Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Twisted!!! - A Story of Alpacas

Wow, my back hurts. A lot. You may ask, "Mikyn, why does your back hurt?" Then I may say, "Sit down and let me tell you a story..."
Really the reason my back hurts is because I took a nap in the MARB on friday in between my 8 am and 10 am classes. I slept on a bench and it didn't do my back any favors. Thats really the end of the back mystery. What I did later just made it worse.
I went to an alpaca ranch!!!! I know super exciting. Up until Friday the only real interaction I had had with an alpaca was sticking my hand into its rumen. For those of you who don't know a rumen is like a four chambered stomach, commonly found in cows and other foregut fermenters. Anyway, the same professor who let us feel his animal's rumen is the same professor that invited the Wildlife and Range Club down to his alpaca ranch in Moroni, Utah.
The first thing I noticed when we got down there was the ridiculous amount of mud everywhere. Driving up their driveway was like traversing a boggy mud desert. Our car was almost lost in the deepest puddle known to man. Given, it had snowed a bunch and melted in the same day. Luckily, I had borrowed Emily's rain boots. I would like to point out that everyone else had really cool hiking boots, the kind I would like to have, but I stayed the driest. HA HA!
So to save us all from a super long and boring blog post I am just going to summarize what we did on this trip (in chronological order). Go:
1. Rode in the back of Dr. Robinson's truck.
2. Rode in Dr. Robinson's truck to load up some rams (male sheep) and move them to a holding pen.
3. I held a baby lamb like a baby. Awesome!
4. We went up to our cabins, which had wood stoves that took a really long time to heat up. It was dark and ridiculously windy by this time. Pretty cold.

5. We were supposed to be making spaghetti for dinner, but nobody brought any water. So we loaded the pot up with snow and started to melt it.
6. It took us around two and a half hours to melt the snow, get the water hot enough to cook spaghetti in, make sauce with hamburger and onions, and French bread. Let's just say that by the time dinner was ready and the dinner bell had been rung, we were all pretty hungry. Time: between 9:30 and 10 pm.
7. We made desserts including banana boats and dump cake. Don't ask.
8. We went to bed. The boys took the bigger cabin by convincing us that our smaller one would be warmer. Since there was seven girls and four beds we had to share. I got a top bunk with Becca. I called the wall side early on but to my chagrin realized that the wall side of our bed was seriously slanted. I spent the entire night virtually on top of Becca. Spooning did not help my back problems. My feet kept getting twisted in my sleeping bag.
9. I had a really weird dream that in the middle of the night everyone decided to leave without having breakfast. It made me angry.
10. We got up and went down to Dr. Robinson's ranch for a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon, hashbrowns, and eggs. We had it, it was awesome. Also, I tried my first bite of llama. If you're wondering, it tastes like hamburger meat, but the thought of eating llama makes it a lot worse.
11. We went out to play with the alpacas. We helped him feed them and while we were doing that we all decided to chase the alpacas around and try to catch them. This was slightly terrifying and yes, I did catch one. In the process I was also kicked by an alpaca because apparently you aren't supposed to grab the ones with longer hair. Why? Because they will kick you. Thanks for the warning. We also discovered a couple dead alpacas.
12. I got to drive Dr. Robinson's tractor. I only drove it for a little while, then let another girl drive it. The jumping movements caused by the clutch did not help my back.

13. I got to walk a fistulated alpaca. The ones that you can stick your hand inside.

14. We went back up the the cabins, pet some horses, and ate lunch.
15. I came home muddy, poopy, and sore.
Another great outing with the Wildlife and Range Club. And yes, I am being serious.


  1. Why does it have a hole on it's side for you to stick your hand in??
    Isn't that like....bad?

  2. its so the ranchers can study it. like the pH. It has a rubber stopper so its not open all the time.