2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Rio Rancho, NM - Stagecoach Stop RV Park - Site 38

Rio Rancho, NM - Stagecoach Stop RV Park - Site 38, another...

A beautiful rainbow the morning we left Cochiti

We could see both ends of the rainbow - don't remember ever...

Cochiti Lake to Rio Rancho, NM - our route - 33 miles

Petroglyph National Monument 1 - the start of the trail is right...

Petroglyph National Monument 2

Petroglyph National Monument 3

Petroglyph National Monument 4

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument 6

Petroglyph National Monument 7

Petroglyph National Monument 8

Petroglyph National Monument 9

Petroglyph National Monument 10

Petroglyph National Monument 11

Petroglyph National Monument 12

Petroglyph National Monument 13

Petroglyph National Monument 14

Petroglyph National Monument 15 - downtown Albuquerque from the base of the...

Old Town Albuquerque 1 - the San Felipe de Neri Church

Old Town Albuquerque 2 - one side of the plaza

Old Town Albuquerque 3 - one of the side streets

Old Town Albuquerque 4 - another

Old Town Albuquerque 5 - more of the plaza

Old Town Albuquerque 6 - small sales areas set up by the...

Old Town Albuquerque 7 - a mariachi band playing on the plaza

Balloon Fiesta 1 - a view one way down the vendor booths

Balloon Fiesta 2 - part of the balloon field - larger than...

Balloon Fiesta 3 - one of the members of the Navy Leap...

Balloon Fiesta 4 - a couple more

Balloon Fiesta 5 - another view down vendor row - it finally...

Balloon Fiesta 6 - the Intel balloon getting ready for Dawn Patrol...

Balloon Fiesta 7 - another of the Dawn Patrol balloons

Balloon Fiesta 8 - and the third

Balloon Fiesta 9 - the Intel balloon off the ground

Balloon Fiesta 10 - the flag balloon lifts off

Balloon Fiesta 11 - another shot as it gets higher

Balloon Fiesta 12 - the last Dawn Patrol balloon lifts off

Balloon Fiesta 13 - all three light it up as they are...

Balloon Fiesta 14 - it's starting to get light now and some...

Balloon Fiesta 15 - they start off laying down

Balloon Fiesta 16 - until they get enough bouyancy to stand

Balloon Fiesta 17 - the sun is almost up over the mountains

Balloon Fiesta 18 - the balloon next to us is starting to...

Balloon Fiesta 19 - putting the burner on the gondola

Balloon Fiesta 20 - testing the burner - you can almost see...

Balloon Fiesta 21 - laying the gondola down and attaching the envelope...

Balloon Fiesta 22 - getting the top of the envelope ready

Balloon Fiesta 23 - they are airing up all around us

Balloon Fiesta 24 - this is the balloon right next to us...

Balloon Fiesta 25 - starting to air up one of the special...

Balloon Fiesta 26

Balloon Fiesta 27

Balloon Fiesta 28 - airing up another special shape

Balloon Fiesta 29 - the flag balloon rises as the National Anthem...

Balloon Fiesta 30 - the two special shapes near us

Balloon Fiesta 31 - they are starting to take off

Balloon Fiesta 32 - the special shape next to us lifts off

Balloon Fiesta 33

Balloon Fiesta 34

Balloon Fiesta 35 - the other special shape was a butterfly -...

Balloon Fiesta 36

Balloon Fiesta 37 - a bumble bee

Balloon Fiesta 38 - Pepe la Pue

Balloon Fiesta 39 - the bee lifts off

Balloon Fiesta 40 - we have so many big ones around us...

Balloon Fiesta 41

Balloon Fiesta 42 - the Wells Fargo stagecoach

Balloon Fiesta 43

Balloon Fiesta 44

Balloon Fiesta 45 - a couple more bees

Balloon Fiesta 46

Balloon Fiesta 47

Balloon Fiesta 48 - the butterfly finally turned around so we could...

Balloon Fiesta 49

Balloon Fiesta 50

Balloon Fiesta 51

Balloon Fiesta 52

Balloon Fiesta 53

Balloon Fiesta 54

Balloon Fiesta 55

Balloon Fiesta 56 - Spider Pig and Shark

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 519 K)


It was a short 33 miles from Cochiti Lake to the campground on the northern edge of Rio Rancho which is about 10 miles North of Albuquerque. The route covered much of the same territory we had already driven when visiting Jemez Springs so there aren't any travel pictures this time. We are staying at the Stagecoach Stop RV Park and have 50 amp full hookups with good Verizon coverage and a clear shot to the satellite once I maneuvered the Mothership a little.

After getting set up, we headed to the Petroglyph National Monument to have a look at the petroglyphs. The monument is split into three sections, all requiring a drive from the visitor center. It is the first time we have been to a visitor center that was all alone and separate from what it welcomes you to. Anyhow we picked one of the sites that had over 400 petroglyphs carved on the lava rocks over a two-mile hike. No, I didn't include a picture of all of them but did post enough to give you a good taste of them.

Thursday the winds were too high for the balloons to fly so we went in to Old Town Albuquerque. This is an area where they have taken all of the old houses surrounding the plaza for several blocks back and converted them to shops. There was a lot to see and the prices were much more reasonable there than in Santa Fe. Some of the shops were really small, reflecting the rooms of the house that had been converted, and the crowds were extremely large due to the Balloon Fiesta, much too crowded for my taste - felt like I was back in Japan, except the people were larger!!! :)

Friday morning the Balloons were grounded again so we were not able to use the tickets we had for that session but we went to the Friday evening session to see what they called the "Special Shape Glowdeo" where they air up the balloons and turn the burners on to light them all up at once. Unfortunately it was still drizzling and they cancelled that event as well. That made three days in a row they had cancelled the sessions.

Saturday morning we headed back to the Fiesta for the Mass Ascension where they have all the balloons fly as quickly as they can to get them all off the ground. They originally had 550 balloons last weekend but quite a few had left due to the bad weather but it was still a magnificent experience. These balloons are huge, especially those that are special shapes. We are not sure how many balloons were there but enough so that a few more wouldn't have made any difference. I only included a little over 50 pictures of it but they are the best ones. The first five were taken Friday night while we were waiting on them to make up their minds whether to cancel or not.

Tomorrow we head for Sumner Lake State Park, about two-thirds of the way from Albuquerque to the NM-TX state line. We don't plan on doing much there except recovering from the four in the morning alarm clocks to attend the Balloon Fiesta. We haven't had much sleep here!

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |