Andrew Evans takes a moment to follow in other explorers’ footsteps and name a piece of Antarctica.
By the time humans entered the modern age, we had already assigned names to most everything on our planet. Then came Antarctica–a whole continent filled with mountains, glaciers and penguins all waiting to be named. The naming of Antarctic places all happened on a first-come, first-served basis.
My first landing took place on Marguerite Bay, named after one Marguerite–wife of Jean Charcot of the 1909 French Antarctic Expedition. Similarly, the Adélie penguin that I am experiencing by the thousands (as well as the Adélie Coast and all things Adélie) was named after Adélie, wife of Captain Jules Dumont d’Urville who sailed to Antarctica in 1840. His ship was named the Pourquoi Pas? which means “Why not?” which is how the first island I landed on in Antarctica was named Pourquoi Pas Island–a picturesque pile of mountains with deep-cut fjords, right across from Adelaide Island, named after Queen Adelaide of England.
Arriving in Antarctica in the 21st century means I missed out on all the naming, but that didn’t stop me. Sometimes you just gotta commemorate the people who got you to where you are–like the kind and friendly woman at National Geographic Traveler who started me on this long and wondrous path to Antarctica. Any regular thank you falls short, but I did find a nice mountain that deserves a good name. To that end, I now present you Mount Marilyn–about 1,000 feet high and covered with snow for most of the year. I admit I only saw Mt. Marilyn in passing–and because my GPS reading may not be quite accurate, I realize that it may never get entered into the National Geographic Atlas. But no matter, because it will always be on my map.
P.S. Thanks for everything Marilyn.
Andrew Evans is tweeting about his travels aboard the National Geographic Explorer at @Bus2Antarctica. Want more? Follow the map of his journey, bookmark all of his blog posts, watch videos, and get the full story on the project here. Photos by Andrew Evans.