By Judith Reese
The late afternoon sun is just beginning to cast long shadows on the San Luis Valley floor. In pastureland renown for sheep and cattle, three vaguely Dr. Seussish fantastical creatures graze on the low brush of the high desert of Moffat. Camels, once thought exotic, now make their home in Colorado’s heartland.
Mudita Camel Dairy, a modest two-story combined home and milking barn, sits framed by the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east and the La Garita Wilderness to the west. Out front, a young couple loads milk into refrigerators in a pickup. They are Matt and Meghan Stalzer, and the camel dairy farm is their labor of love.
Matt moves inside, and nine-foot-tall Dora pokes her head into the barn, her 1,500-pound girth framed by the doorway with the Sangres supplying the backdrop. Inquisitive Dora just wants to be part of the welcoming.