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!