10.11.2014

Ballooning, Day 2

We got up early again today to see Dawn Patrol, but after sitting in traffic for an hour and getting nowhere near the balloon field, we gave up, went back to the hotel and back to bed. Turned out to be a good decision - within 20 minutes of our giving up, officials said all parking was full and started turning people away. Lesson learned; next time we'll, A) go on a weekday when it's less crowded, and B) use the park and ride buses!
The rest of the day was more fun.


We took Addy to see the dinosaurs at the natural history museum - she's a huge fan and they have some nice displays.

Then we hopped on the park-and-ride bus (lesson learned!) and headed back early (more lessons learned!) to the balloon field for the evening glow and fireworks.
Arriving early had its benefits. We did a bit of shopping,

staked out a place on the grass,
and enjoyed a picnic while waiting for dusk.
Unfortunately, dusk arrived about the same time as the winds from a thunderstorm that mainly skirted just south of the field.
A few balloons inflated, but not for long.
The lightning strikes were a bit too close for comfort, the winds were getting stronger,
and then the rain started. Most people packed up and headed for their cars.
We thought the fireworks would be canceled too, but they went ahead as planned.
And what a display! Easily one of the best shows we've ever seen.
The only drawback to riding the bus in, was having to ride the bus back out. The line was awful, so we did a bit more shopping then snuck in joined the much shortened line and headed out.
Even with the extra time it took to board, riding the bus was definitely the better choice. The wait time to escape exit the car parking lot? Two hours.
Tomorrow - petroglyphs!