Your Very Next Step newsletter for November 2008

Your Very Next Step newsletter for November 2008

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy.

– Gordon Lightfoot

The next adventure begins with your very next step.

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“Most people live their life around what other people do. They watch their life go by in somebody's else's vision. To me, that doesn't seem like a good idea.”

– Tom Scholz, Engineer, Musician, Inventor

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*** In this issue:

*** Ned celebrates Freedom in Milwaukee

*** Zipper Maintenance and guaranteed repairs

*** Hot Malasadas – an update

*** Travel News

*** YVNS “Sport You Must Try” for November: Noodling

*** My Adventure: And I’m Walking in the Lion’s Den…..

*** Thru-hike speed record on the A.T.

*** Blaze orange is not just for hunters

*** Travel, Outdoor and Adventure Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

1.) Director of Development and Communications, Utah Wildlife and Conservation Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah

2.) Marketing and Development Coordinator, Accokeek Foundation, Accokeek, Maryland

3.) Trip Leader, Adventures Cross-Country, Mill Valley, CA (Trip locations vary)

4.) Park Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, National Park Service, Department Of The Interior, Cherokee, NC

…and much more…and it’s all FREE!!!

*** I traveled to Milwaukee for the commissioning of USS Freedom. My trip took me via Chicago on United because it was much more expensive to fly non-stop on Midwest, a so-call low-cost carrier. Changing gates at O’Hare took me past a restored Navy F4F-3 Wildcat and an exhibit in honor of Lt. Butch O’Hare, Medal of Honor recipient and namesake of this incredibly busy airport. I took the time to check out this display. The aircraft itself was used for training and qualifying Navy carrier pilots from the nearby Naval Air Station at Glenview. The Wildcat was fished out of Lake Michigan many years after the war, and was well preserved in the cold and fresh water of lake Michigan. And how did carrier pilots train in Lake Michigan? Well, the navy converted a couple of old coal-fired paddleboat steamers into flattops. Check out USS Wolverine ( ) and USS Sable (

Upon getting my car in Milwaukee and heading downtown, I watched preparations for the Freedom commissioning from behind the fence with a crowd of veterans who had gathered to watch. One veteran off the USS Ulvert M. Moore (DE-442)

Marveled that Freedom had just a crew of 40, whereas his 306-foot WWII destroyer escort had a crew of more than 200. I told him that the two ships really had little in common, that the Littoral Combat Ship was not built to escort convoys, or screen other ships with anti-aircraft guns. And it doesn’t have a steam plant. Once I started answering questions with some authority, everyone started asking me questions. One old salt said, “Hey, this lady who is the sponsor. Does that mean she paid for the ship?”

I had an opportunity to speak to an interesting group of very friendly and civic-minded gentlemen in the Gyro Club (, which holds its meetings in the venerable Wisconsin Club (, just a few blocks from where I went to college. After lunch I visited with the commanding officer and the midshipmen at the Navy ROTC Unit at Marquette Unviversity (, through which I received my commission many years earlier. The unit is located in the old gym, and hasn’t changed since my brother started there in 1964. Midshipmen from the unit participated in the USS Freedom commissioning ( Captain Bill Radomski, a 1983 grad and P-3 aviator, proudly showed me around, introduced me to the Mids, and joined me for dinner at Real Chili. Real Chili is where everyone went to eat after the bars closed because it was the only place open (

The commissioning festivities were a pretty big deal in Milwaukee, and so the hotels were blocked. Capt. Tom Plantenberg, my general agent when I visit Milwaukee, set me up at the Milwaukee Athletic Club (, a very comfortable facility, and conveniently located in the heart of Milwaukee and not far from where the ship was at Veteran’s Park.

