RVSpinner-Florida to Alaska (and back) 2016 travel blog



Last night the RV parked next to us was so close I could hear the people fart. Very unpleasant to have someone that close to us. In the morning they left to sightsee so I put out our awning and chairs so they couldn't pull so close to us when they got back.

Started off the day at the Kenny Lake Fair, small town fair at it’s finest. Mostly local booths with services and crafts. The National Park service was there, the local fire protection, Smokey the Bear, 4 H and so on. Local teens provided the musical entertainment. And there was pie, made with freshly picked wild blueberries, slightly tar and totally delicious with the scoop of vanilla ice cream. There were a few animal and the pens were rustic, made from logs. It was a fun atmosphere, mostly locals, but everyone was friendly. Afterwards we drove to the yak farm, which was still closed, so we took a drive to Copper Center. Not much there but wedded stop for coffee at an adorable little coffee stand made from a converted vintage trailer. The coffee was good and we sat outside enjoying the weather, finally a few hours with out rain!

When we got back to the RV I called the Yak Farm, Circle F Ranch aka Alaska Yaks, and they were in. The woman there told me that she is available for about 2 hours and to come on over. I was greeted by their sheep dog and the owner welcomed me into her shop. They had a nice selection of yak products, both finished and raw, as well as a selection of items from Tibet. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the spinning fiber. At $14.95 an ounce it was a bargain compared to the muskox fiber and just as soft.

She told me about the ranch, and about the yaks, as well as some of the history and the usage of yaks in Tibet and Nepal. She carries goods made in Tibet from yaks and the money that the Tibetans make from their knit goods helps support their families, allows their children to go to the Chinese mandated schools and board there, so the family does not have to move to the city and are able to maintain their traditional lifestyle. I bought several ounces of fiber, some farm fresh eggs and then was taken on a tour of the yak pasture and got to meet some of the yaks.

Despite their size, yaks are a kind and gentle, and make a much smaller carbon footprint than cattle. Most of their production is for fiber, but the surplus males are used for meat. To get the fiber off the yak, they are individually brought into a squeeze shoot and are kept in place and combed to remove the down. The down is separated by color and then sent off to be cleaned and have the guard hairs removed. The colors are black, brown and white, with white being the most unusual color. In the pasture I was introduced to several of the yak, some cows and calves, a bull (who was huge but very gentle and is trained to be ridden) and a steer. It was a great afternoon, and as soon as I am done spinning the muskox it will be time to move on to the yak!

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