‘Spit happens’: Colorado alpaca farm offers overnight stays that bring laughter, joy, healing

The Alpaca Owners Association, which is the world’s largest alpaca association, has just over 193,000 alpacas in its U.S. registry database. (Dreamstime/TNS)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Kim Wesson likes to say alpacas found her.

As she tends to her farm, baby alpacas — called crias — with their bony legs and large spirits, play with each other by frolicking and bumping necks. A sign reads, “Spit Happens” in front of fluffy white heads that bob up and down, gently reaching for treats. Hums of contentment echo across the herd.


About 100 alpacas roam the farm, with 13 more crias expected to arrive in August.

Kim and her husband, Cory Wesson, run Sopris Alpaca Farm, a 54-acre farm just outside Silt that welcomes guests from all over. This year will be their largest cria season to date, welcoming 30 new members to the herd.

“It’s been a lot. I mean, it’s good, but everything changes, because you have a lot more to care for, a lot more to clean up after,” Cory said. “But they bring a lot of joy.”

The farm is open to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free. But if you want more time to visit with the critters, the Wessons offer overnight stays at three guest houses, bookable via Airbnb.

“We’ve had people from so many places, but the majority come from Denver, and it’s just a weekend getaway,” Kim said. “It’s fun to just be able to spend the night and enjoy the alpacas like in the evening when there’s not a lot of people here.”

Overnight guests often get to end the evening sitting on the porch and watching the crias play as the sun sets, Kim said. Sometimes, they’ll even try to join you for morning coffee.

“We typically cannot let people into the pens basically all day long, that can be out of control. But when we have guests here at the Airbnbs, we’ll let them go into pens at night, kind of have a more one on one with the animals. And I love doing that,” Kim said.

The pair adopted their first alpacas in 2012. A herd of 10 rescues, the couple had spotted the animals at an event in Agate. While Cory had done some previous research about alpacas, it was Kim’s first time seeing one.

“We just asked about them and they said that they needed a home,” Kim said. “At the time, we had 6 acres and on our way home, we were going to adopt two and then four and then six, and then all 10. So they were rehomed to our property and then after that, we just started our own program, found a mentor and just fell in love with them.”

Eventually, they outgrew their space. So, in 2017 the Wessons purchased their current farm to accommodate their growing herd.

“I had never really had any animals, so it was a whole new experience for me. My husband had raised horses as a child, and so he was familiar with the farm life. So it was quite interesting,” Kim said.

“We learned along the way, and my husband researched a lot. We found a wonderful mentor out of Oregon and that just began our process.”

The goal for the farm: share the joy brought by alpacas with the rest of the world.

“They’re truly fascinating animals, they’re pretty docile. And I think it just became something that we wanted to share with other people,” Kim said.

The U.S. alpaca community is small. The Alpaca Owners Association, which is the world’s largest alpaca association, has just over 193,000 alpacas in its U.S. registry database.

The two would like to see more young people enter the world, and hope by sharing their farm they inspire others.

“It’s too small, it’s a lot smaller than it used to be, we’re looking for new blood. We need some young breeder with energy and enthusiasm,” Cory said.

As far as their fluffy coat, the alpacas are sheared once a year around Mother’s Day, right on time for summer. The alpacas will shear 5 to 15 pounds of fleece annually. “We share them and have all the fiber processed into yarn, which we sell in our boutique,” Kim said.

That’s right — there’s a boutique on the farm that sells fleece items sourced from the alpacas. Each item is even labeled with the name of the alpaca it comes from. The boutique also sells items from Peru alpacas.

While the alpacas are great for their fleece, the duo also appreciate the animals for the smiles they bring.

“One of my dearest friends, if she goes through hard times, she’ll just come and sit out here and just find peace. We love being able to share that with people. It might be with any animals, we just happen to have alpacas,” Kim said. “They’re very healing. They’re very awesome animals.”

For more information, visit www.soprisalpacafarm.com.

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