Once again I have just returned from New York from another Explorers Club annual dinner. In a previous blog post I had mentioned the exotic food that is served with cocktails before the meal and this year was no different – well a little different as this year I had crocodile, boar, jellyfish and kangaroo. All delicious. Equally delicious were the after dinner deserts. I love chocolate and there is nothing like a crunchy cricket or a grub on top of your chocolate cupcake!
While all those things are fun what truly makes the weekend wonderful is hearing from our true heroes and explorers and this year was very special. On Thursday I got to hear an interview and talk by Jim Whitaker. Jim was the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest. He summited on May 1,1963 with the Sherpa Nawang Gombu (a nephew of Tenzing Norgay). And he just happens to be the first full-time employee of one of my favorite stores – Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). It was fascinating to hear him talk about climbing and got my interest piqued about climbing Kilimanjaro again sometime soon.
At the dinner I got to hear talks delivered by astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter. Glenn and Carpenter are the first Americans to go into space. Scott Carpenter who talked first quipped that this was the first time he got to do something before John Glenn did it. The evening was capped with a talk by explorer and oh yes movie director James Cameron who said it best that being honored here was better than any Academy Award.
Once again it was an incredible evening. Now to find that recipe for kangaroo stew!