Flying MSP to FAI (with snacks) – Day 32

I finally got to Alaska!

Tomorrow the dorms open and I’ll start getting settled, but today was all about the airports.

I flew out of Minneapolis (MSP), because it was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than Bismarck or Fargo.  Although those are technically closer to home for me, I have family in MN so Minneapolis worked out fine.

Anyway, left from MSP at 7:00 am.  Which meant I got to wake up at 4 to get to the airport at 5:20ish.  Then I stood in line to check my bag until about 5:45.  It ended up being worth it because I checked one carry-on size suitcase, which they did for free because of the size!  I don’t know if that’s a regular thing for Alaska Air, but I was happy to save 25 dollars.

Good start to the morning.

From there I got randomly selected at security for extra screening, which was not a huge deal but left me feeling a little stressed.  Luckily, my gate was close and I ended up having plenty of time.  I did have a hiking backpack to carry on, as well as my regular backpack, so I hung out at the gate until we set off for Seattle.  I was able to gate check that bag as I was boarding, so I was feeling remarkably light.

Four hours later, we touched down at SEATAC.  Local time 9:03.  Boarding time for my Anchorage connection?  9:05.  Commence rushing through the Seattle airport (sadly, no time for Starbucks in its hometown).  I scraped by, getting to the gate at last call for boarding.  It took a while to calm down from that.

At this point I could probably mention that my nutrition for the day so far had consisted of one protein bar, some Awake caffeinated chocolate, and a cup of coffee.  It’s safe to say I was running on plenty of adrenaline and caffeine along with a decided lack of food.

I slept most of the way to Seattle, but I was (as mentioned previously) bright eyed and bushy tailed on the way to Anchorage.  That flight, just under 4 hours, felt like it took an eternity.  This situation was not helped by me completely forgetting that Alaska has its own time zone an hour behind Pacific time.  I was a little freaked out about making my 1:10 Fairbanks connection when I thought we were landing at 1:30.

The descent into Anchorage was memorably turbulent, which I personally quite enjoyed.  I’m a roller coaster fanatic, so in my opinion it was similar to a really expensive and disappointingly short amusement park trip.  I was excited to be in Alaska and enjoying a bit of excitement with the rough air, so I had a really tough time not laughing when the lady behind me shrieked at every dip.  The caffeine might have had something to do with that.

In reality, I got to Anchorage at 12:20 or so and had about 20 minutes to stretch my legs.  I wasn’t really in the mood for McDonald’s, so I ate another RXBar.  I love me some Clif bars, but when I’m not using them during a hike or post workout, I want a better sugar/protein ratio than 19 to 11 grams in their peanut butter crunch (their best ratio in this respect).  The RX bars are more expensive, but the peanut butter chocolate version has 13 grams of sugar for 12 grams protein per bar.  I decided to try them.

The RXBar is a lot chewier than Clif bars.  Obviously it’s made with dates and egg whites as binders, so there is less body and crunch to the whole thing.  That being said, I would say they are just as filling.  Target has a sale going on now, but at regular price still sells a 4 pack for a better deal than buying bigger packs of the RXBAR website or from Amazon.

I also am a fan of dried fruit for travel, since I can eat it kind of mindlessly and not feel horrible.  Recently I tried dried coconut and am hooked.  That, however, was pretty expensive when I was doing my last minute snack run.

Instead, I found some freeze-dried edamame (soybeans), and GUYS.  Dried fruit has a lot of sugar in it, which isn’t necessarily bad, because it’s natural sugar from the fruit.  This edamame has 1 gram of sugar and 12 grams of fat per serving.  I would say if you’re unfamiliar with edamame it can be an acquired taste, but this is my new favorite salty, guilt-free travel snack.


I am not a nutritionist, but I’ve found high protein snacks work best for me while traveling.  They don’t bother my stomach, my blood sugar stays pretty level, and I feel full, so I don’t have to pack as many snacks.

In total, I took 4 RXBARs, a bag of that edamame, a bag of Jack Links beef jerky, and a bag of Peanut M&Ms.  I need a little sugar.  Otherwise, I drank lots of water and a little bit of juice on the plane.  I also like to get ice to chew on if I’m drinking water faster than is comfortable on a plane but want to stay hydrated and entertain myself.  Yes, I am easily entertained.

Getting back on track, the flight to Fairbanks was a little bumpy at the beginning.  I was actually disappointed by how quickly everything smoothed out, but I’ll survive.  We landed smoothly and everything has been chill from there.

I rounded out the day of travel with a run and some Guy Fieri on the Food Network.

I am ready to get some sleep, especially since the local time is 9:10 and my body thinks it’s after midnight.  I will keep everyone posted on my first full day in Fairbanks tomorrow.

Cheers to safe travels!  Goodnight.


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