The Camels of Washington

The Camels of Washington

So what to do in Washington when we have a day with blue skies and sunshine?……Thats obvious, go ride the camels!

Believe it or not this is not as strange as it first sounds. Apparently there have been camels in the US since at least 1855 when the US Camel Corps was created as a military experiment. By all accounts the experiment failed, as the camels where just not as cooperative as the tried and trusted horse. Camels have since remained in the US however, and were even used for agricultural and transport purposes. As beasts of burden they definitely have their uses.

Nowadays I believe most camels in the US are beasts of leisure, predominately used as tourist attractions and local novelties. Though in 2009 the US did pass a law allowing the sale of camel milk within the country. Before that it had been considered that the production could not be regulated sufficiently. Perhaps now we may see an increasing number imported for this purpose?

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A camel (he is a dromedary)

Camel Safari

So as I was looking on the Whatcom County website to find a fun activity in the sun, when the words ‘Camel Safari’ caught my eye. It turned out that this was a good way to kill a couple of hours out in the sun and ask a few questions about camels. Here is what I now know about them;

the calf is born without a hump. The hump develops as the calf gains fat tissue.

  • a one humped camel is called a Dromedary
  • a two humped camel is called a Bactrian
  • they can be mixed to create hybrids
  • hybrids do not have three humps
  • camels do not have any upper teeth
  • camels have two sets of eyelashes to protect their eyes from dust
  • they can also close up their nostrils to protect from the dust

and I’m sure there are many other facts that I should have retained but was two busy taking photos.

We then got to have a ride on the camels. Apparently you do not sit on top of the hump, this would just give you a big wedgie. In front, or behind the hump is fine, though in Sacha’s case if a camel wants to bend over to graze this may give the uninitiated a fright. The ride was great and we had an awesome view of Mount Baker in the clear blue skies as we rode.

So if you fancy riding a camel in your lifetime, maybe consider visiting Washington?

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Yay camels!

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