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Walk with llamas — but watch pastries

SHARE Walk with llamas — but watch pastries

MIDWAY — You might want to watch your snacks if you go on the "Lunch With Llamas" hike to benefit Wasatch Mountain State Park.

The walk-and-gourmet-repast, held to raise money to preserve and protect the park, will begin at 9 a.m., July 15, at the Wasatch visitors center; but first a gastronomic bulletin.

Last year the Friends of Wasatch held the inaugural walk and one of the woolly trekkers snatched a hiker's chocolate doughnut when the person wasn't looking.

"And he (the llama) looked pretty well pleased with himself, too," said Katy Partridge, a Friends of Wasatch member who raises the critters with her husband, Clark, and donates their companionship on the hike.

At almost all other times and in all other ways the llamas make lovely traveling chums, Partridge said.

"They're gentle and curious, and as you walk along you're apt to have this interested nose peer over your shoulder. People who've gone on walks like this report some very special bonding with the animals," said Partridge, who along with Clark has been living in Olympus Cove but are building a house and moving to Midway.

"Llamas don't exactly follow you like dogs. They can be somewhat aloof. But they accept humans on their terms and can give affection," Partridge said.

Space for the walk is limited. Reservations at $50 a head must be in by Thursday, Partridge said. They can be made by calling 435-654-1047 or 801-272-6890.

The group will hike a one and a half- to two-mile section near Brighton Estates, about seven miles up Pine Canyon Road north of the Wasatch State Park campgrounds. Longtime resident and Friends of Wasatch member George Hansen will talk about the history of the area. Hansen has hiked all over the mountains and has many stories to tell about old mining days, Partridge said.

"Particularly the Bluebird and John the Revelator mines," Partridge said.

The group will take a route among grand stands of aspens, then break for lunch of pasta and green salads, sandwiches, beverages of choice and desserts.

A good idea could be to keep track of the latter.

"A gourmet meal for a llama usually is alfalfa pellets with a sweet mash mix," Partridge said.

A frosted long john evidently goes down pretty well, too, if a llama gets a chance for a taste test.

E-mail: gtwyman@desnews.com