Kim Allred grew up in Southern California but now enjoys the quiet life in an old timber town in the Pacific Northwest where she raises alpacas, llamas, and an undetermined number of free-range chickens. Just like her characters, Kim loves sharing stories while sipping a glass of wine or slurping a strong cup of brew.
Her spirit of adventure has taken her on many journeys including a ten-day dogsledding trip in northern Alaska and sleeping under the stars on the savannas of eastern Africa. Nowadays, she prefers staying on the farm, surrounded by her critters, while she dreams up stories among the firs and cedars. But that itch to travel again is getting stronger.
Read further to hear about Kim’s adventures. Maybe she’ll find away to squeeze one of these into her future stories!
Fun Facts & Tidbits
I have an alpaca and llama farm, Tapestry Farm Alpacas, where beautiful fiber of various colors is grown. I shear once a year and sell the fiber raw, dyed, or processed into rovings or yarn. The main blanket of fiber can be used for knitting, crocheting, weaving, hand spinning, and felting. The rest of the fiber can be used for hundreds of things like insulation, weed barrier, composting, rugs, and carpet material. The production side of the business includes breeding, birthing and raising crias (the babies!), livestock shows, and the cultivation of America’s best fiber. But nothing compares to the joy of just living with alpacas and llamas. It may seem like a chore to have to get out to the barns, no matter the weather, to feed and clean. But there’s so much more to it. These amazing animals can teach you many things about life: the pleasure of a new load of hay, enjoying the sun on your belly, and, when necessary, spitting to solidify your point.
I ran a dog sled for five days in northern Alaska along the Iditarod Trail, during the race, while facing nature in its harshest environment. Although I’d been to Alaska on numerous adventures, this amazing trip introduced me to a part of Alaska I’d never witnessed — the northwestern coast of Alaska including the fishing village of Shaktoolik, Koyuk where the first racers caught us, the small village of Elim, and the amazing city of Nome. I met wonderful people – the warm and outgoing locals, outsiders that volunteered their time to ensure a safe race for the mushers and their dogs, and spectators living the experience of the Iditarod. While dogs have always been a part of my family, I learned something new about sled dogs on that trip – their skills, their hard work, their devotion and loyalty, and their love to just balls out run. It’s a time in my life I’ll always treasure.
I spent twelve days on the savannas of Africa. Those days were spent camping in tents, hiking to meet bush tribes, witnessing the lives of indigenous animals from large to small. Some wonderful memories include an elephant matriarch chasing us away from the herd’s youngest addition, taking a balloon ride over the Serengeti, watching giraffes eating leaves just fifty feet away, and the warning growl of a male lion who thought we were too close to his females. At night, lying in our tents, we could hear the snorting of buffalo, the destruction of a neighboring campsite by hyenas, and hundreds of other unnamed sounds that rule the night. During our travels through the raw landscape, we tracked hundreds of birds species that call eastern Africa their home. To be an observer in Africa, safe in a lodge, cannot compete with being on the ground, meeting the adventure head on.