The Friday night reception was held at Discovery World on Milwaukee’s waterfront ( This museum has a scale model of the Great Lakes, which helps understand the size of the lakes, and the differences in altitude. Lake Superior is at a much higher altitude than the other lakes. The food was wonderful, and the presentations were fun to watch. My friends, the two new commanding officers, Don Gabrielson and Mike Doran, were proud and pleased, as I was for them

If you’ve been to more than one of these commissioning receptions, you know they’re pretty much the same. The builders thank everyone and give the ship something. Lockheed martin is the prime contractor. Gibbs and Cox is the design agent. Freedom was built 170 miles to the north at Marinette Marine. Often the ship is named for a city or state, so the Mayor or Governor will give the ship something on behalf of the citizens. Freedom is named for an ideal, but also several towns of that name, including Freedom, Wisconsin, named by the freed slave who founded the town. The town supervisor gave the ship a Freedom Flag which flew the next day at commissioning. Every ship has a “sponsor,” typically a woman, who breaks the champagne bottle upon launching to “christen” the ship. Freedom’s sponsor is Ms. Birgit Smith, widow of Army Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroic service in Iraq ( There is a Navy tradition that when the mast is placed upon a ship, called stepping the mast, a coin is placed under it for good luck. Freedom has a Blue crew and a Gold crew, and both commanding officers placed a coin under the mast. Birgit Smith placed her and her husband’s wedding rings under the mast, along with his St. Christopher medal, which makes me emotional just thinking about it.

To handle the crowd for the Saturday ceremony, we had to go to Miller Park, the Brewer’s home filed (a big improvement over old County Stadium where I used to watch the AL Brew Crew). We marveled at the inefficiency of the busloading system as we waited for our transportation to Veteran’s Park. The ceremony was very nice, and I was very proud to see this ship come to life, especially since I’ve been telling everyone who will listen, and some who won’t listen, what a great idea the Littoral Combat Ship is since June of 2002. It was very cold, and so we didn’t stay long after the ceremony. Before Gordan Reheinstrom had to return to Washington, he and I did enjoy some of Milwaukee’s famous German cuisine at Mader’s (, although the service was slow. I also had the opportunity to show Gordan where I used to live at 19th and Kilbourn, where Lenny’s Tap was at 18th and State, and where all the bars used to be along State Street – every corned and some in between the corners – all gone now.

The following Monday I boarded Freedom for her “maiden voyage” from Milwaukee to Cleveland. I’ll save that story for the next edition.

*** Jack Duggan sends:

Ned –

Great quote; thanks. We finished the cabin roof 10/18, just in time to beat the rain. The attached photo shows Mount Isabelle in the background. With so many other things on the plate, we will tarp it for this winter and plan to finish the exterior next spring/summer.

I travelled to Berkeley, CA for my sister's wedding last week, staying at the Rose Garden Inn B&B on Telegraph Ave. (The breakfast buffet is superb! Very nice place, if a bit spendy.) That was the same week-end of the Cal/UCLA game and Cal came out on top big time. Since our B&B is right in the U district, I had a lively walk along Telegraph Sat. evening. Got my taste of big city for a few months.

Hope all is well with you. I still have that pair of sunglasses someone left behind at the picnic and I also found a plastic chafing dish with “Laura” written on masking tape underneath. Was there a Laura at the picnic?

Walk in Peace – Jack

(Your sister got married at the football game?)

Now that would have been interesting! No, the ceremony was in the garden, performed by a Buddhist priest. My sister and her partner have been together more than ten years. We each have our own path to walk.

But it was the same day as the big rivalry game, so the town (and our b&B) was full of grey-haired alumni wearing Cal shirts and caps. My walk along Telegraph Ave. that evening, interrupted frequently by street people for whom a dollar was “very important,” encountered numerous college students in full “Go Team” regalia. Added to the ambience.

Finally got some rain in the hidebound hills of southern Oregon. Which means I must now go and fortify the defenses against those who call themselves hunters while driving open-top jeeps, one hand on a bottle of whiskey and the other on the trigger of a rifle (they drive with their knees). My fondness for bowhunting increases each year as a new crop of novices comes stumbling around the backcountry.

