Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Back Country Ranch Alpaca Farm
Pearisburg, VA
Saturday, October 1st, 2011

After my hike to Cascade Falls, Amy and I still had a few hours before heading to Blacksburg for the 6:00pm kick-off Virginia Tech Football game.

Carol at the Huffman House Bed and Breakfast suggested a visit to the Back Country Ranch Alpaca Farm.  Up until then, I had no idea what an Alpaca was, but since I love animals it sounded like something worth checking out.

It was good fortune that this just happened to be one of the few days of the year when they have an open house at the farm and allow the general public to "Get up close and personal with the Alpacas".  You can check the calendar on their website to see what days they are open to the public and find directions.

The farm has a Pearisburg, VA address, but it is really a good bit outside of Pearisburg in "Middle of Nowhere, VA".  We took the back roads which took us even further out into the middle of nowhere on a very scenic drive.

What is an Alpaca?  They are members of the Camilid (Camel) family and indigenous to South America.  The Back Country Ranch is one of the few places in the United States where these lovable animals are raised mostly for their soft fleece.

Amy mentioned that they look like something that Jim Henson could have created for the Muppets and I think her description hit the nail on the head!

Amy feeding an Alpaca

We had a great time, feeding, petting, and spending some time with these adorable creatures.  They currently have about (40) Alpacas on the farm.  In addition to the Alpacas they also have a few Llamas which are in the same Camilid Family, but a bit larger (and not quite as cute) as the Alpaca.

One of the Llamas

It was a very enjoyable visit and one of the highlights of our weekend.  Here are a few more photos:

Yours Truly feeding the Alpacas.
This was right before that black one behind me tried to mount me!

An Alpaca peeking through the window!

Baby Alpacas

The complete set of photos from our visit to the Back Country Alpaca Farm is posted here:

The Virginia Tech Football game that followed certainly was not a highlight!

This was the most difficult time I ever had finding tickets to a Virginia Tech Football Game.  Sure there were plenty available on eBay and Stub Hub if you are willing to pay $150 a piece for lousy seat or $300-$500 a piece for good seats.  After several weeks of trying to find tickets somewhere closer to the $48 face value I eventually gave up and decided to just try out luck finding tickets on gameday outside the stadium.

On the drive to Blacksburg, the light rain that was falling on and off throughout the day had turned into a steady shower and the outside temperature was reading 38-degrees.  I knew Amy would be absolutely miserable spending three and a half house sitting in this kind of weather, so we went with Plan B!

We scrapped the idea of finding parking and tickets and instead went to a restaurant called Bull and Bones.  Half of the restaurant is set up as a sports bar with two huge television screens and about 20 smaller (but still plenty large) TVs.  They also brew their own beer on site.

Freezing our butts off in a cold rain, or drinking excellent beer, eating good food, and watching the game in High Definition of the big screen?  I think we made the right choice!  And I can drink a lot of beer with the money we saved on game tickets!

The nice thing about Blacksburg is you know the Virginia Tech game will be the featured game at any Sports bar and the first half was quite enjoyable.  Unfortunately the Hokie offense never showed up and by the middle of the second half things seemed hopeless for the Hokies. 

Virginia Tech ended up losing to Clemson by a score of 23-3.  I don't like seeing my Hokies lose to any team, but living in South Carolina, losing to Clemson is even harder to take.  Fortunately that was the only downside to an otherwise wonderful weekend!


Brenda W. said...

Jack, I could help notice that when there's no Boone to photograph, you find plenty of other non-human creature folk to shoot photos of!! Great shots of the alpacas!

Sorry to hear your alma mater lost ... sounds like you had a great time none the less!

Anonymous said...

That's a good call by Amy. One of them looks like the Swedish Chef!