1 Hike, 11 Waterfalls & Alpacas

The month of September has had more sunshine and warmer temps than the summer months did. We’ve spent this weekend soaking it up, since it looks like things are going to change next week, with highs only in the 50s. I’m looking forward to shifting into full fall mode. But before then, husband and I got in one last hiking date to Hyalite Lake yesterday, which I believe to be one of Bozeman’s best: 1 hike, 11 spectacular waterfalls, 11 miles round trip, and almost 2,000 feet elevation gain. Even our 10 month old puppy was pooped. Check out the pix of Champagne Falls, my fave, where a couple we met on the trail got engaged yesterday; and of me doing some much-needed yoga at the top of the hike.

We did something today that still has me smiling. One of the routes to our house passes an alpaca farm, Alpacas of Montana, which has fascinated me since we moved here. “Why don’t you stop by and check it out?” husband has been saying to me for the last 2 years. Finally got to do that today, as they were having an open house to celebrate National Alpaca Farm Day. These guys are soooooooo cute! They are very sweet and shy, and make this soft sort of baaa-ing noise. Needless to say, both Morgane and I were enchanted by the alpacas and their soft fleece. We learned that alpaca fiber is 5x warmer than wool, softer than cashmere, hypoallergenic, stronger than other natural fibers and with more thermal capacity. Wow. We also learned the difference between alpacas and llamas: alpacas are small (120-150 lbs.) and used solely for their fleece; llamas are almost twice as big, and are used for packing in the mountains or guarding livestock. In fact, the farm has some llamas to guard the alpaca herd from predators when they are in the pasture. Who knew? Our visit had me musing about my next career change – yoga teacher to alpaca farmer? Well, maybe not quite yet.