Tag Archives: Alaska

What’s in your bag?



Everyone has rituals or particular ways they do things to stay organized and keep the chaos of life at bay. One thing I like to keep organized and ready to use – whenever I can – is my travel carry-on. True, this is not something that I use every day or even every week, but when I do need it, I want the little things done so I only have to think about the big things, like, which shoes should I wear with this outfit?
So, how do I keep my travel carry-on organized and what are the little things, you ask? I am so glad you did!
To start with – I always keep my toiletry bag in my carry-on full of TSA-approved bottles and accessories. There are the basics, such as toothbrush; toothpaste; floss picks (because when you have killer BBQ ribs that are just to die for, it is inevitable that some will get stuck in your teeth!); razor; hairbrush; deodorant; Q-tips; lotion; simple inexpensive costume jewelry for dress (see below) and Shine eye makeup remover cloths from Younique which also doubles as a face cleanser with sunflower, olive, vitamin E, and just a hint of rosemary. You can purchase them here from Haley Ragsdale.  Don’t leave home without it!


Additionaly, I also have a fragrance lotion; hair gel or mousse; a duplicate set of my makeup; shampoo and conditioner – because you never know if there will be some waiting for you at your destination, also, if you get bumped and have to hang-out in the airport for more than 10 hours, it is nice to freshen up in the bathroom… just sayin’. Speaking of having to freshen up in the airport, I also keep a pack of non-fragranced baby wipes in a sandwich Ziploc bag. ‘Yeah, we all do that, duh’, you say? Well, do you also add some of your favorite perfume or cologne to the wipes? Give it a try!
First off, let’s cover the carry-on luggage its self. My favorite carry-on has lots of pockets – little ones, big ones – you really can’t have to many. Also, must haves for a carry-on is a strong telescoping-handle and 360-degree turning wheels. I just hate it when I am running to catch a flight and my bag does not make the turn when I do and then tips on its side and slides outta control and wipes out the person next to me. That is so annoying and embarrassing!
Ok, so now onto what I keep in there. First off, I will put a few unused dryer sheets in the bottom of the carry-on so my clothes will not get that stale smell. Then I will keep a pair of very comfy flats; a ‘waddable, wrinkle-free’ dress that I can dress up or down; a tank top and pair of shorts that are multi-use (PJ’s, work-out clothes, or wearing out on a warm day – I love multi-use items!); swimsuit; a cover-up (yup, multi-use – one that I can use as a cover-up, layer with the tank top and pants, casual dress, you get the idea.); and a light-weight jacket. Speaking of my love for multi-use items, I came across an amazing item of clothing that will have a permanent home in my carry-on! It is called a Cameleon – like the lizard that changes colors to adapt. This one article of clothing can be a sundress; jumpsuit; cape; poncho; pants; laundry bag; or a light sleeping bag and it folds into its own pocket to take minimal space in your bag! It is mind boggling!

I am never too far from food. So last but not least, I keep a few protein bars in one of the pockets. Something that will have a shelf life of at least a year, will not squish, melt, or need to be refrigerated. When you land at an airport at 2 am and your internal clock is so outta whack that it thinks you should be eating lunch and everything is shut down, you will be glad you tucked them in a pocket! They won’t be as fabulous as a juicy burger from Humpy’s (Alaska reference) or a grande plate of nachos from La Mex that you washed down with a blue margarita (another Alaska reference) but it will keep you from eyeing the leather on your shoes.
Well, that is about what I keep in my carry-on. I keep the pre-packed clothes light because I will have to mix it up once in a while depending where I am going.
What do you keep in your bag?

Tata for now! Donna


Monument Monday: Balto

Monday is Monumental Monday here at Whats New Adventure. The topic of conversation?….. Yup, you guessed it, monuments! The world is full of absolutely amazing monuments! Monuments that are grandiose, extravagant and seen by millions of people to small plaques that only a few local people know about. Do you have a favorite monument? Do you know of a monument that could use more recognition? Share your comments below! I would love to hear from you about them!

Dogs have been herald as man’s best friend for centuries. They are always there when we need them, giving us unconditional love and not asking anything in return except for love. In a corner of Central Park in New York City is a monument to a dog that represents many dogs from several dog sled teams in a historically important time period in Alaska.

Nome 1900
Nome 1900

The year is 1925. The location is Nome, a village just 2 degrees south of the Arctic Circle that saw a boom in population when gold was discovered there in 1899. The terrain is what some people would describe as bleak with small scrub trees and a flat tundra that is covered with ice and snow for many months out of the year. The indigenous people who are friendly, quick to smile and to welcome others to their table for a meal are also experts in efficiently living off the land and carving out a home in a land that many would consider inhospitable.

Nome had 1 doctor and 4 nurses in a 25 bed hospital when the potentially deadly diphtheria epidemic broke out. The antitoxin that the doctor had on hand was not enough to treat the population of Nome, which at that time was just under 1500, and the antitoxin had expired.

The doctor made an emergency call to have additional vials of antitoxin transported to Nome. The additional antitoxin was located in the west coast hospitals. The problem was that transportation was very limited in Alaska at that time, in addition, it was winter which reduced travel options even more. To get the antitoxin to Nome from the west coast would take well over a month via plane, train and then dog sled team. The people of Nome did not have the luxury of waiting 30 days!

A doctor in Anchorage at the  Anchorage Railroad Hospital discovered some forgotten vials of the antitoxin in a store-room that he wrapped in quilting and put in a metal container and then sent it to Nenana, a town that was as far north as the train could go.

It was arranged that dog mushers would get the serum in Nenana at the same time that mushers would start the trip from Nome towards Nenana. They would meet along the trail at the half way point in Nualto and create a relay to get the serum to the people of Nome.

balto map
Historic map of trail from Nenana to Nome

The trail from Nenana to Nome is 674 miles (1085 km) long and under normal circumstances would take 30 days to traverse. The best dog mushers and dog teams were recruited to relay the serum from Nenana to Nome in less than 6 days, which was how long it was estimated that the serum would survive in the brutal winter conditions of Alaska.

Dog sled team

Balto, a black and white Siberian husky, was the lead dog of the dog sled team run by Gunnar Kaasan. Balto lead the dog sled team in nearly a straight line through  a blizzard with white out conditions so intense that Kaasan could hardly see the dogs that were harnessed the closest to the sled. The blizzard winds were so severe that at one point Kaasan nearly lost the serum when the wind grabbed the sled and sent it tumbling. The serum became dislodged and fell in the snow drifts. Kaasan severely frostbite his hands searching for the serum.

balto kaasan
Gunnar Kaasan and Balto

Through blizzards, frostbite, temperatures that ranged between -50F and -85F (-46C and -65C) with the wind chill and wind gusts at an estimated 80 mph it took 20 mushers and 150 sled dogs, many of who lost their lives on the trail because of the cold 5 1/2 days to make the 674 mile (1085 km) trip to Nome. The serum was delivered to the doctor in tact and with out a single broken vial!

Today the race to save the people of  Nome is celebrated every year with the Iditarod Sled Dog race which takes place during the Fur Rondy Festival in February.

The monument to Balto and the other 4-legged heroes of that momentous trip was created by Frederick Roth on December 15, 1925.