In Gallup, the first weekend in December means “Balloon Rally.” Many people come from all over to fly their balloons that weekend. Unfortunately, very often it is canceled due to rain, snow or the high winds.
At about same time of the year is the Zuni’s “Shalako,” which is a time of dances for rain. The Shalako is celebrated in the summer and the beginning of winter. The winter dance is for the men only and it lasts for four days.
The Shalako dances worked, for the day before the balloon rally was to begin it poured down rain all day, and it was questionable whether the balloons would be able to take off at all.
We were so happy to see not a cloud in the sky on Friday, the first day of the Balloon Rally.
One of the places that the balloons launch from is the Golf Course, which is not far from the Home. A little after 8:30 a.m., we could see about five balloons from a distance, then eight, and then soon there were about 20 balloons.
Since there was very little wind, the balloons at first just went up and down. Little by little, they started to move and got closer and closer to our Home and some were right over us. We could hear their flames that caused them to go up and we could even talk to a few of the pilots on board!
One of our neighbors is a “balloonist” and landed just across the street from us (down the street from his own Home).