This is the way to go… hiking in 8 miles with nothing on your back and letting the llamas do the work! Our friend Grant is the proud owner of Harley, Gusty and Bucky – the llamas that carried in about 80 lbs. apiece so we could enjoy our tents, pads, sleeping bags and great fresh food on our Mt. Rainier hike. It was Mike’s birthday weekend, so of course it included an alpine lake swim. Brrrrrr!! Grant whipped up a fantastic carrot cake (with a candle).
Llamas are bred for their strength as opposed to alpacas that are bred for their wool. They were stubborn @ times, but really fun. They have their own personalities, likes/dislikes. They were actually pretty patient as they were petted and photographed maybe 50 times on the trail?! They ate crabapples out of our hands, and were quite happy tethered in the meadow near where we camped for 2 nights. We only got spit on once – Gusty and Bucky were spitting at each other and we got caught in the crossfire.
We camped at the edge of the lake you see in the second photo. The stars at Mt. Rainier were incredible – we were at about 5,000 ft. with NO lights anywhere.