Just who are Jim and Gwen anyway?

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Jim Krowka earned hay, lumber, and pellet money by working full-time in retail sales for a local TrueValue hardware store until early 2018; now he's cut back to part-time there so he can put in more time working on the farm. He's a 1952 model with no pasterns at all, and has semi-curly fiber that's kept shorn to a few inches long.

Back in the 70s, Jim used to joke about maybe raising llamas if he didn't succeed in some acceptable career. They say you should be careful what you wish for, because it might come to pass. Well, he's not raising llamas as a career, but nearly all of what he does is either with the llamas or to pay for them. So in that sense, llamas are his fulltime life work.

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Gwen Ingram kept ahead of the vet bills by working nights as an automation clerk, chasing big noisy machines that sort letters for the US Postal Service ... until early 2018, when the USPS offered her a chance to take early retirement and she RAN out the door to become a uch happier full-time llama farmer. Gwen is a 1962 model, also with no pasterns, but with straight, easy-to-comb fiber that unfortunately needs periodic shearing to stay at the preferred length.

Gwen has a keen interest in lifelong learning and has spent a great deal of time studying theoretical and practical genetics, biomechanics, and veterinary medicine. In fact, she still kinda wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up — whenever that is. She has also spent nearly all of her life trying to understand animals better: to teach them, to learn from them, and to fulfill a difficult-to-describe personal need to communicate ... perhaps because, as an extreme introvert, humans typically talk right over her (until she finally loses her cool and gets labeled a, ahem, bad thing).

Gwen did have a couple of plastic llamas as part of a Noah's ark set when she was growing up, but what she really liked back then (and still does to this day) was giraffes and geese. Of course, they have long necks, too.

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Jim and Gwen both enjoy llama packing in the backcountry, enough that usually having to go separately has never stopped either one of them. Gwen likes to combine nature photography and flyfishing with her llama packing outings; Jim sometimes fishes but more often just enjoys being "out there."

When Jim and Gwen's schedules actually coincide, they also play music together as the duo LiTtLe DiPPeR. It's a great diversion when the weather or fire danger regulations prohibit llama packing. On those informal occasions when the llamas get front-row seats (such as at pack trials and other vehicle-camping type llama gatherings), they make it very clear that they consider Jim and Gwen's music a real bonus!

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Jim and Gwen got their first llama in 1985 (actually, the llama was Jim's; Gwen got a horse!), and the story of Lost Creek Llamas has continued to grow from there.

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Both Jim and Gwen have a very strong committment to putting llamas' welfare before human gratification. This has made them extremely unpopular in some (human) circles, and very much appreciated in others.

You can make your own decision after perusing Lost Creek Llamas' website, and we welcome in-person visits for those who would like to know more, and we even welcome the skeptics who just want to see if what's on this website is for real.

Just remember — what Jim and Gwen's llamas think

is what counts with Jim and Gwen.