Saturday and Sunday Elaine and I were in Taos, crewing for Marauder’s Mark (the name of David and Anita’s balloon). The Taos Mountain Balloon Rally, and all other balloon rallies, was much smaller than the one in Albuquerque. There were around 30 balloons at Taos. The event was lower-key, but just as much fun as we had in Albuquerque.
The schedule was full; we were at the field by 6:30 in the morning and didn’t finish until around 8 pm that evening.
After the morning flight, we had breakfast and just an hour or so before we needed to be lined up for the parade. Since the rally is held in late October, we dressed up in costumes for the parade and handed out candy while we walked. We skipped the after-parade picnic and went back to our hotel for about an hour before we returned to the field for the evening balloon glow. Check out the video of the glow.
Elaine helped with unfolding and folding the balloon envelop and any other tasks that needed to be done during pre-flight and post-flight. I was trained on how to handle the crown line, which is used to help fill the balloon with air and to prevent the balloon from rocking over when it finally inflates. When the balloon was filled, I was being drug across the field as it rose to a vertical position.
The parade was fun, there were lots of kids on the route, which went through downtown to the Kit Carson Memorial Park. You should refresh your memory of Kit Carson; he was quite a person and led a rewarding life.
After the morning flight on Sunday, we packed up and met at Old Martina’s Hall (an excellent restaurant) which is just south of Taos in the historical village of Rancho de Taos. The village is the home of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, building started in 1772 and was completed in 1815, which is the subject of several Georgia O’Keeffe paintings, which she did while staying at our hotel; The Sagebrush Inn. Ansel Adams also photographed the church.
The church is still in use by the congregation. Each June the members take some of the adobe from the walls of the church and put new adobe up as protection for the next year. A man we met at the church said that the task of refreshing the adobe on the church is passed down from one generation to the next generation.
Rancho de Taos dates to 1725. In 1750 the fortified home of the Vidalpando family in Rancho de Taos was attacked by Comanche Indians. All the men of the settlement were killed and 50 women and many children were abducted. Most were never recovered. After this attack, the church was a used for protection.
Taos is an interesting town with many art galleries, restaurants, and historic buildings, we enjoyed our stay.