Monday, October 03, 2005

Monday October 3, 2005 Hello from sunny New Mexico

The only problem with New Mexico is all that air pollution - the sky is full of baloons!

It's time for their annual baloon festival. Each day for a10 days there are about 700 baloons that lift into the air - mostly in the morning when the wind is slight. At night, they keep the baloons tethered but light them up with their hot air jets. They also have fireworks. Thousands of people from all over the world come to see this event and the traffic can be quite heavy. Each morning from my daughter's patio we can look out toward the mountains and watch the baloons drift above the city. They have different shapes and colors. It looks really peaceful watching the baloons slowly rise and drift along then descend. With little wind, even the landings are nice. We watched a baloon descend onto a school soccer field right next to the highway and it came down gently with the basket staying upright until they started letting the air out of the baloon. Weather is nice this time of the year. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 50s - low humidity - very pleasant. Many of the homes here are built in the adobe style with block walls covered with stucco and flat roofs. The block/stucco construction really helps moderate the inside temperatures of the homes. Debb's home seems to stay in the low 70s day and night without the need for heating or cooling at this time of the year. The aridity and lack of forests is quite a difference from Kansas City, but they have the advantage of not having to care for a yard of grass - most houses have rocks and shrubs that are native to the area and need little water.
At night the sky is clear and the stars are clearly visible (the city trys very hard to control light pollution). You can stand outside at night and see the Milky Way. It's a great place to visit.

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