Sunday, September 28, 2008

National Alpaca Farm Days

It's been a while since I blogged, probably because the summer festival season has tapered off. With the excitement of June's Irish Festival, July's priceless Lumberjack Festival and August's Garlic Festival fading from memory like hobos from the American rails. I will confess that I skipped the much-anticipated Cauliflower Festival yesterday, when I discovered that Margaretville, NY was about 80 miles from here. I don't care how much "white gold" they have for me- it still couldn't pay for the gas necessary to get there.

At the same time, we haven't quite yet begin the jam-packed Craft-Fair/Holiday-Fair Season, extremely busy in these parts. So you can imagine my excitement when I read that this weekend would host National Alpaca Farm Days. woo HOO! Hellllloooooo, fluffies!

I've written before about the ubiquitous alpaca farm in upstate New York. There are actually what appear to be "rival" alpaca farms around here, with multiple locations buying up TV ad time and generally marketing better than 95% of the local businesses. We decided to visit the one with the most clever name of all: located in nearby Apalachin, NY, the place is called "Alpacalachin Farms." Clever, eh?

Unfortunately, the weekend has been very rainy and the expected "fluffies" were, in actuality, more like "wets" and "matteds." At least they weren't also "stinkies." In fact, it turns out alpacas are very easy-to-live-with creatures: they are friendly, mild mannered, don't really bite or kick, have soft/non-hoofed feet, not particularly smelly and super-soft (when not carrying around 2 days' worth of rain in their fur). Bonus: they make a soft, sort of purring noise that the owners find quite soothing (I asked if it was like the roar of the ocean, or the hum of freeway traffic to him- neither of those analogies seemed to register.)

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