Whether you’re training for a marathon or hoping to break a personal record in an upcoming 5k, continuing your training while you travel is a great way to get to know a city and its notable landmarks. But remember, just like you pack a swimsuit for Hawaii and a parka for Alaska, packing the right gear for training in various climates is equally important. As is having the right food and fuel.
Ultra-marathon runner and Alaska Airlines frequent flyer Alex Borsuk answered several questions about preparation for running in a variety of climates on your next trip.
As an avid runner living in Portland, Oregon, David Laney gave us the takeover of a lifetime as he ran thorugh the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah. Scrolling through his Instagram feed, his passion for not only running, but the outdoors in general shines through in every post. He just returned from an Instagram takeover in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, be sure to follow Alaska Airlines on Instagram.
I love being outside. As someone who spends a lot of time in the outdoors, Portland, Oregon is a great place to have as a base camp between trips. With both Mount Hood and the Oregon Coast about an hour away, great access to outdoor activities is something I often take for granted. I really value being able have a fun trip in just a few days. Spending this last weekend in the Utah really opened my eyes to the ease of travel between Portland and Salt Lake City and the ease of travel between mountains, desert and city near Salt Lake City.
Recycling is fine, but reuse or “upcycling” is better. That’s the thinking behind an innovative approach to find new homes for Alaska Airlines’ aging cargo containers, known as “igloos.”
Alaska Air Cargo uses the cargo containers known as igloos because of their dome-like shape, to transport food and other necessities of life, to far flung communities in the state of Alaska as well as bringing Alaska-produced goods such as Copper River salmon to the lower 48. They are designed to be packed to the gills with supplies, and then slide on rollers to fit perfectly in the cargo freighters, making the most efficient use of space.
Now some retired containers are being used by Puget Sound area farmers as goat-milking spaces, chicken coops, pig pens, storage for garden tools, firewood and more. The igloos were saved from the landfill thanks to employees’ creative thinking and a determination to reduce Alaska’s waste stream.
Last fall, Air Cargo was looking for homes for 150 used igloos as the airline planned to replace them with lighter, more advanced versions.
When the conservation district put the offer for the igloos on their Facebook page they were overwhelmed by the response, said Chrissy Cooley, agriculture community of interest coordinator. The post received four times more views than anything they had posted last year, she said. Some 164 farmers wanted at least one.
Now that spring has arrived, and a wet one at that, the 440-cubic-foot containers are in heavy use. Seattle Tilth, which has an organic working farm and community gardens in Auburn where 36 people tend a plot or keep their animals, is using most of them as storage sheds for gardening tools and feed, with a couple set aside for a chicken coop and a milking station.
“This has been a great partnership to bring new life to the containers in a way we would have never expected,” said Shelly Parker, director of cargo operations.
Natasha, a farmer who was milking sheep and a goat this week in one of the containers, said she really appreciates being out of the rain as she milks her animals and having a dry place to store her supplies.
One of the Pierce County farmers who claimed an igloo was Scott Gruber, who runs Calendula Farm and Landscaping Services near Puyallup, along with his wife Alina. Gruber is using his igloo to house his organically fed, free-range chickens and ducks. He sells his poultry and rabbits to high end restaurants in Tacoma and at the Proctor Farmers Market.
“These are just so perfectly suited for what we do. We are usually nailing together plywood and plastic for shelter. It’s so cool to get something real that is waterproof,” he said.
The igloos are made out of Lexan, a translucent polycarbonate material on the sides and aluminum on the top and bottom. They came with one side open covered by a blue coated tarp.
You can bet that if more igloos become available, people will be lined up to take them. And that’s good for goats and the environment.
“This is a terrific example of sustainability in action,” said Jacqueline Drumheller, Alaska’s sustainability manager. “Sustainability is about innovative thinking and identifying long-term solutions that benefit the company, the community and employees.”
After making their relationship official in December, Alaska and Virgin America are ready to take the next step and move in together at one of their largest West Coast hubs: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). On May 13, Virgin America will be moving into Alaska Airlines’ home in Terminal 6, which means that all gates, domestic and international flights will operate under the same roof.
Journalist and bestselling author Jo Piazza has long considered herself an independent feminist woman who didn’t need a man to complete her. She was pretty ambivalent about marriage until she met the greatest guy in the world on a boat in the Galapagos islands. They got engaged three months later. Piazza had no idea how to be a partner while also maintaining her independence. To try to figure it out she set out on a journey around the world to 20 countries on five continents to interview women about what a real happily ever can and should look like for a modern woman who wants a marriage of equals. The result is her hilarious and thought provoking new memoir How to Be Married.
