And they are the source of my adventurous spirit.

My parents are on their 4th consecutive month of motor home caravaning of the summer.  They first did the Lewis and Clark caravan for the months of June and July.  To translate from RVspeak:  caravanning is a group of motorhomes, mostly retired folks, who plan and organize trips around the country, anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.  My parents have done over 35 of these trips over the last 20 years or so, including the Viking caravan up to New Brunswick, the Canadian trips – Polar Bear sightings included, Alaska, the Yucatan, Baja, numerous Civil War trips, and this one, the Southwest Adventure.  Dad serves as the historian on both the Lewis and Clark trips and the Civil War ones too.

Daughter Amy has a conference in California next week, and I’m going to join her for a few days of fun.  In the meantime, Mom and Dad knew the Balloon Festival was coming up and had been asking me to join them, so…

sweet mother

This festival is the premier festival in ballooning.  There are over 500 balloons, thousands of spectators, and is said to be the most photographed event in the world.  It’s a full 8 days, and there are activities all day every day.  The liftoff field is adjacent to the brand spanking new Balloon Museum, to which I willingly devoted 3 hours of my life today.  Did you know that during WWII Japan sent 10,000 balloon bombs toward the US, 1000 of which have been recovered, and some of which may still be in remote areas?

This morning we spent several hours, beginning predawn, watching what is known as a mass ascension.

trying to zoom with camera phone

First was the spectacular sunrise liftoff, then we enjoyed all the different balloons:

They have to call him Aaron, since “Elvis” is copyrighted

Made of awesome.
Wells Fargo

So here’s the deal…the RV is parked in a giant field with several hundred other motor homes (Mom calls it Bonnaroo for retirees), but no hookups – no electricity or water.  This isn’t too big of a problem normally for a self-contained motorhome, but generator curfew is coming up in 15 minutes, and I have a couple of hours of studying to do tonight, off my Mac battery, so I’m going to cut this post into two pieces, because there are so many good pictures I want to add.

Tomorrow is several hours at the Indian Pueblo Culture Center in the morning, then a turquoise museum in the afternoon, then another balloon event in the evening.

So til part 2….thanks for reading!