2004 Nationals & Las Vegas

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Date: Nov. 9 -20, 2004

Destination: ALSA Nationals/Las Vegas

Miles Traveled: 3566

Occupants: Rebel, Wahoo, Suzann & David

This was the LlamaLimo's longest trip ever. We were joined on this trip by Larry Luporini and his llama Leticia, Hot Notes (owned by Margaret & Don Ricci) and Tehama (owned by Marlys Green). Sadly, our traveling buddies would have to leave us on the way back from Nationals.

Larry, Tehama & Leticia at our Donnor Stop

Tuesday, our first day was to be a driving marathon. We left Dobbins, California at 6:30 A.M. Our group stopped every 2 - 3 hours to allow the llamas to have a bathroom break and stretch out. At one stop in Wendover, NV., a reporter from the local paper took pictures and gathered information for a story. We covered over 620 miles and spent the night at our first truck stop near Salt Lake City. We pulled into the stop around 10:30 P.M. (with an hour time change). It was a long day indeed.

Wednesday, we started out a bit late. We all overslept and I needed my coffee, of course. The goal of the day was to make it over the Rockies. Luck was with us and the bad weather stayed in front of us most of the way. The last hour of this day's trip, we did encounter snow. Both vehicles felt the loss of traction from the ice. A U-Haul trailer that passed us ended up crashing moments later.

Larry was patient with us when the LlamaLimo took a wrong exit and got the scenic tour of Laramie, WY. (though he wouldn't let us forget about it for days).

The day ended at a truck stop in Cheyenne, WY. Another 490 miles down.

Thursday, ahh Nationals! We arrived at the Lancaster Event Center in the late afternoon. If you come from California, like us, you are use to a variety of quaint fairgrounds and upscale arenas. But Nebraska really knows how to hold a livestock event! Three massive buildings, all connected together. Two buildings are filled with stalls and one building houses the arena - big enough to have a halter class and two performance classes at the same time! Wow, how impressive it is to see the 'best' llamas of the country in one spot. Small & large ranches together.

Okay, time for a reality check. We came to Nationals with the realization that we were not going to win anything. Reality is that it is very difficult to compete against 'big' guys. The large ranches have had selective breeding programs for years and do produce awesome animals. But we didn't care - we were there to have FUN - and it is always nice to dream. Every llama looked great and ours was no exception.

Larry & Leticia

Marlys & Tehama

Suzann & Rebel

Suzann & Wahoo

Thursday through Sunday was quite educational. The experience was amazing!

Monday we hit the road. Marathon driving again. 620 miles would be covered during the day. We would pass and be passed by many others coming back from Nationals. The scenery was mostly flat & uneventful. Rebel became a master at entertaining himself in back of the LlamaLimo. Rebel ended up fluffing my pillow and rearranging my blankets. Bags were ripped open and the door carpet was shredded. We found that we needed to keep toys in back of the Limo to keep the llamas occupied.

Rebel fluffing and slobbering on my pillow

Tuesday, Larry and his group had to leave us. His presence would be missed.

The LlamaLimo continued onward. The Hwy 70 route through the Rockies is gorgeous. Besides the wonderful views, we were able to see wildlife such as mountain goats. Colorado has great rest stops along the way. We stopped for a rest stop at a Dinosaur Museum. Yep, we had to take time for photos

Rebel did not like dino-breath

We spent the night at another truck stop in Mesquite, NV.

Wednesday, Dave took the boys out for a bathroom break at 5 A.M. A Police Patrol car stopped on the side of the highway and watched for awhile. He then pulled into the truck stop and talked with us. No problem - he just wanted to learn about llamas. This would be the first of many contacts with law enforcement officers.

Relaxing with the Mesquite Police

Next stop -Hoover Dam and a Homeland Security check. Boarding the LlamaLimo was a very proper looking officer, wide brimmed hat, creased and pressed uniform. Very proper. Oh yeah, a slight grin when inspecting the llamas. We were given the green light to cross the dam. Once the llamas got out of the LlamaLimo we were surrounded by tourists. Smiles on all.

Rebel looking down at Hoover Dam

Wahoo & Rebel with Officer Gardner

The police came up to us in the parking lot. Yep, we were in trouble. Not because of the llamas, but because the LlamaLimo was parked in the wrong lot for buses. We moved to the right lot, took more pictures and drove back to the tourist area on the Nevada side. It was decided that the llamas could not get out there. We did get a police escort to the police station so everyone there could get pictures with the llamas.

From Hoover Dam, we drove to Las Vegas to settle Rebel & Wahoo into their stalls at the Beckridge Ranch. This is a Horse Hotel that graciously allowed us to bring the llamas there. Gina Beck was an excellent host. Dave and I checked into the Excalibur for the night.

Wahoo enjoys being on solid ground at Beckridge in Las Vegas


Thursday the llamas hit the Las Vegas Strip. Wow, what fun! Questions, pictures and lots of SMILES, SMILES and more SMILES. Again we were greeted by the police. No ordinances against llamas, as long as we kept them on 'leash'. Met more than 15 officers, all but one of them enjoyed the llamas.


A great time would get even better. The director of entertainment for Excalibur took our information and discussed the possibilities of Rebel coming down in the future. A possible job!!!

That night the llamas slept very well at Beckridge & they would be the conversation at 'many a dinner table'.

Friday started the final part of our trip. We would have made it home that day... well maybe if we didn't keep stopping to socialize. Our next stop - Calico Ghost Town. Yep, more questions, pictures and smiles

Little Foot giving Wahoo a kiss

Rebel watching a train coming



We made it back home on Saturday. It was a long trip, but a very satisfying one.


This was our second trip to Nationals. It was again quite an experience. The educational value of this show is enormous but our favorite part again was the going to & coming back from the show. For us, showing llamas to the public, answering questions and watching a persons' smile when they touch a llama for the first time, is one of the greatest rewards of llama ownership.



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08/07/22 01:43 PM -0700