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Harriman Expedition Retraced

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Expedition Log: July 21, 2001

Jonas Parker, Young Explorers Team

Seattle, Washington

While most members of the expedition needed to travel to Seattle to start the voyage to Alaska, Jonas Parker, a member of the Young Explorers Team, was already in Alaska, and needed to travel to Seattle to accompany the expedition back to Alaska. A few days before, expedition members were sent an electronic mail message describing the very rich, exotic dinner served at the start of the original Harriman Alaska Expedition on May 23, 1899:

Bill of Fare

Neck clams, green turtle consomme, cucumbers
Baked blue fish with fine herbs, potato Saratoga
Prime roast beef, roast Philadelphia capon, potatoes, spinach, peas
Peach fritters, tomato salad
Apple tapioca pudding, hard and brandy sauce, ice cream, assorted cake
Preserved fruit marmalade, dried Canton ginger
English and graham wafers, strawberries and cream
Roquefort, Canadian Camembert and Edam Cheese, Danish water crackers
Café noir

2001 expeditioners were asked to describe their first meal as they began their voyage a century later.


Olympic Hotel

Expedition members had a sendoff dinner at Seattle's Olympic Hotel. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).
Click image for a larger view.

This morning proved that Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards were indeed bare. Instead of feasting on Rice Crispies, I downed some orange juice and decided to hold out for airline food. As much as most people complain about airline food, I really don't mind it so much. In a way, it gives you a sense of freedom. You've left home, and are headed out for wherever. It's the first step of your trip and it tends to make the airline food take on a certain zest.

Unfortunately for my meal plans, the flight was non-stop from Sitka to Seattle. Thus Alaska Airlines must have thought that there simply would not be enough time to amply digest one of their famous airline meals. Instead they came through the cabin distributing a "drink" and "in-flight snack." Too kind, really.

I downed my chocolate chip muffin and Coke with a no doubt surprising speed. Without skipping a beat, I proceeded to look about: "Where's the rest of it?!" A flight attendant approached, but instead of bearing more muffins, she came holding a garbage bag. She asked, "Are you done, sir?" I would have liked to nod my head and say, "No" at the same time, but instead I replied, "Yes, thank you."

Having finished the expansive meal, I kicked back in my seat and stared out the window at the fog-shrouded landscape of the Inside Passage which lay far below. The somber landscapelooked, somehow, hungry.



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For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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