Albuquerque has some distinctly Fall traditions. The smell of roasting green chile in the air, and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta amongst the best. Despite having grown up in Albuquerque, I've never actually been to the Balloon Fiesta for an ascension. I tried to go once, but after waking up at 4:30 in the morning to pouring rain, after which it was cancelled, it never seemed quite worth the trouble of early mornings, tons of traffic, and horrible crowds. Particularly since at some point you'll just happen to be driving along while dozens of them float overhead. When I was a kid we'd write messages on the playground in the sand or spelled out with rocks to the balloonists overhead, "Land Here!!!" It usually worked. Balloons would come down and teachers and kids would stream outside cheering, recess time or not. Out early this Sunday morning we caught these from the car. (Its also a law of nature that taking pictures of balloons overhead is a waste of time. They look much bigger/closer/brighter to the naked eye). Balloons are like fireworks, no matter how old and cynical you get, they are still awe-inspiring.