Who can resist that face? Meet “Duke,” alpaca champion and royal fleece maker at Cascade Alpacas of Oregon, a ranch outside of Hood River, Oregon. Owned by re-invented rat-race refuges, Thomas and Connie Betts, Cascade Alpacas breeds award-winning huacaya alpacas, many of which are hemiaccoyos, with championship bloodlines.
“Duke” keeps company with a prestigious herd of show alpacas as well as those for breeding and for sale. And, you can arrange to hook up with them.
Drop in to meet some of these wonderful creatures at Cascade Alpacas during their business hours (weekends through March)or call for an appointment (541/354-3542).
Want one? You can buy your own alpaca ($950 – $16,000) and though you might now be able to keep him or her in your urban back yard, you can board your fleece-providing pet at Cascade Alpacas. (Photo left courtesy of Peruvian Hat Blog.)
Cascade Alpacas is on the Hood River Fruit Loop, 35 miles of agricultural touring spots, from u-pick lavender farms to fruit, berries and honey farms, which thrives in the spring and fall. But, one of the most lovely aspects of touring this area this time of year is the intimacy of the experience. With the usual crowds opting for snow sports and indoor recreation, some Fruit Loop farmers and growers still stay open for visitors.
What You May Not Know About Alpacas
Alpacas, members of the camel family, are said to be mild-tempered, gregarious animals with an inquisitive nature and a penchant for bringing great delight. Alpacas produce one of the world's finest and most luxurious natural fibers. It is clipped from the animal without causing it injury. Soft as cashmere and warmer, lighter and stronger than wool, it comes in more colors than any other fiber producing animal (approximately 22 basic colors with many variations and blends). This cashmere-like fleece, once reserved for Incan royalty, is now enjoyed by spinners and weavers around the world. Source: Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association
See a video that profiles Cascade Alpacas of Oregon: “Your Life Calling with Jane Pauley.” An Oregon ranch is a paradise found for Thomas and Connie Betts—and their alpacas.