Go West Old Man - Fall 2005 travel blog


When we planned this trip, we worried about rain and fog on our Alaska cruise. It never occurred to us that the weather we should have worried about was in Albuquerque. We are camped in the middle of a giant mud puddle at the national hotair balloon rally, having endured periodic showers and two hail storms. A cold front came through the area, moving the temperature from the high '80's to low 50's and the clashing fronts generated high winds. When I leave the trailer I roll up my pants legs and put on my already muddy flip flops and wade to drier land. The front door mat we usually put in front of our trailer steps has begun to float and some large, noisy water sucking machines have been brought in to suck up the bigger lakes, especially around the utlity stations. Our trailer is starting to list slightly in the mud. We spent the afternoon watching a film we had brought from home, waiting for things to improve.

At the traditional geezer hour of 4pm we were taken to a combination chuck wagon dinner/Mexican fiesta. They plied us with margaritas and handsome young people danced up a storm of Indian and Mexican dances. They danced to recorded music, but there was also a live band that struck some wildly discordant notes periodically. Ken was so inspired he danced three times with me. Mark this day on your calendar!

Following this we had an orientation meeting, better done before the all-you-can-drink margaritas, in my opinion. Attendance at the balloon rally is down significantly; high gas prices was one of the reasons given. Nevertheless, we are a group of almost one hundred people and there are two other companies here also holding rallies and numerous independant campers wallowing in the mud along with us. It sounds like the balloon activites occur mainly at dawn and dusk, and our rally company has planned things to keep us busy during the day.

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