by:  ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Sherri Tallmon, owner of Hidden Oaks Llama Ranch, stands with Jack, a 6-year-old llama. Jack is carrying 46 pounds. According to a pamphlet for the event distributed by Debra Langley-Boyer, adult llamas typically weigh 250-400 pounds. They may carry a quarter of their body weight or up to a third for short, easy trails.Llama enthusiasts descended into the Estacada area for the annual Back Country Llama Rendezvous and Drive-In.

Hidden Oaks Llama Ranch of Estacada hosted the event Friday-Sunday, June 27-29, at the ranch and Milo McIver State Park.

Each year the event is sponsored by the Back Country Llama by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Kate Owen of Beaverton smiles as she puts her knowledge of putting a pack on a llama to the test as Diamond stands patiently. Diamond belongs to Debra Langley-Boyer, who traveled from Washington to attend the annual Back Country Llama Rendezvous and Drive-In at Hidden Oaks Llama Ranch in Estacada and Milo McIver State Park.Association and Rattlesnake Ridge Ranch in an effort to bring together an educational gathering of working llamas.

The location and theme shifts every year.

This year’s theme was “Learning to Pack with


Event organizer Scott Noga of Rattlesnake Ridge Ranch of Pasco, Wash., said that part of the purpose of the forum was for new people interested in llama packing and driving to have a place to come learn about it.

by:  ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Carmella was unusually fidgety as she was loaded with her packs, said owner Debra Langley-Boyer. The animals behavior, Langley-Boyer mused, might have had something to do with all the boy llamas around.Debra Langley-Boyer, who had brought her two llamas in the back of her pickup from Belfair, Wash., said that a pack trip is usually held at the end of the event as a way to help new people through the steps of what they learned.

As of Friday afternoon, event leaders said about 30 people from as far away as Redding, Calif., had registered but they expected more people to come in over the next two days.

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