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Sunday, May 19, 2019

ABQ Balloon Museum

Everyone has heard of the huge Albuquerque Balloon Festival that happens in October. What you might not know is that you can see balloons year round at the International Balloon Museum.

Tracing the history of lighter than air flight, there are great graphics and examples of early ballooning.

While admission is reasonable at $6, we were pleasantly surprised when the clerk only asked for our zip code. Admission is free on Sundays from 9-1.
Actual baskets, more like space capsules are on display from more recent epic adventures. It wasn't until 1999 that Orbiter 3 was the first balloon to fly around the world.
Other record setting balloons are shown in settings explaining the hardships and technology used at the time.
The museum isn't quite big enough to hose a dirigible, so they settled for a large scale model.

Their weather lab exhibit was one of the best we've seen. It is especially good for sailors or aviators.
A children's section has colorful balloon parts and a wonderful mural.

I highly recommend putting this museum on your itinerary. It fills in parts of aviation history that we didn't find at the Smithsonian or any of the military aviation museums.
Leaving, we paused at this kinetic sculpture that embodies the spirit of adventure and risk taking evident in the ballooning community.
Speaking of adventure, we headed from the museum to a Harvest Host farm for tonight.
After a bumpy drive down a 1.5 mile dirt road, we found a fenced yard and partially completed home. While the family was welcoming, they are living out of an old RV while building their house. We bought some eggs and spent the night, but it wasn't really a farm. This was the first time we've been disappointed in a Harvest Host site.

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