That's -30- for now.

Walk in Peace – Jack

*** Zipper Maintenance and guaranteed repairs:

I haven't responded to your newsletter before so I'm not sure if this is the correct way to provide a story/comment or not. Anyway….

I travel a lot for business and have my standard roller board suitcase by Pathfinder which I've had easily for 8 years or more. The main zipper started to fail as well as pull away from the body of the suitcase. In addition, some of the piping stitching (more decorative) was pulling out and fraying and one or two of my zipper pulls on the front pockets were gone, not that I really noticed. I took it in to the luggage shop where my husband had purchased it to have the zipper fixed (they were the ones that noted the other problems for fixing). I full well expected to pay for the repairs but they needed to call me back with the estimate. I received the call a day later that due to the issues and warranty after 8+ years they had to send it back to the manufacturer…okay fine. I was then called again when it was back and ready to be picked up. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and they brought out my BRAND NEW REPLACEMENT suitcase. The manufacturer's lifetime warranty (didn't realize it had that or had forgotten) is great! The model is a bit different and after so many years knowing exactly how to pack my stuff in my original suitcase I was nervous about this new model which had a slightly different configuration – but all is well and it's been on two trips already.


Amy Higgins

(Ned: I might expect Lands End to do that except I think they no longer offer that particular line of luggage. It seems silly to expect that for just a zipper pull.)

I have two, Ned.

#1 – In anticipation of succesful job interview a week before Christmas 2006, my wife and daughters gave me a very nice LL Bean Briefcase a less expensive leather and fabric version of this: (Obviously, I didn't get the job. I was less than stellar in the interview.) About a year afterwards one of the brass loops on the top of the bag to which one conencts the should strap, broke and all I could think of was the hassle of sending it back to Freeport, ME for repair. While checking the LL Bean web site for how to go about getting repairs, I tripped over their guarantee and the light went off in my head – I should go to the LL Bean store and do an exchange. So I went the Columbia, MD LL Bean Store to do so – they didn't have what I wanted in stock, the Sportsmen's Deluxe Briefcase,, but I ordered it at the store and 3 days later it was waiting for me when I got home from work. Next time I'll endure the hassle of going to their

larger Tysons Corner store, but otherwise I recommend them highly.

#2 Last winter the zipper pull on the fleece liner of my Columbia Bugaboo parka crapped out, so I couldn't zip the liner into the shell and then zip it closed. My Bugaboo is now 12 years old purchased on deep discount at the end of the season at a Sports Authority. It's been a very rugged and serviceable piece of outerwear – I wear it or its shell or the fleece liner nearly year round and there's no mistaking is as being new.

I sent an e-mail to Columbia Sportswear inquiring after the correct YKK zipper part. I learned that Columbia stands by their products, so even if I didn't have the receipt and as old as my Bugaboo is, the nice woman at Columbia said mail it to their repair facility and they'd inspect it and let me know what the cost, if any, would be for repairs. Off I went to the post office that weekend and off my parka went Oregon. Two weeks later, I received an e-mail stating that my parka was en route via Priority Mail and there would be no charge. When I received the parka and looked at the repairs I could see that Columbia had not just fixed the zipper pull, they replaced the entire zipper for the fleece liner, replaced the zipper on the shell and re-sewn 4 or 5 worn or unraveled seams! My total cost was all of approx. 12 bucks for postage and insurance! Columbia Sportswear's products are first rate and their service is excellent. When I'm in the market for outdoor wear, they are my f

irst choice.

Mark Sofman

*** Hot Malasadas:

I just read your blog entry from July about the Portuguese Bakery in P-town. When I was there in October, it was still packed with customers, during Women's Health Week. I can't imagine how the hot malasadas could be good for your physical health, but certainly your mental health! Incredible! We took our outside to a picnic table where we munched and watched the world and its dogs stroll by. A street musician set up shop next to our table, sitting on her little amp, strumming her guitar and singing into a microphone. I dropped a bill, sticky with a little oil and sugar from the malasadas, in her hat before moving on to Tom's Used Books and the surplus store. What a great town! Cj

*** Here’s the YVNS Travel News for November:

*** More than 50% of delays nationwide originate from the New York area airspace, even though it represents only 12% of flights.

