The Chase Crew
The Chase Crew is comprised of people who follow the balloons to their landing site and help to pack them up.
The domestic balloonists usually have friends who help them, but they can also use people who stand in as volunteers to do the job. This is VERY helpful to those balloonists who come from outside of the country.
At the conclusion of the fiesta, its a tradition that balloonists dip their gondolas into the Rio Grande River. This is called THE SPLASH AND DASH. The balloons are taken up into the air once again and guided to their landing site.
Once the balloon lands after its final descent, rides are often offered to the crew as a means of thanking them.
Sandia Peak Ski Area
Sandia Peak is also a small, hometown-style ski area, but if you look, you can still find fun and challenging stuff. Plus lift tickets are cheap. It's only open Wednesday through Saturday, and some seasons it doesn't open at all because of lack of snow. Try to get up here on a weekday and you'll have the place to yourself. Seriously.
You can drive here, which I prefer, or you can take the tram. The disadvantage to the tram, besides the added expense, is that you have to time your last run just right. If you think you have time for one more, and you don't--i.e. if the chairlifts close--you have no way of getting back to the top of the mountain. Well, you could hitchhike, but think of the odds of finding someone who's heading uphill at that time of day, who's willing to stop, and who's got room their car for your skis or board.
In the off-seasons they run the chairlift so you can check out the aspen leaves turning, etc.
The sun actually does set on the chairlift. The mountains run north-south, so the lifts run westward up the slope. Again, you can rent in town or at the mountain, and sunscreen is very necessary.
At the American International...
At the American International Rattlesnake Museum we saw this albino rattlesnake. Admission to this small museum at 202 San Felipe Street was only about $2.50. They did not give us a ticket to go inside. They gave us a 'certificate of bravery'. My wife does not like snakes and she indulged me by going into this place.
True New Mexican Cuisine
This place has the greatest red chile. If you want a true New Mexican food experience check this place out. Huevos Rancheros with Red (Chile). This is by far the best Red Chile I've ever had. Huevos Rancheros is New Mexican Ranch Style eggs which consists of eggs (made to you liking) sitting on a corn tortilla surrounded by beans and fried potatoes all smothered in cheese and your choice of chile. When they ask "red or green?" they're asking you what kind of chile you want.
Excellent On-line Restaurant Guide for Albuquerque
Because it is a tricultural region with a large tourist industry and an Air Force base, the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area is blessed with a large number and wide variety of restaurants. If you want to read personal, informative reviews of these restaurants, try Gil's Thrilling (And Filling) Website. I find his reviews fun to read and accurate. He covers all types of restaurants but is especially good at Eclectic and Asian restaurants. He even covers the good restaurants that went out of business or evolved with a different name. Gil recommends the best dishes at each restaurant in his reviews. Just one caution, Gil likes his food spicer than most people. LOL, he probably considers Barker chile to be mild.