Sunday, December 2, 2012

Red Rock Balloon Festival

Every year, Red Rock State Park, just outside of Gallup, hosts an annual hot air balloon festival. Nearly one hundred balloonists come to the area to show off their beautiful balloons and the park is filled with even more colors than those abundant in the desert. We were fortunate enough to spend Saturday morning at the park and experience this sight to be seen.

Pyramid Rock
The moon stayed out all morning!
Chris took an alternative route to enjoying the experience. He decided to run. We got to the park shortly after 7AM and he took off, running up Pyramid Rock. He passed me on his way down, in search of information about the Pyramid Rock Run - another event that is a part of the balloon festival. He ran around and eventually found the start of the race. It was a noncompetitive run through the park, ending with the ascent and descent of Pyramid Rock. While he was out running around and finding his way to the top of the peak once again, I settled in at the top of Pyramid Rock to enjoy the sights.

Chris on his first descent from Pyramid Rock
Hoodoos in the sunrise
The balloons were obstructed by the ridge that surrounds the flight field and so gradually the tops of balloons appeared as they were filled. At first just one or two balloons crested the ridge, and then they came by the tens and twenties. For nearly an hour I reveled in the ascension. The balloons were varied in color, shape, and size. Humpty Dumpty took off in the sky, followed by a large recycling bag, a dead cat, a Kachina doll, Tweety Bird, and Ronald McDonald. Those were the ones that I could pick out from a distance. Other balloons had the outline of the state of New Mexico on them, I saw the famous ReMax balloon (perhaps only famous if your parents work with realtors all of the time), and others with incredible design features. It was a morning well spent.

The first balloons of the morning
They keep on coming...
and keep on coming!
While watching the balloons take off, a group of friends arrived at the top of the peak to also enjoy the sights. We left together (after Chris had made it to the top once more) and then went out to enjoy a fabulous brunch in town. It was a wonderful start to the weekend. You should come check it out sometime - it's well worth it!

A close up of the beautiful balloons
Chris, arriving at Pyramid for the second time

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