When you visit Yosemite, you may want to stay in Mariposa. It's a super, cute western-y town that definitely gives you gold rush vibes. I love walking down mainstreets in new towns and checking out the interesting stores along the way.
From across the street I saw "Epic Alpacas" and I was lured over in an instant. How could I not investigate that!?!?!
The owner is a super fan of alpacas (clearly) and the wall boasts a picture of him with his (first) alpaca years back and again today. Loved it. Epic Alpacas sells alpacas, offers boarding, breeding, brokering, and so on. But what intrigued me is what was tangible at the store. [[why isn't there an alpaca at the store at all times? that would be amazingggggggggg :-p]]
The store is full of awesome handmade alpaca goods from around the world. I believe a lot were from Peru. Really cool shirts, sweaters, scarfs, fingerless gloves. Check out those amazing hats dangling everywhere or the incredible alpaca fiber? (is that the right term?) stuffed animals! I kid you not, they feel LIKE A CLOUD!!! They are insanely soft and amazing. I wanted to buy everything in here. I ended up with this incredible headband. Seriously, how could I not? I get a million compliments on it everytime I wear it.
They also had a nice selection of handmade jewelry, I believe the earrings were about $6 a pair and really nice wirework and beaded earrings. They also had finger puppets! I think they were $2.
All of these handmade items show such talent and creativity, and they support artisans. Hooray for fair trade!!!
The Epic Alpacas website indicated an online store will be available soon. I hope that's true, because if you can't get to Mariposa, California you're still going to want to check this out. And I may even want to grab a few more things. ;-) hehe