Originally Posted by Poncho_NM
It depends on the wind for that day.
This is very true. There have been many days where you could get a good show
in the University area and balloons landed on Johnson Field. I have also seen
balloons fly over Tramway and land in the foothills near Tramway and Academy.
Note that you want to be East of the field and not West, therefore, while you
can find locations in Rio Rancho that might be suitable, the blinding rising sun
makes this a non-starter. Go east young ones.
(1) A good location might be at the Cracker Barrel on I-25. This is on a bluff that will
allow you a good clear view into the launching area. You don't need them, but a pair
of binaculars will help a lot. Bonus: delicious breakfast when you are done. This
location is two miles Southeast of the field. It's not impossible that you will get
to see baloons land in the nearby lots and/or pass right over your head here.
(2) Another location would be where Ellena and Louisiana meet at the Western Edg of
N. Sandia Acres. Go North on Louisiana from Paseo del Norte to get there. You are at
the Eastern edge of an abandoned small airport so your Western horizon is clear.
Bonus: delicious breakfast is nearby at Wecks or Cracker Barrell when you are done.
This location is one mile due East of the field. It's not impossible that you will
get to see baloons land in the nearby lots and/or pass right over your head here.
(3) Another alternative would be to greet the sunrise on top of Sandia Crest. Here,
binoculars are VERY encouraged, but again, not necessary. You MIGHT be able
to use a telescope here, which would be fun, but if there is much wind, then not.
I would guess that you should be on I-40 heading East from the Big I by at least 5:30
to be sure of getting all situated before sunrise. Bring warm bevarages and food since
you are likely to start that morning in temperatures in the thirties. Average is 37 and
the record low for that time is about 25.
(4) I don't know if The Sandia Resort and Casino's Bien Shur restaurant will be open
or allow gawkers, but it would be a great location with the added benefit of an open
air 8-story deck to watch from. This is several hundred yards N. of (2) above.
If you can get a good breakfast there, this location is a winner.
I love breakfast. ObTosh.0: People that don't also love breakfast are stupid.