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White Sands Balloon Festival and Alkali Flat Trail

Last minute posting: this Sunday (apparently not Saturday) is the White Sands Balloon Festival at White Sands National Monument. Lift-off is at 7 am. More information here: http://www.white-sands-new-mexico.com/hot_air_balloon_invitational.htm

I'm dedicated to getting at least one good photo, and hopefully a timelapse video—so I'm getting there early for when the park opens at 6 am. With an expected 400+ people attending, we'll probably spend most of our time waiting to get in, and hopefully not in the cold. I plan on leaving at 5 am sharp! If you're coming from El Paso, please meet us at K-Mart in Las Cruces—besides making it easier for us, the construction at Transmountain makes it difficult to gauge when you'll get to White Sands.

Afterwards (~8 am?), I'm planning to do a quick loop of Alkali Flat Trail (5 mi), hopefully back to cars by 11 am. Weather should be a warm but not uncomfortable 72°F by lunchtime. The hike is optional—please decide whether you'll be doing when we meet at K-Mart so we can plan carpool appropriately.

Admission fee is $3/person; federal lands passes are accepted.

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  • Samat

    Worth getting up at 4:30 am!

    September 24, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    :D

    September 17, 2012

  • Samat

    5 am sounds early, but it really isn't—it takes some 45 min to get there, and 20 min to drive to the launch sites on Loop Drive (65 min). My experience w/ White Sands' gate is that if a lot of people (say, 400) hit all 3 lanes, it _still_ can over 30 min to get through (95 min), and then there's whatever time to find parking/get to a good vantage point. I've not been to the White Sands Balloon Festival, but I'm assuming it's not like the Albuquerque one, where at 4 am there are already hundreds of people lined up. I hope I don't sound as if I am taking myself too seriously if I say I'm going to feel our day is wasted if it's 7:01, we're 10 miles away from the launch site, and we're stuck behind an RV going 25 mph. Leaving 5 am avoids all this---worst case scenario, we get so early we can take a short nap.

    September 15, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I get what you are saying and i will feel really bad if we miss the baloons but i plan on getting up at five and i have faith it will all work out i just dont see there being so much traffic and we would still get there almost an hour before the launch im more saying 5:30 at the latest but if we all meet up before then thats great i just feel like 5:30 gives everyone enough time to really be at k mart

      September 15, 2012

  • Samat

    Have donuts for tomorrow—if someone knows how to brew coffee that travels well, it'd be great if they brought it. @Aishah, @Svenja: 5:30 is really close to 5… any chance of compromising at 5 am not sharp (probably leave at 5:10-ish)?

    September 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ok great see you at the k mart at 5:30

    September 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    5:30am works.

    September 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    How about 5 30

    September 15, 2012

  • renee s.

    who will be meeting at 5am - kmart to carpool since samat won't be? pls advise.

    September 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    5am is going to kill me, but i'm not sure what to expect in terms of wait time at the entrance.

    September 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Launch time is at 7 so id rather meet at 6 than 5 is that ok with everyone else thats going

    September 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Im from las cruces and can give you a ride

    September 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there anyone from Las Cruces that wants to go? I really want to see this and I need a ride.

    September 15, 2012

4 went

  • Samat
    Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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