Trip Journal

Departure date: 10/07/2023

Come back here to see some photos of our trip. The Balloons in Albuquerque are amazing, especially on Special Shapes Day. We have so much to see on this trip. If didn’t make it this year – join us next year when we depart on October 5, 2024.

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October 7,  2023 Saturday-A smooth driving day stopping at Pizza Ranch for lunch. Tonight we stayed in Kearney Nebraska at the Country Inn & Suites. It was 70 and sunny.

October 8, 2023 Sunday – A sunny day with temperatures in the 70’s. It’s a long way to Albuquerque so we’re going to stop along the way to take in the sights. This morning we stopped in North Platte to see and hear from retired Railroad workers how the worlds largest rail yard works. What an interesting story and sight to see. The Golden Spike provides a great view of Bailey Yard. This afternoon in Colorado Spring we stopped at the Air Force Academy to see what the cadets go through to become Officers in the United States Air Force. Tonight we stay at the Drury Inn and enjoy all the amenities  (cocktails and dinner)

October 9, 2023  Monday-Another sunny day in the 70’s. Our first stop was at the Garden of the Gods. At this park, we watched a short movie then drove through the park for pictures.  In the afternoon the stop at the Royal Gorge Bridge was perfect. You could ride the gondola across the gorge, take the zip line back or you could always walk back or ride the tram. Tonight we stay in Alamosa Colorado.

October 10, 2023 Tuesday -It was a good day for a train ride. Through the San Juan mountains we travelled on our steam powered locomotive under mostly sunny skies. The sun made the aspen leaves pop in color. Some antelope were spotted along the way to our lunch stop. We met the bus at the Combes Pass and continued on our way to the Ohkay Casino in San Juan Pueblo New Mexico.

October 11, 2023- Wednesday -Another sunny day in the 70’s to 80’s.  Santa Fe is such a unique city. Full of art shops, interesting neighborhoods and a town plaza full of restaurants. Today we started out with a city tour beginning at the Capitol building. The only round Capitol, we found out much about the native heritage and the fact that New Mexico has the highest  native population per capita of all the states. Plenty of free time for visiting, and then we were off to Albuquerque to the Pueblo Native Cultural Center. Here we saw historical exhibits and Native American dance demonstrations. The next two nights we spend at the Holiday Inn Express. in Albuquerque.

October 12, 2023 Thursday- It’s Balloon Fiesta Day! It’s a windy day so we are going to see a static display of the balloons. That means they are inflated but tied down and do not fly. We can walk onto the field, see how they are inflated and take pictures, lots of them. After the balloons, we went to Old Town Albuquerque for some shopping, then lunch at Bucca Di Beppo. We had a break at the hotel, then returned to the balloon festival for a drone show and fireworks. Some of the evening events were cancelled because of the high winds.

October 13, 2023 Friday- Leaving Albuquerque, we were able to see the balloons in flight. It was what we came to see, they were in the distance but very visible. This afternoon we stopped and had a tour of the XIT Museum. The XIT Museum has information about the largest ranch in the world, the XIT, the Texas dustbowl and ranch life. Tonight we’ll stay in Liberal Kansas.

October 14, 2023 Saturday- It is sunny in the morning and cloudy in the afternoon. Cooler and windy, 50 degrees. Today we stopped in Dodge City Kansas at the BootHill Museum. Recently redone, the museum’s exhibits are interactive and much more interesting. The museum focus is the late 1800’s when Dodge was a western cattle and buffalo town on the prairie. There is a Boot Hill cemetery along with a Gunsmoke exhibit. We had lunch and attended Miss Kitty’s  Long Branch Saloon  show.  Tonight we stay at the Hampton Inn near Kansas City.

October 15, 2023 Sunday- We’re back and a trip full of sightseeing and fantastic scenery. If you watched our trip, you can call now and we’ll send you the 2024 Albuquerque Balloon information as soon as it is available. We only take one bus and it is always full each year.

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