Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – Part 3   2 comments

Day 8-10

This morning was the first (and only) day the balloons didn’t fly. They cannot fly if the winds are stronger than 8 mph. What a disappointment, but the days that they flew overhead more than made up for it.

We visited old town Albuquerque, beginning with a guided walking tour and then lunch on our own.

Behind the church is a tree trunk with a carving of the Lady of Guadeloupe.

It was carved with regular kitchen knives. The carver was a Korean War Vet who was the only survivor of his platoon. He was so distraught when he came home and kept wondering why he was spared. He decided to do a carving. He worked on it every day after work.

It has NEVER been vandalized while most things in the area have been vandalized at one time or another.

The Turquoise Museum taught us that unless you are an expert, you cannot tell if turquoise is natural. The word is “natural” not real. If you ask if it is real, you will get the answer “yes” every time. 95% of the turquoise market, IS NOT TURQUOISE. Approximately 85% of the turquoise retried is too soft to cut or polish and must be processed to enhance the color and increase the hardness. The value of natural turquoise depends upon its rarity of color, clarity/matrix, and mine source. The price of the turquoise will not even indicate that the turquoise is natural. So what do you do? Buy from a reputable dealer.

The most common turquoise is white (chalk) and is too soft to cut or polish and is not typically graded as a gemstone. The higher grade turquoise has greater clarity and deeper color. The rarest , matrix (spider web turquoise) has a natural and uniform matrix that is evenly laced throughout the gemstone.

The value and price of turquoise is also determined by the reputation of the mine and the rarity of the turquoise. Lone Mountain, #8, Lander Blue, and Bisbee mines are highly regarded for the color, matrix, and history of the turquoise they contain. The most commonly marketed American turquoise is from the Sleeping Beauty and Kingman mines in AZ.

Friday was my favorite day of Mass Ascensions;

it was for special shapes.

Watching the special shapes land was pretty interesting as once they land, the basket scoots along the ground, sometimes much longer than the pilot expects, and they gladly accept the help of the crowds to help them get stopped.

Once, their chase crew shows up, they throw out a tarp so that the balloon doesn’t get caught on anything that might make it rip and begin to Velcro it up for packing away.

When the balloons are up in the sky, they look so small, but when they land, THEY ARE HUGE. Check out how big the cow is compared to the people in the photo below.

We had our traditional farewell dinner. On the menu was steak and baked potato.

And of course Margaritas

cowgirl style……

Hitch up breakfast was not just continental. We had biscuits and gravy! It’s always sad to say our goodbyes but we know we will see everyone down the road.

It didn’t take us long to tear down the tent and pack up the trailer and off we headed East


Posted October 16, 2013 by carolnbill in Travel

2 responses to “Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – Part 3

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  1. I read all 3 parts of this and enjoyed them very much! This is one trip that is on my bucket list. Thanks so much for including the pictures. They were awesome!

    Carolyn Schexnayder
  2. Carolyn, we’re so glad you enjoyed our postings. The balloon fiesta is awesome. Hope you make it there some time. We would love o go every year.

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