Lodging With Llamas in the Smokies

Lodging With Llamas in the Smokies

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Ageless Smoky Mountain Tradition!

Folklore and whispering stories of adventure and mystery are as deep as the hills around the small Smoky Mountain towns. There have been legends born and …

heroes die, all carried by word of mouth and each telling, grander and larger than life tales, such as the story of Fines Creek.

A man by the name of Fines, not told to me as his first or last name, simply by Fines, traveled the Smokies of North Carolina and Tennessee several times during the1800s. During one of his journeys, Fines was robbed of his horses by a local band of indians.

Fines, along with his group of men, forcefully retrieved their horses and set up camp along a creek deep in the mountains. The threat of raids was ever present and resulted in ambushes in which Fines was mortally wounded. His men were not able to carry Fines back home and decided to bury him under the frozen creek until they could return to retrieve him.

Upon their return, they discovered Fines’ body missing and so named the creek, Fines Creek.

Now the creek lazily rakes along side I-40, some of the best road travel in the South. Large hardwoods infest the roadside and you feel as if the next 30 miles was taken up like a rug and shaken.

Our exit was a few miles inside North Carolina, and after traveling a windy dirt road a short stretch, we came into view of a now-a-day Xanadu. The sight was extraordinary. Soft outside colors blended with the mountains and the four large buildings framed the portrait of a great getaway that was much needed.

Llamas grazed in fields on both sides of the road as we trekked up the hill. The idea of using Llamas for hiking was a foreign idea to me, but not one for history.

Known as probably one of the first domesticated animals, early fossils have been found of these docile creatures in America dating back 5000 years. A member of the Camelid family, llamas are considered a burden bearing creature, meaning they are work animals.

The Livengood family, owners of WindDancers, have been breading llamas for decades and love the gentleness of the animals.

The sight of the surprisingly tall animals, made the lodge feel comfortable and laid back, much as their demeanor.

We first meet some of the Livengoods when settling into our room and they told us about the llamas and the lodge. There are hundreds of acres of wooded hillside that the family takes visitors on their hikes. We were not able to hike with the llamas due to weather conditions but we walked a small trail leading to a lunch deck.

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John Ross, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent Read Jetsetters Magazine at To book travel visit at and for Beach Resorts visit Beach Booker at

About the Author

John Ross, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at Leave your email next to the logo for FREE e travel newsletter.


November 25, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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