Llamas are an important working animal in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and other high Andes South American countries used to transport goods where vehicles can’t go.

Llama wool keeps locals warm and you can buy hand made llama sweaters, caps and blankets in open markets in Otavalo, Ecuador as well as other marketplaces in the Andes. This llama,far from its home and relatives, is boarded at Dave’s daughter Kim’s house in the country near Larkspur, Colorado. 

” Kathy, my ex, rents them out to back packers, ” Dave once told me in one of our conversations. ” She just finished a month long backpack trip in Oregon …..” 

Some men talk about their ex-wives with disdain. Dave was different.

This llama gives me a look of disdain and I trek back inside with the rest of the mourners.

Dave, himself, has been put inside a small wooden box on a living room side table. A slide show on a nearby television shows high lights of Dave’s life; his marriage, the birth of his children, his life as a young man, photos of his father and mother, pictures of him smiling. Dave would be pleased with the turnout, not pleased with the preacher, pleased with Kathy and Kim. He would be back in the kitchen tasting treats if he was still with us. His dog, Chaco, has lost weight and acts anxious as he sniffs for Dave in this gathering of friends and family, but he can’t find him.

Dave, I expect, would be okay with Kathy gently sprinkling him into a slow moving mountain stream on one of her Spring llama trips .

He would also be okay with his daughter, her husband and his grand kids packing into his Airstream and going anywhere, except Texas, a state he loathed.

When I get home I’m going to dust off my walking shoes and take a trip to Mexico, a trip Dave and I talked about for the last two years but didn’t get around to doing for his health issues, which he rarely talked about.

When I get to Mexico I’m going to smoke a cigar for Dave even though I don’t smoke, and have a drink of Crown Royal even though I hate blended whiskey.

Dave will be pleased.




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