THE ALPACA JOURNEY
I grew up in a large city, without even pet dogs or cats. I went to college and then spent 30 years as a software engineer in the high-tech, high-stress world of Silicon Valley. Somehow I knew that I belonged in a rural area working with animals. In 2000 I moved to Grass Valley, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northeastern California… the “Gold Country”. By January 2003 I owned 7 pregnant alpacas and started the search for the perfect piece of property for my ranch.
Along the way I have designed and created a ranch, built a herd of over 70 alpacas, enjoyed many births and crias, met a lot of nice people, learned just how wonderful alpaca fiber is to work with, and become immersed in the alpaca industry. I have really enjoyed having so many new things to learn and I love providing learning experiences for others. I have put on many workshops and given presentations to various groups about alpacas and alpaca fiber, and I am an organizer of the annual Camelid Symposium at UC Davis.
I have grown to love these gentle, inquisitive animals who capture your heart, make you smile, and calm your soul.
A Journey is not static, it continues to evolve. I have decided it is time to downsize both the ranch and the herd, moving to smaller acreage and keeping a small herd that I can manage completely on my own. That will give me more time for working with the fiber and creating products. I will continue to stay very involved in the industry, supporting my clients and doing a lot of volunteer work.
This is the next phase of my Alpaca Journey.