October means pumpkin fields, Halloween, leaf-peeping, and the World Series. But in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the beginning of October means a skyful of hot air balloons. The 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest gathering of balloonists in the world, with more than 500 hot air balloons going aloft this week. The now nine-day event got its start by launching 13 balloons from a shopping mall parking lot in 1972 to celebrate the birthday of a local radio station. It has easily become the biggest event of the year in Albuquerque, whose entire populace can view balloons in flight simply by stepping outside their homes and looking up.