Day Trips: Llama Adventures, Taos, N.M.
Walk on the wild side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains with a pet llama
Wild Earth Llama Adventures of Taos takes visitors on a walk on the wild side of the New Mexico wilderness areas with a friendly, sure-footed companion to carry their gear.
A walk in the woods with Stuart Wilde, "the llama man," would be delightful even if he didn't bring along his animals. Well-educated in books and the trail, Wilde provides "a lot of factoids per mile." His knowledge of the plants and their uses is encyclopedic.
The llamas are the silent stars of the hike, despite Wilde's charisma. Tough and stoic, they're also curious and alert. All of Wilde's llama buddies came from untenable situations. Only a few of the rescued llamas have enough trust in humans to work the trails. The others enjoy life on Wilde's farm.
With the demeanor of a well-behaved, grass-eating dog, the llamas are more shy around new people than skittish. Each has its own personality, like a large, well-trained dog.
Llamas have a camel-like, hairy face that always seems to be sizing up the situation. Having never been ridden into battle or harnessed behind a plow, llamas have always been beasts of burden unfamiliar to a saddle. The long-necked animals love hiking as much as people – even if they're carrying 80 pounds of cameras, lunch, and camping gear.
Wild Earth Llama Adventures offers day hikes and overnight trips to some of New Mexico's most pristine wilderness areas, including the recently opened Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Area. For information, go to www.llamaadventures.com.
1,244th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.