Have You Met a Reindeer? (Alaska Part 1)

Two years ago, we were days away from taking a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska to see some friends before we realized that the coronavirus was spreading far too quickly to safely justify travel.

Fortunately, with vaccinations, boosters, and masking guidelines, we felt safe enough to take a calculated risk and make the trip this year. My posts this week will cover some of the highlights we experienced in Alaska last week.

We’ll start with reindeer, which I was only 98% sure were real animals (the other 2% involved suspicions about Santa lore). But they are real! And they’re adorable! They’re essentially really furry deer with antlers. We joined a reindeer walk and had a wonderful time joining their herd for a few hours.

Next we went dogsledding! 8 adorable puppies seemed to have a blast dragging us and a guide through the snow for a few miles. As fun as the ride was, my favorite part was stopping to meet each dog–they were incredibly friendly. It was also neat to see how they acted while pulling the sled (eating snow for water, peeing, and dragging their feet to stop for a poop).

Straight of my game, Scythe, were two muskox just chilling in a large animal rescue area. The one in the foreground was playing with a rope while we were there. We couldn’t pet them, but I was fascinated by their fur–look how different their manes are compared to the long hair on their backs.

We went a few days without seeing moose, and then 2 yearlings crossed the road right in front of us! We scouted the area for mama moose (who wasn’t there) before rolling down the windows and watching them eat off a tree. We later saw some bigger moose in the woods while driving on the highway, but by far the biggest moose were in museums–they were massive.

I’ve seen a few bears in my day, but nothing prepared me for this grizzly bear found in the Museum of the North. I’m 5’10, and I don’t think of 9 feet as being that much taller, but Otto towered above me. It really is like some mythical creature, but no, this is a real animal that exists today.

Last we have this 40-foot dinosaur skeleton in the Museum of the North. Pretty crazy how big dinosaurs were, right?

But wait: Just like the grizzly, this is a skeleton of an animal that’s still alive today, the bowhead whale. It washed ashore after being attacked by hunters, and now it’s preserved in the museum. It’s incredible to see in person, especially the mouth, which must have been around 10-12 feet long by itself.

I loved experiencing the wildlife in Alaska. Which of these animals would you most like to meet?

1 thought on “Have You Met a Reindeer? (Alaska Part 1)”

  1. Wow all these animals look amazing! I have two dogs so dogsledding intrigues me very much! But I don’t know why I feel so draw to muskoxs!

    Reply

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