Even though it's been warm and dry down on the plains, we can escape to another world. Last weekend, Cody and I went for a hike to see how things were up high. Chilly and muddy-rainy-snowy, it turns out, which is fine with us and the llamas. It was a good training hike for our youngest packer-in-training, Mercury.
Cody with Rusty dog, Blizzard, and Mercury
Since Mercury is 1 1/2 yrs old and is too young to carry any weight on his back, he's wearing an alforja, also known as a Peruvian pack. It's a piece of woven cloth doubled up at each end to make pockets. There are no cinches. The woven wool sticks to the llama's wool, and it stays put pretty well, unless it gets caught by a tree branch. That's ok, though, it teaches the llama that sometimes things on his back don't stay there, and it's no cause for alarm. Mercury is on a string-along lead behind Blizzard, who is a veteran packer. Mercury just follows along, and before he knows it, he's gone over down trees, under down trees, across creeks, over bridges, and through mud holes and snow drifts, without any drama whatsoever. (Blizzard is wearing a Timberline pack, which (shameless promotion) is available on our website here.) When we got back down to the plains, it was 80 and sunny. We wanted to turn around and go back.