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About

It all started with an "Early Winters" catalog back in the early 1980's. I was living in Alaska at the time (still am) and my husband noticed several llamas for sale in the now defunct "Early Winters" catalog. I knew next to nothing about llamas but curiosity got the best of me. My husband, being a hunter, could also appreciate any creature that could pack a load so he was keenly interested too. In retrospect, you could say I was predisposed to owning llamas. By the time I moved to Alaska (from Colorado) in the late 70's my aching knees were rebelling under the load of a heavy backpack and llamas looked like the answer to my prayers. In fact, I wondered if llamas could actually be sort of a "backpack with four legs." This seemed too good to be true, but the more I learned about llamas, the more they looked like the ideal pack animal for Alaska especially with all that wool.

However, I discovered a big problem right off the "git go." Llama breeders were a rarity in Alaska and there were no llamas to be had up here at that time. Rewind back to the 1980's which was the era of the llama "hay-day" when demand and prices for llamas were at their peak. There were waiting lists for the less expensive male weanlings that wouldn't be ready to pack for several years. So we started searching in the "lower 48 states" and found four six month old male llamas in Oregon. These weanling llamas barely fit inside the largest (No. 6, wooden-style crate) dog kennel. So with a little help from a llama "wrangler," we loaded all four weanlings in the rear pit of a 727 Western Airliner and took off for Alaska with llamas in tow. That's how we got started in this madness and we've never looked back since.

Our enthusiasm got the best of us and we acquired more llamas. This time females so we could breed and sell llamas. There is nothing cuter than a baby llama and we had a lot of fun breeding/raising llamas for several years during the mid-1980's. However, our passion was always with the backcountry and packing with llamas. So we eventually sold our females and continued packing with male llamas for our own enjoyment. You could say we went full circle from packing with llamas to commercial breeding/raising/selling llamas and then back to recreational use of llamas for packing.

Which brings us to today. We currently have three llamas and use them for recreational packing into Alaska's backcountry. To this day, we have never found a better pack animal for Alaska nor a better companion in the backcountry. Unfortunately there has been a campaign of misinformation spreading propaganda that llamas pose a "disease threat" to wildlife, in particular wild sheep. As a result we have spent countless hours countering these unfounded proposals by various government agencies. To date we have been successful and llamas are allowed on most public lands in Alaska.  For more information on this, read my related posts and go to (not my website) https://www.packllamas.org/ for in depth information related to these scientifically unfounded proposals.

In conclusion, as a self-professed "llama geek," I initially started this blog to counter propaganda on the perceived llama "disease threat"and to alert the llama community of any proposed bans on Alaska's public lands. However, the blog has expanded to include more - trail/hike descriptions, resources/links to websites with information on the care and feeding of llamas as well as some "llama trivia."  If you have questions or comments, I can always be reached with the "Contact Form" which goes directly to my email. Enjoy and Happy Trails!

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