Northern Exposure: Running Reindeer and Lavelle’s

I apologize for my Alaska blogs taking so long to finish — I got home to find that I had taken 300 pictures on my last day alone! It’s taken me a while to cull them into a blog, and I decided to break them out into two blogs so you don’t get overwhelmed by all the albums.

We started our last day in Fairbanks by visiting Running Reindeer Ranch (@RunningReindeer), a large property at the base of Moose Mountain. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous to be there, since I had eaten reindeer tenderloin at The Pump House the night before. What if they smelled it on me? Fortunately, the herd was mellow and pretty much did their own thing, except when they nudged people out of the way so they could get to the tree moss.

Alaska: Running Reindeer Ranch

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You’re in Alaska, a winter wonderland, when it feels like Christmas most of the year. Why not really get into the Christmas spirit and visit the reindeer? Jane Atkinson conducts tours on her property by appointment so you can walk with her reindeer as they graze.

Running Reindeer Ranch

Here’s a quick video just to show you what it looked like, up close and personal. I thought I had taken video of them using their antlers to tangle with branches, which is a habit they have — much like cats with a scratching post — but I can’t find that segment. Oh, well.

After the tour, we headed to the World Championship Ice Carving Festival, which is a destination activity in itself. You’ll see why I had to make this its own blog, later. It’s important that you go both during the day and night, as the ice sculptures are much different when the colored lights are shining on them.

We broke up the activity by having dinner with some Fairbanks twitter/PR people: Jeri Wigdahl (@Chillygal), Bill and Meadow Bailey (@MeadowBailey), and Erika Swanson (@erikahasmail). Everyone in Fairbanks recommended Lavelle’s Bistro, so we figured it must be the place to be.

Alaska: Dinner at Lavelle’s

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Everyone in Fairbanks recommended we try a place called Lavelle’s. Jeri Wigdahl (@ChillyGal), left, made reservations at the last minute on a Saturday night at the busiest restaurant in town for us. She also got some PR people together from the local chapter. Clockwise from left: Meadow and Bill Bailey, Erika Swanson, DK and me.

Lavelle’s Bistro
575 First Ave.
Fairbanks, AK 99701

Up next: The World Championship Ice Carving Festival!