In September 2002 I was hungry for New Mexican food specialties of carne adovada and sopapillas. I also realized that I had no obligations for the week of the 2002 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I called, and on my first try got reservations at the hotel across the street from the Fiesta.
This was key, since otherwise you need to spend an hour or two waiting in traffic at 5AM to park and then stand around in freezing cold with 100,000 other people for the mass balloon ascensions at dawn each day.
Having reservations and no obligations that week meant ROAD TRIP. A road trip is defined as having a week or more to ramble with no schedule and not more than one planned destination. I made the rest up as I went along and stayed wherever I happened to land each evening. I planned the broad strokes of each coming day over dinner, and made up the details as I drove around. I stopped for anything that caught my eye.
I invited my photo club to the Balloon Fiesta and some came out for that. Otherwise I was on my own and even redirected a photo trip I was to lead to California's Sierra since we got to much weirder places instead.
The best way to enjoy this trip is to read the travelog at the bottom of each picture page and then go on to the next one. You can ignore the index pages with the little images except to help you get to favorite images later. With that, let's go to the first image and have fun!