Big competition:

Southwest Airlines has grabbed about 10% of the market share at Denver International Airport, nearly doubling its position from a year ago. Denver has become a fiercely competitive market, with Southwest adding more than 50 daily departures from the “focus city.”

Big savings:

In an “unprecedented” decision, Canada's Supreme Court has upheld a government order barring domestic airlines from charging extra to obese passengers who require two seats rather than one on a domestic flight.

*** Three major airports have opened new runways this month, built at a combined cost of $1.815 billion. Seattle, Chicago O'Hare and Washington Dulles all expect the new runways to help reduce delays and boost capacity

*** Southwest Airlines intends to make its first foray into New York City by buying 14 slots at LaGuardia Airport, the carrier announced today, through a $7.5 million acquisition of bankrupt ATA Airlines, a transaction that must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis. No details on when, and to where, service would begin have been determined, Southwest said.

*** Air Transport World reports, “Italy and United Arab Emirates signed an agreement yesterday that will allow Emirates and Etihad Airways to have significant access to Italian airports, with EK planning to use Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino and Venice as gateway “hubs” to Europe. Italian Secretary of State for Economic Development and Foreign Trade Adolfo Urso, who traveled to Abu Dhabi to sign the accord, said the re-launched Alitalia would provide connections for EK passengers. “Emirates would be able to count on the help of our new Italian airline,” he said. EK will operate 21 weekly flights to both MXP and FCO and 14 to VCE. It also will operate 28 weekly cargo flights collectively to the Italian cities. Etihad plans to operate seven weekly flights each to MXP and FCO. “Thanks to this agreement, Italy will more easily become a tourist destination for the newly rich from the Gulf and from southeast Asia,” Urso claimed.”

*** IRS To Lower 2009 Car Mileage Reimbursement Rate

The Internal Revenue Service on Jan. 1, 2009, will lower its standard mileage rate to 55 cents per mile—3.5 cents less than the current rate, which the government raised mid-year amid escalating fuel prices.

*** X-ray vision:

*** Here’s an adventure to share with your significant other:;guest=37077929

*** Rodger Dana sent this link along. Less wetted surface means less drag, and more speed:

*** My Adventure:

Share your adventure with the YVNS network. Send to Ned at

Ned — Below is a story of my Lion Encounter in Zimbabwe. If you think you would like to publish in “Your Very Next Step,” I am happy to resend as a word attachment and include a couple of pictures.

Laura Perry

And I’m Walking in the Lion’s Den…..

At one time, nearly 250,000 lions roamed free on the African continent. Thanks to human encroachment, hunting and poaching and disease outbreaks, they number less than 20,000 today. The Lion Encounter Organization in Zimbabwe was formed to research and initiate the breeding and reintroduction of lions into the wilderness. From the ages of 2 to 16 months, lion cubs need to spend as much daylight time as possible out in the wild. So the organization came u p with this great idea to raise funds – have volunteers “walk” the lion cubs.

On a reserve just outside of Victoria Falls, we met the experienced staff of Lion Encounter. They are friendly and excited to share this unique experience with us, but they are also very serious. We are, after all, on an open reserve and the lions will be unrestrained. After a review of safe lion walking procedures, we are all given a stick to use “just in case” (although one staff member also had a gun “just in case”) and went to meet the lions.

There they were: twin cubs, approximately 10 months old and ready to go. After our group got finished ohing and ahing in amazement, we set off on our one and one-half hour walk. The cubs ran into the bushes.&nb sp; They ran out of the bushes. They ran past us on the path. They tumbled and played together. They ran up trees (and then came down). They roared. When they stopped, we’d get our courage up (with staff instruction) and gently come up behind them to get our picture taken. If they turned to look back, we’d stay still, pretending to be brave but ready to use that stick at a moments notice.

