One step closer to “home”–Knoxville, Tennessee–we had a great time hanging out with the soft and surprisingly good-smelling llamas. The Lazy Llama Campground in Chuckey, Tennessee is a great rural escape where visitors can enjoy petting and hiking with llamas, as well as take wool spinning and art lessons.
Jerry and Carolyn are the owners of the campground and we really enjoyed meeting them. Jerry is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to llamas, while Carolyn is a lovely host and art teacher. Our week-long stay was quiet and fun. We had the privilege of witnessing the addition of two new baby llamas. We fed and petted the goats. We made friends with the tortoiseshell cat hanging out on the front porch of the owner’s cabin. We admired the confident trot of the “boys,” showing off their splendid manes and impressive energy. Nearby, an emu grazed, unimpressed.
We learned that llamas are not very likely to spit, unlike alpacas; also, they do not like to be pet on their faces–don’t touch their ears either! Instead, llamas appreciate pets on their necks and even hugs and occasional kisses.
On a mellow fall day, we each got an assigned llama and went on a little hike through the nearby woods. I got Artemis! He was such a charmer…. Once he got a taste of kissing, I couldn’t stop him. His long eyelashes and wavy do, his sweet breath and gentle sway–what’s not to like? :-). We took some selfies and I let him snack on some leaves (but not the laurel leaves, which are not good for llamas).
Back at the camp, we visited with Carolyn, who gave us a quick lesson in spinning wool. The llama wool is sooo soft and very versatile, more so than sheep’s wool! We tried the different types of spinning wheels, each with a slightly different feel to it. It takes a certain finesse to get the rhythm right and keep the yarn at a consistent thickness. We definitely appreciated Carolyn’s patience with us….