White Sands Balloon Rally
September 18-19, 2010

The Breezy Rider Team of Sam, Tom, Diana, Dave and Rich attended the White Sands Balloon Rally.

West of Alamogordo is the White Sands National Monument, located within a vast area of desert and mountain ranges 100 by 40 miles. It is closed to public access and used by the military for various kinds of weapons testing. Includes in the area is the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was detonated, in July 1945. Tourists are allowed to visit this area on 2 days each year, the first Saturdays of April and October, when tours are provided.

The other feature of interest in this otherwise desolate and unwelcoming land is 60 miles south in the flat Tularosa Basin - here, for thousands of years the prevailing westerly winds have deposited gypsum powder - formerly eroded from the nearby San Andres Mountains, washed down by rainwater and deposited in the seasonal Lake Lucero, a few miles southwest - creating a huge area of white dunes covering 275 square miles. About half of the sands are within the boundaries of the White Sands National Monument, one of the most unusual and magical places in the Southwest.

The national monument is entirely surrounded by the White Sands Missile Range; just east is the Holloman Air Force Base, and a few miles north is one of the space shuttle landing sites. The space theme is reflected in the nearby town of Alamogordo, where there is the International Space Hall of Fame and Space Theater. The dunes extend north into the missile range.

Flying over Alamagordo - The First Day

Flying over White Sands - The Second Day

Ground Tracking - (Flying Level Close to the Ground) - The Second Day

Description of White Sands

Touring the F-22 Raptor

Event Pin