The time was over too quickly and we said goodbye to our new four-legged friends (who ran off without a without so much as wave because it was suppertime).

No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain once wrote: It is an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and what’s happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there – with your eyes open – and lived to see it.

Words defy my Lion Encounter. But I think the pictures do tell where I’ve been and that I was very happy I was there.

(What was the trip all about?)

This was a spectacular vacation! Two weeks in Africa — started in Capetown (spectacular scenery, wineries in Stellenbosch, penguin sightings) then on to a private reserve outside Kruger for photo safari (where I saw the grown up counterparts of my friends from Zimbabwe) and then finally on to Victoria Falls. Beautiful scenery — and so sad to see such poverty. The country looks like it went to sleep 30 years ago (well, I guess it did) — that faded, dust covered look you get to unused items. The people are so warm and friendly.

This story was fun to write. I have had the opportunity to travel many places throughout the world — off the beaten path and on the well traveled. I have a great friend with whom I have shared many adventures. Some hilarious times, some somber. I found the quote from Anthony Bourdain after I had returned from Macchu Picchu and it articulated exactly how I felt standing there on top of the world — a million miles from anywhere I knew. We sat for almost 1/2 hour in just silence, absorbing the history and spirituality of this abandoned city.

Well, that was more than you asked for. I'll share again.


(Laura. It’s true, stories are fun to tell, and it helps relive and rekindle experiences. For all of you, please share your adventures with this network. Send to Ned at

*** From Blue Ridge Outdoors:

Jennifer Pharr Davis set a thru-hike speed record on the A.T. while trekking in memory of slain hiker Meredith Emerson.

*** Pass this on to the kids:

Outdoor Writers Association Announces Annual Youth Writing Contest

The Virginia Outdoor Writers Association, Inc. (VOWA) announces its 16th Annual Youth Writing Competition for 2008. The goal of the contest is to reward young people for excellence in communicating their personal experiences in the outdoors. The competition is open to all Virginia students in grades 9 through 12, including home-schooled students.

The theme of this year's contest is based on “My Most Memorable Outdoor Experience”. An experience by the student writer with hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, hiking, birding or other outdoor activity should be the predominant subject matter. No athletic event or competition is an eligible subject matter. Submissions can be submitted in a Microsoft Word or text file since the three top winners will be posted on the VOWA Web site, and may be in other publications or on web sites. E-mail submissions are encouraged – write the document and then attach it to an e-mail. The submissions can be made between now and the January 15, 2009, deadline.

Awards will consist of gift certificates and gear from outdoor sports businesses and supporting members of VOWA. Over $500 in prizes will be awarded. Winners will be announced and awards presented at the VOWA's Annual Meeting in Hampton, on March 22, 2009, with the time and place to be announced. The winner's parents (or mentor/teacher) will be guests of VOWA for the presentation event. There is also a separate contest for college level undergraduates interested in pursuing journalism or communication careers and interests.

For contest guidelines, entry information and required entry submission form for both the Youth and Undergraduate contests, visit the VOWA website or contact VOWA President and Contest Chairman, David Coffman at, or telephone (804) 221-6990.

*** Wearing Orange:

Except for hunting waterfowl, wearing blaze orange during the general firearms hunting season is not only smart – it's the law! And a good one that saves lives each year. But blaze orange is not just for hunters. This high-visibility “safety orange” is recognized in the workplace, both indoors or out, so you can bee seen. If you are a landowner, jogger, hiker, or walk your dog on woodland trails, you would be wise to wear a blaze orange hat, vest, or coat so a hunter can see you and not mistake your movement for game. Just like driving defensively, you should take the same precautions and awareness if you go to the woods for any reason during the hunting seasons from October through January. Dress defensively. Wear blaze orange to be safe and be seen. Also, if you should fall and get injured, rescuers will find you easier… time saved that could keep you from further harm. If you have dogs that “roam” out of the yard, put a blaze orange collar on them so they are not likely to be mistaken for a fox or coyote. Remember whether you are a hunter, or just enjoying the outdoors, cutting firewood or walking a woodland trail, wear “safety orange” — it's the woodswise thing to do!

