This week’s Alpaca Meet and Greet is a very special one. We’re introducing Nakoda: the first alpaca Sarah and James ever purchased. Sarah and James traveled to several farms trying to get a feel for the alpaca market and learning what the alpaca world was all about. They contacted a man named Steve Rofling and continued conversations with him over the course of many months. Eventually, in the late summer, it lined up for James and Sarah to make the journey up North to Kalispell, Montana to meet Steve in person and to see how his farm operated. Kalispell is a unique place that’s different from anywhere else in Montana. It stays a lot greener year round and is very lush. James described the area around Steve’s house an “enchanted forest”, something so beautiful and full of life. As they approached the end of the road leading up to Steve’s they saw a couple hundred llamas on one side of the road, a couple hundred alpacas on the other, a big cabin and a huge barn. Engulfed in the experience James turned to Sarah and said, “we’re not leaving this place until we buy a bunch of alpacas.”
James and Sarah looked around at the beauty of the farm in awe. James’ eyes landed on a pen of alpacas off to the left between the barn and the house. James zeroed in on a mom with a little baby attached to her hip. He immediately bonded. They walked up to the fence to greet the cute camelids. It was the closest they had ever been to alpacas before and the cuteness overwhelm hit them hard. Both James and Sarah are the biggest animal lovers you will ever meet and when James bonds to an animal that’s that, they’re a part of the family. While James and Sarah were still gleaming over the alpacas, Steve walked out of the barn with his characteristic big smile. After greeting each other, James looked to Steve and said, “ Tell me about that alpaca over there” and pointed to the mom he bonded with. Steve jumped into the pen and told him about all of the alpacas in there. He also mentioned one important detail -- they were at the six-figure pen. Yep, six-figures. Meaning that every alpaca in that pen was worth six-figures. Defeated, James started to walk away, knowing there was no way he could afford a six-figure alpaca at that time. Just when he gave up hope, Steve told him that all of them were six-figure alpacas except for the mom and baby. Thrilled, James turned around. Steve went on to say that the baby had been sick so he was keeping a closer eye on them and wanted them close to the house. James marched straight back to his first (and second) alpaca love and immediately decided that he and Sarah would be bringing home the mom and baby, now known as Nakoda and Captain Jack Sparrow.
Nakoda has an older genetic style, which means she has more Chilean Alpaca in her than Peruvian. The distinction shows up in a lankier body and bigger ears. James and Sarah got to know herreally well and continued to fall more in love with her quirky personality over the years. She’s now a 23 year old lady who has had 8 babies for Alpacas of Montana, including Rockstar, who is one of our breeding males. She’s the last of the first little old ladies on the farm, and she tromps around in a warm coat during the winter. She always gets extra grain and everyone respects her as the matriarchal elder on the farm -- the other alpacas treat her like the queen she is. She and James have great communication and she always signals to him when she’s cold or not feeling well. She was the first alpaca James and Sarah ever bonded with and ever fell in love with and she will always hold an extra special place in their hearts.
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