Thursday, October 20, 2011

Balloons, Dunes, Aliens, Caves...oh my!


Wow - we really feel like we left no stone unturned in New Mexico.  Before we hit the state we had no clue what we were really going to see or do, and then BAM, it just all came together and we saw some of the most amazing things that we've seen on this whole trip.  Like the last blog, we'll let pictures and video do most of the talking....enjoy!!

Albuquerque Balloon Festival

One word - AMAZING. The people, the snow capped mountains, the ultra-cool Sandia Casino with free RV parking, and yes, Balloons, everywhere Balloons.  A true spectacle that we're so glad we didn't miss.  The pictures turned out great, but nothing can beat actually being there.  I have a feeling we'll be back one day!  And be sure to check out the great videos we took that really help capture the beautiful morning moments as balloons fill the blue sky.

Watch Now - Balloon Festival Day 1

Mass Ascension - Final Day. Don't miss it - very cool. Watch Now!

It flew right over - great picture op

First Balloon up each morning
with US Flag

Basketball anyone??

Vibrant colors - even Uncle Sam went up!

Little Miss Bee was very cute - and ironic she
floated right next to sweet Sugar Bear
Sun peaking through the clouds!

Even a carousel!
Kooky clock with pink elephant were both so fun!

Mr Shark never made it up in the air, but luckily
he was big enough for us to snap this photo!

Purely for the color - amazing with the blue sky!

Day 1 - they just kept going up!

Amazing picture op as they floated toward the
snow-capped mountains with the clouds

Jester - so cute!
Mass ascension Day 2 - we woke up, looked out our
camper window, and this is what we saw!
Be sure to watch the here!

Stage Coach road the sky

White Sands National Park

Again, we were AMAZED!  It's really impossible to describe - just check out the pictures and you'll see why.  But better yet, the videos really do give great perspective - T even gives a short tutorial on how these incredible dunes of gypsum were formed!  And you guys thought we were just out here slacking all summer - this trip has actually been quite educational!

How did these dunes form? Click here to find out from Tracy and see a 360 view!

Plowing the desert streets - seeing is believing. Click and Watch.

Little Miss Jeep & 98 square feet make their
way through the massive dunes!

T is trying to write A+T in the
gypsum - can barely see her
or the words!
Someone else had luck drawing a heart. 
T is looking at A through the binoculars.
I see you.  Do you see me??

Leaving our mark
wherever we go
Camera is balanced on a flip flop - very creative!

Who needs snow?  Amy makes a gypsum angel.

275 square miles of gypsum.  Be sure to watch video #1
It really gives a great 360 view of what we saw
Click here to watch....


Yes, we went to the UFO Museum.  T was fascinated by UFOs and Aliens when she was younger, and since we were right there, we had to make a stop where a supposed spacecraft crashed back in 1947.  It wasn't exactly what we expected, but it was interesting (and educational!!) to read all the documentation - and it's still a mystery to this day as to whether it happened and the government covered it up or whether it's all just a big hoax.   We still can't decide....what do you guys think??

Supposedly 1 of the 4 "aliens" that were at the crash
site was still alive when the military showed up
and it was brought to an examination room at a bunker
outside of Roswell, NM

Yep, T wore green that day so she could
become "one" with her inner alien
All the documentation hangs on the wall in the museum
It really was pretty interesting!

A replica that was made based on eye witness accounts.
Do you believe?

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Another AMAZING site.  You take an elevator 750ft below the ground - and then you walk about a mile within the most incredible caverns!  Truly, it's impossible to describe how awe inspiring this was.....the size of more than 14 football fields (600,000+ square feet) just in the area we explored.  Because it's normally pitch black when you're 750ft down, the caverns are lit with low lighting - making it a bit challenging to get good photos.  We tried a video, but the low lighting prevented us from capturing anything good.  Trust us, these pics definitely don't do it justice!

Massive formations surrounded us

Pools of crystal clear water drip in the caverns

Unusual formations everywhere we look

We wanted to touch everything
but it was against the rules!
This shows how huge just one section of it was
those are people on the other side!

Just to show the scale...note the 747 jetliner.
We only went in one tiny section....this place is massive!

One final note....HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Amy's Father, Wil.  Sorry we can't be there to celebrate with you!

Safe to say....put New Mexico on your Bucket List.  We really enjoyed all the amazing sites!!

Until the next exit....

Amy & Tracy

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Feeling the Arizona energy!

When you're on the road for more than 100 days, it's amazing how many pictures you can take!  So, when we sit down to write our blog it's always a challenge to select which pictures to share out of the many we took.  For this blog, there was no question in our mind that we wanted to share more than usual....because the beauty of the places we visited speak for themselves!   So this blog covers northern Arizona, including the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Winslow!  Next blog (coming very soon) is New Mexico and the Balloon won't want to miss that one, and we're so glad we didn't miss of the most amazing things on the trip so far!

Grand Canyon

We left the camper at our campground in Flagstaff and hit the road for a short 2 hour drive up to the South Rim.  Unfortunately rain, wind and a chilly day was in the forecast, but we made the best of it, and somehow we managed to get this hilarious video before the day cleared up a bit.  Be sure to check it out...

You can't rain on our parade! Click here

We missed the sign on the way in,
but we did a U-ey on the way out

Really amazing - it almost seems unreal

It cleared up enough for a few good photo ops 
Sittin' on the edge

More beauty

Sometimes clouds make for good pictures

View from way above
Look out tower

Colorado River flows through.
We definitely plan on going back
one day to river raft the area!
Seriously, some of the pictures look like we're
photo-shopped in.  It's so surreal how huge this place is

Sedona, AZ

This place is really amazing.  Again, we left the camper in Flagstaff and took the short 45 minute drive down to Sedona.  There was beauty around every corner - starting with the super cool Slide Rock - and we're still bummed we stupidly left our bathing suits in the camper that day.  And we weren't quite brave enough to take it all off and slide down the natural rock waterslide in our undies with all the kids around. 

After that, we discovered there were several Vortex's in the Sedona area.  These are places where energy is very strong, and many people report having spiritual experiences when in a Vortex.  So we decided to climb up to the "female" Vortex on Cathedral Rock.  Holy was a very strenuous climb, but well worth it.  And Amy took some really amazing video so we could share it with you.

Slide Rock on the way to Sedona!
Still kicking ourselves that we didn't do it!

So much fun watching them in the
freezing water!

Loving the pretty view
Yes, we climbed up to the vortex.  Very strenuous hike,
but so worth it in the end!

View from the Vortex
Great shot from the top
Yep, T is sitting out on the edge having some quiet time
Check out the video. Click here
All smiles enjoying the Vortex

Just to show how steep it was - going up AND down.
We slid down several areas and were thankful for
tennis shoes with good tread!!
The Vortex

Standin' on a Corner in Winslow Arizona....

Gettin' our kicks on Route 66
We stood on the corner in Winslow Arizona!

Amy even laid on the corner in Winslow, Arizona!

The Happy Campers take pictures of pretty much everything!
We don't want to forget anything we've seen -
including signs!

That wraps up Arizona.  Hope you enjoyed as much as we did.  As we said, New Mexico blog coming next with the Balloon Festival, White Sands, Roswell and the Carlsbad Caves.  No stone was unturned in our NM ventures and we can't wait to share it with everyone.

Until the next exit...

Amy & Tracy