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Old 09-23-2010, 12:32 PM
 
3,068 posts, read 5,223,172 times
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Watch KOB-TV as they are usually live every morning of the balloon fiesta. They can tell you which way the balloons will be heading. Love it when they come north, as most times they go right over our house.

Like Poncho, we also chase them if they come this way. Its a sight to see so many of them in the air at one time. Be sure to keep a camera with you.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
309 posts, read 331,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmom View Post
According to the website, general admission is $6. Park and ride is $10 for adults and $5 for children, and that includes admission. I am not sure if the admission allows you to come and go throughout the entire day. I am also not sure how much they charge for parking, if anything.
Costco has 6-packs of tickets for $27 if you've got a herd and wanna save a few bucks.

-Z
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
5,553 posts, read 9,251,353 times
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Quote:
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.

Last edited by mortimer; 09-23-2010 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Chihuahuan Desert
2,518 posts, read 5,063,150 times
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(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.


I think this is the lot we watch from. It's an awesome view - you're close enough to see the balloon detailing, yet far enough away to get the full effect of the ascension. We stop at McD's (or anywhere open EARLY) and get a bag of sausage biscuits and coffee and have an impromptu tailgate (or hoodtop) breakfast while watching the balloons go up.

My personal favorite day for mass ascension and balloon glow is the Special Shapes Day. In the morning ascension, the special shapes go up first, followed by the regular balloons.....followed by balloons launching from all over town! We had them launching from next to us in the lot, from back yards behind us, from parking lots on Paseo - awesome!!!!!!
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Chihuahuan Desert
2,518 posts, read 5,063,150 times
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
5,553 posts, read 9,251,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukon
We stop at McD's (or anywhere open EARLY) and get
a bag of sausage biscuits and coffee and have an
impromptu tailgate (or hoodtop) breakfast ...
OK, so what you are also saying is that a good breakfast is important.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
5,553 posts, read 9,251,353 times
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I have an added suggestion:

The concrete arroyo under the freeway just N of Alameda is a path
that can be easily and safely walked. One could park on the East
side of the freeway on either San Pedro or Louisiana and travel by
bicycle or foot under the freeway. From there, it is a short walk to
the Balloon Park. The arroyo is paved all the way to Alameda East
of Barstow. ( If riding a bicycle, watch out for broken glass. )

I have no suggestions on whether you could sneak in without paying.

I have no idea whether the path under the freeway will be blocked
for that event or not.

I also did not suggest parking on San Pedro for balloon peeping due
to the proximity to the freeway and for the fact that it might be a
congested area.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
5,553 posts, read 9,251,353 times
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I have an added added suggestion (*):

The view from Weck's on Paseo is pretty good too.
Breakfast and Balloons with no crowds.

(*) Note that this post does not count as a 'bump' since
.... I just posted a bit before, but I could not add to that
.... due to the passage of time. Who knows? I might think
.... of something else in a couple of hours ...
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Exit 242
742 posts, read 934,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpat View Post
Hello,
Its my first time to the balloon fiesta since 1995 and I've heard getting in and our of the balloon fiesta is a zoo these days. So, can anyone recommend any good nearby locations to see the morning mass ascension?
We go pretty much every year, and have no problem getting in or out. We come in from the north and enter/exit off the frontage road south of Tramway/Roy. We generally leave our house about 5:15 and are parked and walking thru the gates in 30-40 minutes (about 14 miles). There is usually no delay getting in from that direction. Getting out is more crowded, but they do a pretty good job moving folks out. From getting to the car to turning on the frontage road is seldom more than 10-15 minutes.

We never go opening weekend any more, generally hitting the special shapes and/or mass ascension during the week.

We go to the fiesta because there are few better things in life than having a breakfast burrito and coffee while watching the sun rise over the Sandias.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:11 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
910 posts, read 1,187,786 times
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Useful traffic info and road closures for those driving to/from/nearby the Fiesta:

Officials Offer Tips To Avoid Balloon Fiesta Traffic - Albuquerque News Story - KOAT Albuquerque (http://www.koat.com/news/25181827/detail.html - broken link)
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