Last weekend I took my camper on its maiden voyage. I’ve spent months getting everything ready and it was finally time to hook her up and drive away. My kids and I loaded up the car and headed north for our first adventure.
I had big plans for the weekend. The kids would play together outside instead of being on their tablets and phones all day. They would run around, get dirty and spend some time with their cousins, and we would all sit by the fire roasting some marshmallows and hanging out. I’m happy to report all of that happened and it was great but my favorite part of the weekend didn’t happen at the campsite, it happened at Cotton Creek Farms in Thompsonville, Michigan.
Months ago I saw one of my friends post on Facebook about going to an alpaca farm. Instantly I was determined to go see them. I love alpacas. I’ve been trying to talk my husband into letting me have one as a pet for years. He won’t budge. But I still ask every now and again to see if his answer changes. So because I cannot have one of my own, I immediately made plans in my head to figure out where this farm was and plan a trip there. I found out that the farm was only an hour and a half away from where we camp so it was all set, I was going to see the alpacas!
I loaded the car up with my two children, one nephew and two nieces and we began our journey. Once we arrived it was what I imagine a slice of heaven would be. There were alpacas everywhere. We were all so excited to begin our tour. This farm doesn’t just have animals that you can see and pet, they have an interactive tour where you get to go into the pens, feed and play with the alpacas, and of course, take pictures. Armed with our baggies of food and our camera, we were ready.
These alpacas were everything I imagined. They were playful, cooperative, and loved the attention. And boy did we love giving them the attention. They walked right up to us and ate out of our hands. They allowed us to pet them, as long as we stayed away from their behinds, and they didn’t spit on anyone. I’ve never been so happy to walk around in animal poop and feed something from my bare hands.
Some might question what the appeal of alpacas are. Alpacas offer love and deliver happiness. It is hard not to fall in love with them. They are gentle, curious animals, and the smiles they bring to humans is contagious. The laughter from the children who were with me and on the tour was magical. They were really enjoying the interactions and it was refreshing to see them outside doing something other than complaining because the WiFi is down.
I’m excited to see what the summer with our camper brings to us. Our first adventure was a success. We camped for three nights, and although it was a little chilly it was nothing our heater couldn’t handle. I learned a lot on this trip about what to bring and what not to bring, and that I packed entirely way too much stuff. But I know as we get more experience things will go smoothly and we will have a lot more fun this summer. I’m looking forward to a semi unplugged summer with lots of camping along with many more trips to see the alpacas.
Steph Hightree is a hot mess mom who is fueled by stress and too much caffeine. She is a Three Rivers native who talks about the good, the bad, and well, everything else about parenthood.
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