Getting the flavor of...
Ballooning over Albuquerque
On my first ride in a hot-air balloon, “I resisted, barely, the urge to drop to the bottom of the basket and curl up in a fetal position,” said Pam LeBlanc in the Austin American-Statesman. Outside Albuquerque, a city that hosts the world’s largest ballooning festival every October, at least a handful of brightly colored balloons rise from the desert early every morning, and I’m actually glad I signed up for the adventure. “Things I liked about the flight? Seeing the river glint like a ribbon of mercury far below. Watching the rising sun light up the mountains. Things I didn’t like? Looking straight down. Seeing another hot air balloon well beneath us. The loud, hot blast of the burner.” We reached 6,000 feet, more than a mile above terra firma, and somehow my Rainbow Ryders pilot brought us in for a bouncy, skidding, but controlled landing on a tiny patch of green. Climbing out, we celebrated with a bottle of Champagne.