All I Want for Christmas is a…Llama Trek?
What do you get a friend who has everything, including an interest in llamas?
A llama trek was one of the few, non-obvious gift ideas I could come up with and I was lucky to find a place only a few hours from where we were all staying. And thus I found myself the morning after Christmas standing in the paddock at Smoky Mountain Llama Treks.
Not something I every pictured for myself, and that’s saying something, but so glad I did it!
While the llamas ate, our host Steve gave us a pretty comprehensive overview about llamas and then we got to brush some into fluffiness. The spitting thing is real, but not something we had to worry about unless we went out of our way to annoy them (we didn’t).
Feeding time rather tickled me. Llamas assert dominance by jutting their chins high in the air, so they’d switch from goofy bovine chewing to a haughty better-than-thou look the second another animal approached. Even funnier was the poor little alpaca in the group who was only half their size. His chin would straight up in the air when trying to hold his own.
After feeding, brushing, and petting, it was time to hit the trail — a slightly challenging hour-long hike in the Smoky Mountains with some great views, and inspirational signs, along the way. Had it been a longer hike or in the summer, the llamas would have hauled our picnic.
So an hour for we walked side by side, a giant, inquisitive eye often no more than a foot from my face. Strangely calming and surprisingly fun. I would do it again, in fact, I’ll probably keep an eye out for the opportunity on future trips. It’s a unique way to experience an area, especially if that area requires a longer hike.
If you find yourself in the Pigeon Forge or Asheville region, give Smoky Mountain Llama Treks a try! Steve, the owner and guide, is an interesting and self-admittedly verbose guy with great stories to entertain throughout the trek. He goes out of his way to to personalize your visit and make it the perfect experience.
Out of curiosity, who aware that leisure llama trekking was a thing? I’d love to hear about others’ experiences and locations I should consider (or not).
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