Ever since a park ranger at Phoenix Comicon told us about Arizona’s National Park Centennial Celebration (which you may have seen on recent Happenings Lists), we had planned to make a day trip to Flagstaff to join.
After a late start the morning of the event, we were finally en route when we learned there had been a freeway-closing collision between us and Flagstaff and that the resulting traffic jam would likely last several hours.
So. We considered our options, ditched the plan, and headed to Payson instead.
While Phillip drove, I found a list of 35 things to do around Payson and read it to him. #33 was “Fossil Creek Llama Ranch.” Obviously, that went on the afternoon’s itinerary.
First, though, we stopped at the Beeline Cafe for lunch and pie. They have crazy good pie.
The clouds were moving in as we stepped out of the cafe and drove towards the Ranch at Fossil Creek in the town of Strawberry.
The Ranch is home to llamas, goats, Fossil Creek Creamery – where they make fudge, cheese, and soap from goat’s milk – and a little log-cabin-style store with their products.
It was sprinkling by the time we pulled up and went into the Creamery store. We checked it all out, sampled some cheese, made some purchases.
We went out to watch the animals. The llamas didn’t seem to mind the rain and just hung out around their field, chewing cud.
The goats, on the other hand, had taken cover and stood huddled together.
Eventually, one black goat decided the rain had let up enough to venture out. The rest tentatively followed, one by one realizing the drizzle wasn’t so bad, and it was safe to get back to eating, climbing on stuff, butting heads, and doing all their regular goaty things.
– More info –
- The ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) Twitter account is a great resource for updates on road/traffic conditions throughout the state. When my Maps app was showing unexpected traffic near Flagstaff, I went to Twitter to find out what was going on and how long it might last.
- The World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo was going on in Payson the day we were there. It’s held annually the third week of August.
- The Ranch at Fossil Creek offers $10 guided tours with a reservation. You can also go in and pet goats for $5 or hike with llamas for $30 an hour.
Photo of Phillip by someone at the National Park Service booth.