October 6, 2014
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
I dropped my iphone from up here. The amazing thing is that we found it and it was fully functioning – just without a screen. The hot air balloon experience itself was really phenomenal. We felt like we were sailing – weightless and unattached, higher and higher, in the midst of a surge of other balloons. The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta hosts 550 balloons, all launched at approximately the same time around sunrise. As they were inflated, the balloons swelled, crowded the sky and each other – there was hardly room. Our balloon fit 12 people and as we fought through the sea of people on the ground to climb into the basket one lady watching us wanted to know 'if they are just taking volunteers?’ We started hovering slowly slowly and then we were out of a scene from the Wizard of Oz and everyone was waving up at us and we couldn’t harness our smiles or wonder. (Full phone story a little further down).
The phone tumbled from my hands as I juggled it and a camera at the same time. I watched it hit the wicker basket beneath us and fall in slow motion, down down down. Chris pinpointed its smashing. He watched the pieces land. I couldn’t stomach it. Once we landed (which was a pretty bumpy ride – in a strange, commercial dirt field…the city that day had to accommodate 550 balloon landings – in fields, parking lots, even graveyards), Chris suggested we try “Find my iPhone” and sure enough, the phone appeared on the map alive at some industrial address in Albuquerque: Edith and Montano. We drove there and started in a gravel/dirt pit lot, traversed a dirt graveyard (really looked like Breaking Bad material) – white, wooden crosses, grave stones and ended up here by this trailer below. The phone’s screen was totally smashed, but the sonar sound was pinging loud and clear and it even rang when we called it. I plugged it into my computer and everything was there – all my photos, notes, text messages. Incredible.