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2002 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - Albuquerque, New Mexico  - 10/5 - 10/13/02

Local pilot Joanne Pannuzzo and I made the long trip to Albuquerque from New Jersey in a borrowed Ford Expedition. Driving nonstop and sleeping in the back seat while not behind the wheel, it took 36 hours to reach our destination! Thankfully the journey was uneventful and we made it into town on the Monday night before Fiesta was officially scheduled to begin. We stayed in town for two-and-a-half weeks, and the weather was next to perfect for a good majority of the time. That means: A lot of ballooning!

We brought along Joanne's trusty airbag, a Cameron C-80, and managed to fill it up and get it off the ground a few times. Being in the air surrounded by 700 other balloons, all of which are climbing, descending and going every which way around, over and under you is something to be experienced firsthand!

Anyway, it was my second time out to Albuquerque, and I had a blast. Hopefully these pictures can convey some of the excitement of being a part of Balloon Fiesta. If you've never been there before... Go!

Friday the 4th

19th Ave Launch Field

Saturday the 5th

Gas Race

Sunday the 6th

Mass Ascension & Glow

Monday the 7th

Fly Out (MJDG), South RV Park

Tuesday the 8th

Fly In (FIT), Balloon Fiesta Park

Wednesday the 9th

Boring Sunset Shots

Thursday the 10th

Special Shapes Glowdeo

Friday the 11th

AM Bunny Shots & PM Shapes Glowdeo

Saturday the 12th

Dawn Patrol, Mass Ascension, "Kuwaiti Glow," Parting Shots

All photos taken by a back-seat pilot with a Nikon Coolpix 5700 in Fine JPEG mode at 1600x1200; reduced for web in Photoshop 6.0