Waugh Mountain Alpacas -Llama Hike
Take a horse, stretch out his neck, replace his ears with bananas, cover him with thick woolly fur and slip on deer feet and what do you have? A large, fuzzy, friendly, non-ruminant (hoofed, cud-chewing mammal), domesticated animal called a llama (that does ruminate). These fascinating animals are from the camel family technically called camelids.
Yobo is a well-trained, four-year-old male. Generally only males are used for packing. Females are usually in pasture, pregnant and are not considered as docile as the males.
Dave leads Yobo through their backyard the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
I drove to their ranch on a warm, sunny, fall morning (perfect hiking weather). After meeting Terry and Dave...as well as their dogs, Cassie and Lance, I pulled my pack from my truck and promptly placed my water inside. Dave, packing the llamas, said, "You don't need to take water; we have plenty. In fact, if you want to put anything in these packs, you're welcome to." I forgot that llamas do the carrying; all I have to do is hike.
Terry leads Aristotle, a two-year-old male with a lot
Dave led our small party of five including the two llamas. Yobo, a four-year-old male, followed dutifully behind with Terry and Aristotle, a two-year-old male, next. The scenery was incredible, but I was focused on how well these trusting and loyal animals were doing. Some of the terrain was pretty rugged but Yobo and Aristotle, packs and all, trekked over rocks and fallen trees. The best part? Hiking is easy when you don't have to lug in a bunch of stuff.
Terry and Dave also breed alpacas (also from the camel family). They're a lot like llamas except they're smaller and they don't have a day gig. They just have to grow fur. Not just any fur, but some of the finest fur available. Alpaca clothing has five times the insulating value of sheeps wool and is just as soft, if not softer than cashmere. I discovered this when the Fillipis showed me the socks, sweaters and shawls they will be selling in their soon-to-be store soon-to-be over the barn.
It was a great trip and what a pleasure to meet two entrepreneurs in a great, environmentally friendly venture. It was my first time meeting an alpaca and also my first time packing with llamas, but not my last!
For more information contact Terry or Dave at (928) 339-4244.