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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Great time...but cold as hell during our ride south... I live near Denver, CO...so this time of year is a crap shoot if we get snow or not. Usually no snow the first two weeks of October, but the second two weeks is virtually a given.

We planned to leave early on Friday. Turns out we left early (IN THE EVENING)!We got out at 6:30 headed south from Denver Metro through Trinidad andover Raton pass into Santa Fe and finally ABQ. I was motorin fast atsome points trying to get there quicker than the 1:30 time the GPS saidwhen first took off. Well, we got about 65 or 70 miles and the S.O. hadto stop. Her right hip was cramping up so bad that we had to drop intoa place for a while. About an hour. This made our arrival time closerto 2:30. Bummer!

Leaving Denver, our first higher elevation is Monument. At about 7800feet its not bad during the summer. But drops the ambient temp toaround 10 less than the other elevations along I-25 at that latitude.When we crested Monument it was 45 degrees (indicated on the dash) so I am guessing it was closer to 43 or so given that the therm on the dash runs a bit high on my bike.

Booked it down to Raton pass and it was down to 38 indicated. OUCH!Yeah, thank God for heated grips and seat. My full face helmet worksgreat. Anyone thought of heating element for those? Heh heh! We haveheated everything else. Why not the helmet?

Flying through some places on the highway at 95+, we managed to pull in at 2:30 with one stop for dinner (as mentioned above)and another stop for fuel. I can say that driving fast doesn't takeenough time off the bike trip to make it worthwhile. Yes, I saved 30minutes. But I was tiiiiiired when I got in from all the hard driving.I decided to slow it down from now on even if I am going to end up 30or more minutes late.

Got back up at 6am (crashed out at 3:15...2 plus hours for sleep...youch!)for the fiesta. Wow...THAT was COOOL! I had a great time and snappedclose to 800 pics and shot about 45 mins. of video that morning. The GFand I went to the ABQ zoo later in the day and had a great time. Nicezoo...a little small but VERY nice. Animals are super close. I haveclose ups of animals I never thought I would be able to get. I know Ican't get them here in Denver as close with my 200mm zoom.

We crashed out around 11pm and back up earlier this time (5 hours of sleep...not bad...but still tired from the night before)to assure the first ascensions were caught. Turns out that the breezewas high enough that many balloons bagged the day. Still got a lot ofgreat pics.

Headed to breakfast following and hit the road at 12:30. GPS said homeat 7. Well, that was going to be fine. But we met up with a buddy inABQ and planned to ride back with him. His peanut tank (3.4 usable 1 reserve)got him about 120 miles before a stop. Well, that means we werestopping every 100 to fuel him up. UGH! That added an hour to ourdrive. We stopped at one place for 45 minutes for some grub and headedon. We pull into north Pueblo and see the clouds rolling in. I put onmy cold weather gear and the GF put on her rain gear (as she said, "just in case"
. NO rain...but TONS of fog. Not enough to slow anyone down...but still...

I should have mentioned, Raton pass at 5:30pm is beautiful this time of year. Tons of color. No pics though. No time!

Rolling through the springs I keyed up the CB looking for weatherreports coming out of Denver. NICE! I got a couple of trucks that werecoming south and said it was clear (no rain...but cloudy and cold). Again, great to have heated grips and seats.

We rolled into Denver at 8:45 (at the house) with 47 degrees indicated. Yep...it was off like I expected. The house gear showed it to be 41. Brrrr....

All in all, a very worthwhile quick trip. But I will NOT do it again onthe bike unless I am GUARANTEED to ride during the day. I also madeanother decision during this trip. Regardless, 45 is my lower limit. Ican do 35...but not unless I MUST!
 

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I hear you on the temps. I've been trying to eek out the last bit of the riding season here in SE Ohio and it hasn't been pretty. Got an overnight run planned with my club this weekend, but we're looking at high's around 60 and cloudy and down to the high 30's at night.

I guess that's what those of us that are addicted do. Anything for just one more mile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Andy,

I will post some pics. I am working on getting some out to the Balloon magz for publishing in their upcoming prints. First time I am going to submit stuff.

I have to resize in order to get them on the site. I will post a few as I can get them. Hopefully a bit later today.

Jim
 

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Great photos, sounds like fun. It's amazing the shapes they make balloons into. I mean, the swan, giraffe, and bear look so life like. ;-)
I took my first baloon ride this week over Napa valley, CA. It was a blast, but was crusingin the rental car and not the Vic.
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You had me bustin up here so much that the lady in the cube next to me finally asked what was so funny. You know, you just can't explain the humor in situations like this.

I have a ton of balloon pics. I thought I posted the swan and bear and another balloon. Clearly not. BTW - you find out quickly as a photog that events like this are hard to shoot and keep interesting in still and vid photography. Great and fun challenge.

Here are few more of the shaped balloons. Not many were there yet as there was some interesting controversy causing China to hold shipment on some shaped balloons until something or another happened.







 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh geez! Here we go!

Andy, you have no idea how realistic it is. If you look very closely at the circle below the tail, you will know what I mean. I am not sure you will see it, but in the big pics I have, it...uh...well it looks like...uh...well, you get the idea! Its a seem to pull the different panels together.
 

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I was @ the Albaquerque Balloon festival 2 years ago. It's a must see. The px's are amazing. Real life is stunning! Great narrative.
 
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