This event occurs annually, every autumn, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is the largest gathering of hot air balloonists in the United States and, possibly, the world. It's held on an extremely large field next to the General Mills plant on the outskirts of town, usually for about a week. During this time there is a mass flight every morning, beginning with the Dawn Patrol , a few contests, and a special shapes flight.

Nearly everyone has seen pictures of a balloon meet but, like many things, it's completely different when you see it in real life. To be surrounded by a dazzling array of over a thousand large, colorful objects floating in mid-air is utterly enchanting, and something you won't get anywhere else. (Not legally, anyway.)

Many vendors also appear there, forming a linear collection of stalls such as you would find at a county fair. Sitting in the sun most of the morning, (or working if you're a member of a balloon crew) can make a glass of freshly-squeezed lemonade taste like nectar of the gods.

People come from all over the world to participate in and watch this event. Many of them are especially enraptured by the special shapes. Balloons with unorthodox forms that diverge from the normal bulb shape. Many of these are just bloated, flying, advertisements (kinda like the ones at the Macy's Day parade without strings), such as the Winston cigarette pack or the Pepsi can. They can get pretty wild.

Add a trip there to your list of things to do before you die.