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Oct 1, 2021

The night was full of packs of coyotes howling all around us. It was fun to listen to them. Early in the morning it started to rain and kept raining most of the day.

In the morning we came down off the mountain and drove into Alamosa to find a Covid test. Yesterday we got a call from Zac, telling us Alanna has Covid. She was not feeling well that morning and they purchased a home Covid test. Zac was negative, but Alanna’s test was positive. We were all at Everett’s birthday party on Monday and she thought that either she got the virus at our house, or she had the virus when she was at our house. Fortunately our entire family had been vaccinated, but decided it would be a good idea to get tested. So far everyone has come back negative (except Alanna, but she is feeling fine).

Eva and I went to Alamosa, CO hoping to find an at home test to take. Walgreen’s had them in stock, but the pharmacist recommended that we go to the clinic across the street and take the rapid tests. It only took us about an hour to get scheduled, fill out the paperwork, have a sample taken and get the results. We were both negative so we felt comfortable continuing on our trip.

After eating lunch in Alamosa we drove south into New Mexico. We stopped in Taos to visit the Taos Pueblo, an large display of ancient dwellings, but when we arrived at the location, it was closed due to Covid. It was funny that an outdoor historic site was closed, but we had to turn around in the parking lot of a casino that was wide open.

The rest of the afternoon was driving through Santa Fe to Albuquerque. We arrived at Frenchie and Karen’s house around 6:30 pm and set up the van in their large back yard.

They are our host for the balloon fiesta that starts early tomorrow morning. Later in the evening Bruce and Cindi arrived from San Diego. They have a nice full-size camper that they parked next to the shed. The day ended with one of Frenchie’s home-made apple pies. It was great.

Oct 2, 2021

This morning was an early start. We were up at 4:45 am and left the house by 5:30 am. It was about a 15 mile drive to the balloon launch field, but it took about an hour to get through the traffic and parked. We then had to walk 3/4 mile to the launch field.

We arrived just as the mass ascension started. In this event the balloons line up on the field and take off in waves. They estimate over 500 balloon participated. It was amazing to see so many balloons. They didn’t all take off at once, but they were in rows of 20-25 and each row took off together. And there were many, many rows of balloons. Just when we thought they were done, another row of balloons would take off and revel more rows, as far as we could see on the field.

Along with the hundreds of balloons, there were thousands of people. The balloons were packed in so tight that they pressed against each other, and the people were pack just as tight. It was an amazing sight. We had never seen anything like it before.

After the main ascension we sat in our chairs and just watched the balloons. There were a few stragglers taking off, but there were hundreds of balloons in the air. The weather was great, with clear blue skies and no wind.

We were back at Frenchie’s house about 10:30 am and we all took a nap. We were not use to being up so early when we are on vacation. 

Later in the evening a group of 20 balloons sailed past the house and landed not far from the house. At night, we set up our chairs in a field across the street from the house and watched the Balloon Glowdeo and fireworks. It was quite far away, but it was still fun to watch. We ended the evening with more apple pie and ice cream.

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