ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Our Llama Drama

Updated on June 13, 2013
Cinnamon
Cinnamon | Source
Sandy and her llamas
Sandy and her llamas | Source

Llama Treks in the Smokies

On our local news a while back, there was a story about a tourist attraction here in the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, area that I knew nothing about - Smoky Mountain Llama Treks. I became intrigued and looked it up. As with many local attractions, they had a special offer for Sevier County residents. My husband and I decided (actually, I decided) that this would be a fun outing for our wedding anniversary.

Llama Background

Before embarking on this new and exciting adventure I gathered a little background information, as I really knew nothing about llamas. It turns out that William Randolph Hearst first brought llamas to the United States from their native South America in the 1920s as additions to his zoo. Alpacas were introduced here much later, in the 1980s. The two animals are cousins. They are smart, gentle, patient and easy to train. Llamas and alpacas are primarily raised as pack animals and for their fiber. They are not meant to be ridden and can live for 20-25 years.

Our Journey

We met Sandy Sgrillo with Smoky Mountain Llama Treks in a beautiful area about 30 minutes from our house. There was one couple from Mississippi and two other local ladies who joined us on our llama adventure. Each person led a llama (in my case, an alpaca) on a scenic trail. Several of the llamas were retired LeConte llamas. LeConte llamas bring supplies up and down Mount LeConte for the lodge visitors and staff.

There were llamas Afrika, Abu, Woody, Cinnamon and Blackfoot (the adorable 7-month-old baby), and Peanut the 13-year-old alpaca who was my companion for the two hour hike. Copper the dog ensured that we all stayed in line.

Sandy assured us that the llamas wouldn't kick or bite. We learned that overhandling the llamas as babies encourages them to kick and bite so these guys were trained correctly when they were young. They enjoyed nibbling on leaves and grass on our journey. Sandy had cautioned us not to let them eat leaves of the rhododendron, mountain laurel or dog hobble as this would be poisonous to their systems. She showed us pictures of the plants and pointed them out on the way. It was really informative.

My husband with Woody the Llama and me with Peanut the Alpaca
My husband with Woody the Llama and me with Peanut the Alpaca | Source

Rest Stop

We hiked along a creek for awhile and had a brief stop for the animals to drink. The last part of the trek involved hiking up a steep mountain gravel road. I realized just how out of shape I am! We tied off our animals on a wire stretched between two trees for that purpose and walked through water drain-off up another hill to Lost Mine Falls. The small, man-made falls cascade over a former iron mine. A suspension bridge hung above it and we crossed over (very wobbly!) to go down the other side. After another brief rest and a special alfalfa nibble for the llamas and alpaca, we ventured back to our starting point. We got a lot of laughs from the "whine" Woody and Blackfoot made on the journey. It sounded as if they were complaining but Sandy said they were just "talking."

Hiking back was much easier than hiking up. It was a great trip - lots of fun, information and interesting conversation between people who had never met before. A llama trek is definitely a "must" for that person who is looking for something different to do in the Smoky Mountains.

Sidebar

Just a note: Sandy sold her llama business so that she could pursue other interests but assures us that the new owners are awesome!

A
Sevierville, TN:
Sevierville, TN, USA

get directions

Smoky Mountain Llama Treks

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • innerspin profile image

    Kim Kennedy 

    6 years ago from uk

    Just goes to show that we don't always know what's happening in our local area. It sounds like you had a lovely day. We saw signs for llama treks while on holiday in Wales, unfortunately didn't get the chance to go. Thanks for an interesting read.

  • Esmeowl12 profile imageAUTHOR

    Cindy A Johnson 

    6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Jeannie, note that it's not a llama "ride." The llamas are not made for riding. Still fun, though!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 

    6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    This is so interesting! I would have never thought to take a llama ride until now. I will have to give it a try if I ever have the opportunity. Thanks for sharing!

  • formosangirl profile image

    formosangirl 

    7 years ago from Los Angeles

    Interesting hub! I have a friend whose parents raised them, but I have not seen one myself. I new about their coats, but not their ability to climb and haul goods. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    7 years ago from United Kingdom

    I would love to do a Llama trek, but there isn't much chance of that in the UK, they are lovely animals.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Esmeowl12 profile imageAUTHOR

    Cindy A Johnson 

    7 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Llamas are so soft and gentle, Gypsy and AliciaC. If you ever get a chance, go on a llama trek.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 

    7 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Sounds like a great adventure. I love the softness of llamas.When we were in the states my husband and I went to the Catskill Game Farm in upstate N.Y. and my husband being tall a rather large llamaapproached him at the petting area and put it's head on his shoulder. It was such a great scene they must of found someting in common. lol

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I like llamas whenever I meet them - they're lovely animals. I'd love to go for a hike with one and get to know him or her. Thanks for the enjoyable hub and a very interesting video.

  • Esmeowl12 profile imageAUTHOR

    Cindy A Johnson 

    7 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, stephaniedas, I can't wait to go again.

  • stephaniedas profile image

    Stephanie Das 

    7 years ago from Miami, US

    This looks great! I'd love to go on a llama adventure, I think they're so cute and such interesting animals. Voted up!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)