Sunday, October 08, 2006


It's balloon fiesta time. The streets are filled with tourists and with chase teams - both a bit dangerous on the road since their eyes are glued to the skies.

There are fiesta lovers here, people who go every year, who collect pins to display on hats they would never otherwise consider wearing. We have known people who own ballons, people who volunteer for chase teams, and even for a while a brave man who striped his head in black and white and helped deal with organizing launches.

I am not one of those people. I don't much like huge crowds, and it seems insane to get up ungodly early, struggle with traffic and parking and then pay a ridiculous amount for the privilege of standing around in a cold field watching large bags of silk slowly fill with air.

A friend of Child 2 took us all up once for a birthday treat - not for the enormous Fiesta, just for a smaller gathering of 30 or so, but at least I can say I've done it. Makes me feel slightly less of an outsider for never once having gone to the real thing.

It's not like I feel I've missed out on anything. The balloons can be seen from all over the city - clustering at first in their hundreds, then thinning out and spreading across the sky as they climb to catch different gusts of wind.

Yellow leaves, the smell of roasting green chiles, and the loud whoosh of a heater overhead as someone looks for an open field to land. It must be fall in New Mexico.


lori said...

Thank you for bringing to mind one of my favorite visuals of Albuq. We never "went", either, but we drove the highway through the cloud of balloons on that Saturday every year on the way to AYO/AYS rehersals, the van full of children and violins...

child 2 said...

i remember that. we had to take off twice, because ground crew didn't catch up fast enough. then we were all brace for the second landing, and we just set down like a feather.