*** Travel/Outdoors and Adventure jobs:

1.) Director of Development and Communications, Utah Wildlife and Conservation Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah

2.) Marketing and Development Coordinator, Accokeek Foundation, Accokeek, Maryland

3.) Trip Leader, Adventures Cross-Country, Mill Valley, CA (Trip locations vary)

Adventures Cross-Country is seeking Trip Leaders. Spend the summer leading, teaching, and inspiring teenagers while traveling to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations!

Company Description

Adventures Cross Country (ARCC) is the leading provider of Adventure, Community Service, International Travel and Wilderness Travel programs for teenagers in the United States. ARCC programs are designed for youth (10-18 years old) who want a summer experience that combines trying new activities, exploring new areas, experiencing the independence of traveling with a small group, conquering new challenges, and meeting students from all over the world.

Job Description

ARCC is looking for Trip Leaders who are enthusiastic about working with students ages 10 -18, and who have strong experience working with groups. ARCC leaders focus on fostering constructive group dynamics, facilitating games, activities and initiatives, overseeing outfitted activities, and ensuring that each person in the group is able to safely achieve goals consistent with his or her abilities. Trip Leaders also provide natural and cultural history education relevant to their location as well as teach the curriculum designed for each of our trip types: Leadership, Language, Blue Water, Community Service and Discovery. Leaders will guide groups of up to sixteen students, with a co-leader, through rigorous adventure programs. The trips are both mentally and physically challenging for leaders and participants, with adventures ranging from fourteen to thirty-seven days in duration (twenty-four hours a day).

ARCC seeks leaders who will be a positive influence on the participants, supporting them throughout the trip and creating a fun, safe, and supportive environment in which they can thrive. Our leaders and students participate in backpacking, sailing, rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, rafting, SCUBA diving, surfing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, international service projects, cultural exchanges, and language programs. Experience in these areas is helpful, but not required. Other leader responsibilities may include travel logistics, keeping a daily trip log, communicating with office staff about the status of the trip, and making crucial decisions along the way that may affect the outcome of the trip.

RequirementsMinimum 21 years of age.

Current certification in Wilderness First Responder (WFR), EMT, or WEMT by June 2009 (We offer a WFR course for those not already certified – call for details).

Excellent health and physical condition.

Current driver’s license and clean driving record.

Available for employment June 13, 2009 through late July to mid August.

Salary and Benefits

ARCC leaders are contracted to lead one or two trips, ranging from three to six weeks each. All leaders are required to participate in our Staff Training which starts June 13. The first-year leader salary ranges from $1000 – $1,600 depending on the length and number of trips you lead. All living and travel expenses will be paid for while working for ARCC. In addition, we offer great pro-deals on outdoor equipment from many well-known manufacturers.

Available PositionsTrip Leader Position

Blue Water Adventure Leader Position

Service Adventure Leader Position

Language Adventure Leader Position

Field Instructor Position

How to ApplyThe ARCC hiring period runs from October until late April, so please send in your application today. There is no official application closing date, but the earlier you send it in, the better your chances are of being hired!

To apply, please download the application [PDF] and mail, email, or fax the application, along with a resume and cover letter to:

Adventures Cross-Country

Trip Leader Application

242 Redwood Highway

Mill Valley, CA 94941


Phone: 800-767-2722

Fax: 415-332-2130

4.) Park Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, National Park Service, Department Of The Interior, Cherokee, NC

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Editor and Publisher

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Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings

In the ruins of her ice water mansion

Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,

The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario

Takes in what Lake Erie can send her

And the iron boats go as the mariners all know

With the gales of November remembered.

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