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The Amazing Glass Beaches of California

The Amazing Glass Beaches of California

California is full of beautiful palm trees, weather, water, and of course beaches. But there is one beach that isn’t as nice as the other ones, it is called Glass beach.

The Issue

Glass Beach was just an ordinary beach until 1949. It became a dumpsite for California. There were two other beaches that had filled with trash before this one was used.

The trash issue was massive starting back in the 1900s. The Fort Bragg residents had created official water dumping sites all over the shores. They would throw glass, appliances, food, and anything that needed to be discarded.

This was long before they realized it was a horrible idea and it was ruining our environment.

The cities had also resorted to burning piles of trash, but they had still used the ocean shores at the time. 

Glass

The dumpsite was closed in 1967 and most of the trash was cleaned up. Food had either been eaten by animals or had rotted away. But what remained in the sand was the glass. Glass from broken bottles, broken cans, just pure glass trash.

Glass is not easily broken it takes time to become “beach glass.” This process could take anywhere from 20-40 years to be broken down in small particles depending on the size of the glass to start with.

The Beach

The beach has a lot of pebbles, so the broken pieces of glass fit right in. The waves crashing against the huge rocks near the shores help the glass breakdown into smaller pieces. The water has also made these glass pieces smooth over time.

Children are encouraged to come and visit the beach but just have them be careful and mindful that not all the glass has been smoothed out. Also, make sure to wear shoes as walking barefoot on the beach is not advised.

The small fragments of colorful glass mixing with the different colors of pebbles are captivating. As beautiful as it may seem you can not take any sand or glass from the beach. In fact, it is illegal to remove any glass from here.

If everyone that visited the beach took a piece of the beach it would not be as magnificent as it is now and in years to come.

Location

The nearest city to this glass site is Fort Bragg, California. This is towards the upper part of the state of California.

You can park and take a short walk to the beach as there is a wide path that leads down to it. It is easily accessible to everyone.

This is a quick stop on your vacation and something you can check off your bucket list. Not to mention it is seriously like no other beach you’ll find out there.…

Balloon Fiesta – Traveling In A Hot Air Balloon

hot air balloon fiesta

There are only certain places in the world where you can fly a giant hot air balloon and Albuquerque, New Mexico is one of them.

The Beginning

The annual event started in Albuquerque 1972 with only 13 balloons in the parking lot of a mall called Coronado Center.  Not very many balloons but it attracted over 10,000 guests just in the first year.

The following year was the “First World Hot Air Balloon Championship” which had 13 different countries coming to participate. This became the world’s largest balloon event and changed locations to NM State Fair Grounds.

This event has continued to grow over time and in the year 2000, there were 1,019 registered balloons. This created a record-breaking number of balloons launching into the air. The fiesta now has a dedicated location with over 350 acres called Balloon Fiesta Park.

The Balloons

This event has hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world that come for the first week of October to see the magical balloons fly off into the sky.

At each event, you have the privilege of walking side by side of these gigantic balloons. You can walk in between them, next to them, touch them, watch them fill up with the fans and flames. Take pictures with them like everyone else. It is estimated that there are about 25 million photos taken of the balloons by guests each year.

You can schedule to go up in a hot air balloon in the sky by a professional. Imagine seeing the whole city Albuquerque at sunrise from 1,000 feet in the air? It’s definitely one for the books.

The Events

They have special events they have added over time. There is the launch when the balloons take off from the ground at about 5:30-6:00 am. Get there early! With hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world coming to see the balloons, there is going to be a long line to get in. I would leave at least an hour or more ahead of time.

There is an event called the Special Shapes. This is where the balloons are not ordinary oval-shaped but all different shapes. They have cows, castles, skulls, Darth Vader, faces, cowboys, spider pig, turkeys, whales, penguins, you name it! All the balloons that fly in the Special Shape days are quite that, special shapes.

There is also the Night Glow which is the most amazing. This event happens only at night and the balloons remain grounded. They all fill up with flames of hot air ready for take-off but they don’t.

The Balloon Fiesta Park has no lights as it is just a giant grassy park. So, for the Night Glow, all you can see is the balloons being lit up from the huge flames filling them up and it is breathtaking. You can walk around and see all the balloons up close or find a place to park and watch them from afar.

Trust me, watching these balloons in the morning or the night is a sight you do not want to miss.