View Post
Some mis information here - we arrive on Friday morning and leave on Tues morning - gens are allowed on the ground - we are as close to the balloons as one can get - there is no full hookup camping near the fiesta site and the reason generators are to be raised across the street is because it's built on an old garbage pit - it is a very long walk from the camping area across the street - any camping or off site lodging requires entrance fees and parking fees and you need to be on the road about 5am and wait in a long traffic jam - as far as weather it has been high in the 80's to one year when we had snow - yup we are full for this year and waiting list is now closed - as far as it being a parking lot it its 150 airstreams parked together where friends are made and you don't have to get out of your pajamas to see one of the most spectacular shows you will ever see - and oh yes it is sardine camping to the max and it is an absolute blast !!!!

Ken J


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Ken, we went twice and would not hesitate to go again. It was an awesome experience both times.
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