She concluded the book while on assignment for the Alaska Airlines blog in Scotland.
The following is excerpted with permission from HOW TO BE MARRIED: What I Learned from Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage. Copyright © 2017 by Jo Piazza. Published by Harmony Books an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
I got more marriage advice than most people bargain for during the first year of my marriage. But as I was nearing the end of those first twelve months I kept coming back to one thing—travel without your spouse.
It’s counterintuitive, I know … get a happier marriage by spending less time together. But I was promised over and over again, from experts and long married couples alike, that traveling apart was one of the best ways to nurture a happy partnership.
With that in mind and my first wedding anniversary a couple weeks away, I flew across the country and over the Atlantic Ocean for a weeklong road trip through the Scottish Highlands with my best friend, Glynnis. She flew in from Paris, where she was finishing her own book, to meet me for the week. Nick and I would celebrate our actual anniversary with a camping trip in Yellowstone National Park, a surprise he’d planned all by himself.
“You’re brave,” a teenaged boy with elaborate dreadlocks and a tattoo of a dinosaur told me as I hoofed it up one of the steeper sections of the hike to Hanakapi’ai beach along the Na Pali Coast.
I shot him a smile. “Oh this is nothing,” I bowed my head with false modesty.
The truth is I was proud of myself for making the relatively difficult four-mile in-and-out trek while six months pregnant and I wanted all the high fives I was getting on that trail. My husband Nick laughed behind me, content to allow me to bask in my pregnant lady glory.
We flew to Kauai, the furthest west of the Hawaiian islands open to the public because we wanted a vacation that would offer at least a little adventure—the kind a pregnant lady can safely get into and out of. This was our “babymoon,” a relatively ridiculous word first coined by an anthropologist in the nineties and popularized by tabloid magazines exploiting celebrity baby bump photos in exotic locations in the 2000s. I was once one of those magazine editors. The word might even be my fault.
But the celebritized babymoon ideal of floating in a pool while my husband enjoyed real alcoholic beverages and the delights of a piping hot Jacuzzi held little appeal for me. I wanted a real vacation, the kind we took before I was pregnant, the kind where I could still do things.
Kauai doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Nick and I spent four long days hiking, snorkeling, sailing and swimming in hidden beaches found at the end of long dirt roads. And no one loves pregnant ladies like the Hawaiians. It’s true that Kauai’s residents are among some of the friendliest people on Earth and they bend over backwards for all visitors, pregnant women in particular. Several times each day I was made to feel like a queen, or Beyoncé.
More Kauai: 5 must-do’s on Kauai, Hawaii’s Garden Island
Four months after merging, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America guests are seeing more and more benefits. Today, the combined company announced big growth at Dallas Love Field with four new daily nonstop routes to the West Coast.
New, daily nonstop flights to Seattle; San Diego; Portland, Oregon; and San Jose, California will be operated using the Embraer 175 jet. A second daily, nonstop flight to Seattle will be operated by Virgin America using an Airbus 320 family aircraft. Both airplanes offer three classes of service and are equipped with Free Chat, free movies, premium food and beverages, Wi-Fi and advance seat selection.
“The beauty of operating as a combined company is that we have more fleet flexibility, and can customize our offerings with the right size of airplane in the right market,” says John Kirby, Alaska’s vice president of network planning.
Some travelers earn elite status by accident, a byproduct of traveling for work. Other people are tempted by the possibility of upgrades and bonus miles and do everything they can to qualify. Whichever camp you fall into, Alaska Mileage Plan has some unique benefits that go over and above the competition. By familiarizing yourself with some of these perks you can earn more miles and potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars each year.
Juan Flores, a born and raised Hoosier, has lived in Indianapolis, IN for a decade now. During that time, he earned his BFA in visual communication design while picking up photography as a creative side project. Fast forward to today, he is a social media manager for a local camera store, which he uses his technical and informal skills to capture Indiana through his point of view. Take his upbringing near Lake Michigan with a fond love for architecture, he documents the natural and architectural landscape that this city has to offer. He recently took over the Alaska Airlines Instagram account as a “Local Wanderer” as a part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series.
Six must-visit spots in and around Indianapolis:
Alaska Airlines “super fans” are easy to spot. They can be found carrying around their very own mini plane, or glued to the window trying to capture a photo of the airplane’s winglets. They can be overheard talking with a flight attendant like they are longtime friends, or saying, “I love Alaska Airlines!” when seated at an airport bar. They are experts on Mileage Plan, inflight amenities and the pancake machine at the Alaska Lounge.
The feeling of love is mutual – are you an Alaska Airlines super fan?