Long Beach, California
October 23, 2005
Stuart Wilde of Wild Earth Llama Adventures, just north of Taos, New Mexico, offers multiday camping trips, but my friend Julie and I only had one day available, so we opted for the "Take a Llama to Lunch" day trip. We drove up from Taos to meet Stuart at the trail head for the Columbine Trail in the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Area of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. He introduces us two his two llama companions, the blue-eyed Azul and his friend Domino. After a basic safety talk, we packed our heavier gear on the llamas and led them at a leisurely pace along the trail. Stuart kept us educated and entertained with information on the wildflowers, plants, and trees along our route. The slow pace helped us aclimatise to the altitude.
After a couple hours of hiking, we stopped for lunch on the bank of Columbine Creek with snow-capped mountains in view across a green meadow. Stuart unloaded a table, stadium seats, and a couple coolers from the llamas and proceeded to set up an outstanding gourmet lunch that we thoroughly enjoyed. After lunch, we repacked the llamas and headed back down the mountain. What a great escape!
From journal Llama Trekking in Northern New Mexico