Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Museum

Albuquerque, New Mexico is famous for its balloon festival but it is also home to the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. Admission to the museum is $4 but on the 1st Friday of the month (except October) and on Sundays from 9am to 1pm (except during the balloon festival) it’s free!


Hot air balloon

Hot air balloon

Hot air balloon

Hot Air balloon

Road Trip: Wendover, Nevada to Salem, Oregon

F and Karen’s last day of riding took them from Indian Creek to Moab via Lockhart Basin and Kane Creek. Sprocket and I headed directly for town, expecting them to move quickly. When we arrived and found we had some extra time to kill, I stopped in at Back of Beyond Books and picked up the latest issue of High Country News. We retreated to the yard of the Manti-La Sal National Forest ranger station (a great place to relax!) and enjoyed the shade.


When our motorcycle riders arrived, we transferred gear around and said our goodbyes to Karen and headed north. When we got to Salt Lake City we decided to head to Wendover and camp above town and watch the pretty lights.

In the morning, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the Salt Flats and downtown Wendover. The light on the rocks behind our campsite was pretty fantastic too.

Salt Flats from Wendover, Nevada

Desert campsite


Jeep in desert sunrise

After we packed up camp (and I was done taking pictures), we headed west on I-80. I’d never been on this stretch of highway which I always find exciting. In Winnemucca, we headed north across the lonely desert towards Oregon.

Nevada desert

We spent the night in Klamath Falls before heading onwards. We stopped at the Collier Logging Museum near Chiloquin, Oregon. They had lots of cool old machinery including this sweet early Caterpiller Tractor. After a brief stop at Diamond Lake, we were on our way to Salem.

Caterpiller Tractor


Tree Display


Historic Savanac Tree Nursery

After we played in the river, we visited the historic Savanac Tree Nursery. Located in Haugan, Montana. Starting in 1907, the Forest Service used this nursery to grow trees to replant the forest after harvest. In 1910, the nursery burned (just like the rest of the Bitterroots) but was quickly rebuilt. The nursery went through several rounds of expansion and remodeling culminating in a CCC construction period from 1933 to about 1939. The nursery ceased operation in 1969 but the grounds are open to the public along with a museum and several cabins that can be rented.

Administration Building, Sauvanac Tree Nursery. (Built by the CCC, completed 1939)

The museum housed in the Administration Building (which was free) was really cute. I love going and visiting some of the classic Forest Service buildings. Most of them have such beautiful classic wood interiors (with gorgeous furniture to match) and this was no exception. There were also some really cool old scrapbooks of photos and lookout logs from the area.¬†We also wondered around the grounds some but didn’t fully explore all the old planting terraces and the arboretum.

Wet dog waiting in the jeep for his family


Day 12: New Orleans, Louisiana

After a lazy Saturday morning in Meg’s apartment, Meg, Forrest, Sprocket, and I headed for City Park. Due to Jazz Fest traffic we abandoned those plans and headed for “The Fly”–which is a walk along the Mississippi Levee. It was fun to just be outside with the Sprocket-meister. We went to the Parkway for lunch and had Po-boys. Forrest had a gravy smothered roast beef one while I had grilled alligator sausage.

After our po-boys, we dropped Sprocket off at Meg’s and went to the National World War II Museum. It was a nice museum, although even I found it a little heavy on the reading. From the museum we headed to Bacchanal for their free Saturday wine tasting. The shop was cute, although the owner wasn’t too excited about talking about wine. Meg also drove us through the lower 9th ward where much of the damage the levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina took place.

We made dinner at her house and then walked down to Cajun Creamery for ice cream. I’m up finishing a load of laundry and tomorrow we set out for Mississippi and Alabama!