Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta–Dawn Patrol

Albuquerque, NM  The high doesn’t even count because the low was so cold.

We were told the shuttles start running at 4:30 a.m. Yes, that’s in the morning. Jeri and Terry are much more adventurous and were willing to ride the shuttle down to the launch field. It was 33 degrees when they went down at 5:00 a.m. Jim and I were still in bed.


We got up about 6:00 because that is when the Dawn Patrol was to take off. The Dawn Patrol began at the Fiesta in 1978 when two California balloonists developed position lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol pilots take off in the dark and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. The other balloonists can watch the Dawn Patrol and determine wind speeds and directions at different altitudes. When they determine that the wind is cooperating (blowing about 4-6 mph – no more than 12 mph) the green flag goes up and everyone springs into action.


My camera does not take pictures in the dark. This is what it looks like.


The next posts are going to be mostly pictures of balloons with some fun facts thrown in. Also my impressions of the Fiesta.


  1. How fun !!! Have always wanted to do this..

  2. I believe I would have stayed in bed as well.

  3. We did Lake Havasu last January and would love to do Albuquerque but it would eat into our winter stay in the US. Still nice to dream.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. That dawn looked mighty dark to me. That's why I gave up on them... :cD

  5. There is a popular ballooning site in western NJ, I have to be careful driving when they are flying, it is hard to keep you eyes on the road.

    1. There is a popular balloon site in Jersey
      The colors all bright and bold
      Be careful driving when they are a flying
      It's hard to keep you eyes on the road.

      Sorry, I could not resist...the first comment sounded so much like a limerick.

  6. Oh my! It was not that cold when we were there several years ago. I had bought a new, super warm jacket because I expected cold weather in the mornings but never had to wear it. I think we only slept in one morning we were there and that day they did not go up. We did an Escapee "Hop" and had a nice warm tent and breakfast waiting for us before the bus came each morning.

  7. They look kind of like shooting stars.

  8. You are having a ball, can't wait for more pictures,

  9. Now that is cold...33 degrees!! What fun you guys are having and I bet those balloons look awesome in the dark!! Looking forward to your upcoming pics!! Have fun!!!

  10. It was definitely very, very cold but now I can say, been there and done that.

  11. A bucket list item for sure. Looking forward to the balloon pictures.

  12. So looking forward to your sharing this adventure. Enjoy!

  13. I can only imagine what it must be like watching the sun come up from inside a bucket.

  14. Can't wait to see the upcoming posts.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.