HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – A California woman and her llama are making a cross-country trip in a minivan.
Suzann Penry has been raising llamas for about 15 years. She is the proud owner of more than 20 of them.
“I always thought they were neat looking and I jumped right in. I bought seven right off the bat, knew nothing about llamas, but I stayed home and I watched their behavior and I’ve found a lot of neat things about llamas that I couldn’t read anywhere,” Penry said.
On Thursday, Penry and her llama POF Indy, one, arrived in Hutchinson for the Alpaca Llama Show Association Grand National Show. However, the pair being in Kansas isn’t the interesting part, it’s how the pair got to Hutchinson that has a lot of people raising their eyebrows.
“I’m kind of unconventional in the way I travel with my llamas,” Penry said.
Penry doesn’t have a horse trailer. In fact, she doesn’t have a trailer at all. She and Indy traveled from California to Kansas in a minivan.
“We got here in a minivan, a little caravan, Chrysler Town & Country. We slept together at night. The first night was in Salt Lake City. The second night was somewhere in Colorado. I’m in the sleeping bag. She sleeps next to me. Second night she was even sharing my pillow,” Penry said. “When I’m stopped at different stops and you open up the door and you have llama that comes out and is just standing looking around, you get a lot of looks.”
However, the looks don’t bother Penry. The llama lover is used to getting stares. For many years she transported her llamas in what she dubbed a llama limo.
“Before the van, I had a llama limo which is one of those big white transit buses that said llama limo on the side and they would hop in the side and everyone would have their favorite window that they would lay down at,” she said.
Indy seemed to enjoy the minivan experience. KSN went on a ride with Penry and Indy on Friday afternoon. Like Penry said she would, Indy found a spot in the back of the van, made herself comfortable and peered out one of the windows. Penry said when it’s time for bed, Indy knows what to do.
“I set up my sleeping bag then I have her load in. Then, I get in, close the door, take off my shoes and get in the sleeping bag,” Penry said.
KSN asked Penry why she chose a minivan as her mode of transportation.
“To be honest, I don’t want an extra vehicle, but two, I don’t back well,” she laughed.
Penry added Indy is potty trained. She said the llama will wake her up in the middle of the night to let her know when she needs to use the facilities. Penry and Indy plan to return back to California in early November after stopping in Texas, Louisiana, Airzona and Nevada.