Heading West – First Stop, Albequerque

This post should have been posted back in October – before our visit to Denver and Oakland.

Visiting friends on a whorl wind side trip by airplane to the southwest -Albequerque, Denver, Oakland and Little Rock – was an wonderful way to wrap up the summer.

Friends Randy made years ago while living on Lake Lauzon near Blind River have often told us that we should visit them in Albequerque, in October to see the Balloon Fiesta. We finally took them up on it.  Todd, Staley and their sons Nolan and Andon were our lovely hosts. We also got to visit with the rest of the Seidler clan. We arrived Friday morning and spent the afternoon eating and site seeing in San Jose with Todd, Staley, Tony and Andy.


From left to right Todd, Andy, Tony, Randy, Staley

Tony has friends with a balloon at the fiesta and asked if we wanted to participate as part of the chase crew…well of course we do!

That evening we took the RV to the Park where the Fiesta takes place in anticipation of getting up early to see the  “Dawn Patol” balloons.

When we arrived it was still pitch black but the first balloons were getting ready to go up and test the wind currents for the rest of the field of balloons.

We found Tony’s friends with the balloon, Ann and Blair and their beautifull balloon named Sundagger. Balloons have name like boat! There were over 500 balloon in rows in the field all in various stages of set up and inflation. Ann came over and asked if I’d like to go up in the balloon…oh yes! I was so excited!

I'm not nervous - up I go

I’m not nervous – up I go

I took a few pictures and my camera told me the battery was about to die. Oh no! The most photographically cool event and I don’t have a backup battery with me! I felt so stupid.

Staley to the rescue

. IMG_1791She went looking for a disposable camera at one of the consesion stands. She came back with a awesome Canon PowerShot. Canon is one of the Fiesta sponsors. When Staley asked about a disposable camera, they said we can do much better than that….give us your drivers licence and we’ll lend you one of these! She had choices of Canon cameras but she came back with the bigger badder meaner faster version of my camera, so no learning curve. All the bells and whistles in pretty much the same place as I’m used to! How cool is that?!?

i took some great shots from up in the balloon.

Balloon Fiesta from up in the air in a balloon

Balloon Fiesta from up in the air in a balloon


The balloons only go up in the morning so that afternoon we went for lunch with Army (Todd’s Dad). Randy met Army years ago in Blind River. Army has an RV he takes to his cottage on Lake Louzon. His RV had a flat and Randy changed it for him and they been fast friends ever since.

Three generations (Right to left) Army, Todd, Nolan

Three generations (Left to right)
Nolan, Todd, Army

The next day Randy got to go up in the balloon and got a nice long ride and Nolan helped with the set up.


Nolan muscling the balloon.

















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