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Alpacas, and Cotton, and Fiber…. Oh my!

Alyssa Chartier-profile-image
Alyssa Chartier
April 19, 2024

Check out Astrid's transformative journey through craft and travel, exploring various Harvest Hosts' farms, learning about fiber, and bonding with alpacas across the U.S.

Alpacas, and Cotton, and Fiber…. Oh my!

By: Astrid Tauber

When I was 7 years old, my mom signed me up for a series of craft classes at a local store. Little did I know that now, at the age of 14, most of my thoughts would still be consumed with all things fiber. It is safe to say that I am not your typical teenager! Who has time for Minecraft and TikTok when there are sheep to be sheared, yarn to be spun, fabric to be woven, and garments to be sewn?


We are an adventure-loving family that has crisscrossed the country multiple times in our RV. We love camping off-grid, exploring national parks, and meeting people from all over the world. Imagine my delight when my wandering, free-spirited mother signed us up for Harvest Hosts a few years ago! I now had an excuse to buy oodles of fiber, all in the name of “supporting our host” for the night.

As I reflect on some of the hosts we stayed with last year, I’d love to present a few quirky awards to my favorites!

Most Serene Spinning Location: Mesa Trail Alpacas

As Harvest Hosts members, we have visited many alpaca farms from coast to coast. We have already established that I love their fiber, but I also adore them because they’re so serene and graceful. Seeing the moms and babies graze in their pasture is such a calming way to end the day after hours on the road in our camper van. One of the things that drew us to Mesa Trail Alpacas was the iconic red barn photos in their listing. However, upon arriving at the farm, we realized that photos would never be able to do this incredible location justice.


Markus and Stacy’s beautiful 100-acre farm is set on a quiet, heavenly hillside. We parked in our overnight space which was in a secluded area and made our way down the winding driveway to the pastures. And yes, I set up a blanket right near the iconic, beautiful red barn! I travel with an Ashford electric spinning wheel that is powered by a rechargeable battery. It allows me to spin beautiful yarn anywhere… and I had found the most serene place right there beside a lovely herd of alpacas!

Most Educational Visit: Schronk Custom Ag

Our stop at this 7,000 acre family-owned farm was truly unique! We have stayed at farms with sheep, alpacas, llamas, and more! But this was our first fully agricultural farm stop. While this location didn’t sell any processed fiber that I was able to purchase, I did leave with incredible knowledge about growing cotton! For example, did you know that there is cotton in both U.S. currency and toothpaste? I sure didn’t!

Rodney is a 5th generation farmer in this Texas county and I think he sensed that I was a fiber-related-information sponge because he spent well over an hour discussing growing and harvesting techniques, as well as crop pests and pest management techniques. Throughout our entire conversation, there was a field of beautiful cotton plants stretching behind us as far as the eye could see. That is my idea of a field of dreams!!! I’d like to spin it, dye it, weave it and wear it!!!

Most Snuggly Alpacas: Two Roots Alpacas and Fiber Mill

While it is true that I would happily sit at the edge of a pasture and watch alpacas meander and munch all day long, it would be a dream come true to spend time up close and personal with them! That is exactly what happened when we visited Brad and Ruth’s picture-perfect farm and fiber mill. The ladies of the herd at Two Roots seem to think they’re more lap dog than alpaca! Ruth Ann armed me with some baby carrots and sent me into the corral. Their sweet girls were happy to eat carrots from my hand and allow me all the snuggles and head pats. It was magical!!!

The next day I was in for a real treat! Brad and Ruth Ann had a herd health appointment scheduled with their veterinary team. The alpacas all had checkups, shots, hoof trimming, and all other needs addressed. Their sweet little cria (baby) alpaca also had his first haircut! I was lucky enough to take his fiber home with me and have a really special project planned for it!

Fiber has been a transformative force in my life. It has been the chrysalis that took me from a painfully shy girl who looked like a deer in the headlights anytime someone approached me to a young lady who has found her voice and the confidence to be heard. I am so grateful for the entire Harvest Hosts community. We’ve met incredible hosts and fellow road warriors on our journey. So many of our interactions have enriched me both as a person and an artist. Travel safe and buy some fiber at your next farm stop…. you never know how it might transform your world too!

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,612 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Alyssa Chartier-profile-image
Alyssa Chartier
Airstreamer, Camper, Cat Parent, Social Media Marketer