Western States Part II
October 4, 2009 - Albuquerque, NM to Durango, CO

When we made our reservations in Albuquerque we didn't know that the weekend we were planning to be there was also the week of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  This annual gathering of hot-air balloon enthusiasts from around the globe usually attracts several hundred aircraft each year.  One of the highlights of the event is the "Mass Ascension" each morning during which hundreds of the balloons lift of right at dawn.  We rode over to watch the event on our way out of Albuquerque and were not disappointed!  We watched from the parking lot of a convenience store near the festival grounds so that we could avoid most of the traffic getting out.


After watching the balloons lift off we continued north to Bandelier National Monument at Los Alamos, NM.  We did, of course, stop here and there along the way for a few photos.

As the photos above indicate the clouds are building up and starting to lower.  That is going to play a part in our plans for the next few days.  First, however, are a couple of photos from Bandelier National Monument.


The leaves are really starting to turn here.  Fall is on the way to northern New Mexico!

Heading north toward Durango, CO we stopped several times for photos because Highway 44 going north has some really fantastic scenery.  At our last stop we also reluctantly prepared for some rain because the clouds that had been lowering all afternoon were beginning to look ominous.

We rode into Durango, CO under light rain and dark skies.  I don't think there was any heavy rain during the night, but I could be wrong.  As usual, we got some dinner, made plans for the following day, and got some sleep.

Trip Totals:
Miles Today: 325.6 (GPS)
Total Miles: 1,730.5 (GPS)
States Crossed: 6 (TN, AR, OK, TX, NM, CO)
AGirl's ride report for this date is at This Page