Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was a bucket list item and it didn’t fail to impress. They had over 500 balloons and did morning glows, mass ascensions, personal rides, vendors, food and entertainment. The Balloon Museum was great to go through and learn the history of hot air balloons. We made arrangements to meet some friends at the Fiesta and we were able to park next to each other so evenings were filled with great food, adult beverages and great company. We met Linda and Rodney Lyke in Oregon the year before, but that’s another story with more pictures to be posted later.

Note: Normally tickets FOR NEXT YEAR go on sale about 2 wks after the Fiesta ends so put it a reminder in your calendar! We stayed at the VIP West RV park which was right by the museum and close enough to walk to the launch area (or you can bring your chairs and watch from the grassy area behind the museum. Great view from there!). It was $100 per night and included 2 tickets.

Musical HighwayWhile we were in Albuquerque, we decided that we just had to drive the Musical Hwy. It’s an old part of Route 66 just a short distance away. Apparently, if you drive on the rumble strip on this stretch of Route 66 at just the right speed it plays “America the Beautiful.” So six of piled into a car and took off to check out this Musical Highway.

Most rumble strips alert drivers that they’ve strayed too close to the edge of the road with a loud, grating vibration. The grooved lines on this sleepy stretch of Route 66 near Tijeras, New Mexico have a different trick up their sleeve: They sing.

On this quarter-mile section of the highway, the rumble strips have been engineered to sound like the song “America the Beautiful.” But they won’t croon their patriotic tune for anyone with a lead foot. Drivers have to be going exactly 45 miles per hour (the speed limit) to hear the vibrations in action.

The “Musical Highway” was installed in 2014 as part of a partnership between the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the National Geographic Channel. It’s designed to encourage drivers on the otherwise unremarkable stretch of the historic road to slow down and adhere to the speed limit.

Getting the rumble strips to serenade travelers required a fair bit of engineering. The individual strips had to be placed at the precise distance from one another to produce the notes they needed to sing their now-signature song.

Well we drove it – 6 times!! We were trying to video tape it with our phones and the first time we drove it everyone was so excited to hear the music and we all talked over the video so, around and around we went until we got it just perfect…….and we weren’t alone! We had 6 cars behind us doing the same thing. That was a once in a lifetime event and we will cherish the memory forever.

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