Your Very Next Step newsletter for September/October 2009

Your Very Next Step newsletter for September/October 2009

“It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe.”

– Rodan of Alexandria

The next adventure begins with your very next step.

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*** In this issue:

*** Travel News

*** “Where I'd rather be…”

*** YVNS “Sport Ned Never Heard Of” for September/October

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











11.) Elephant Seal and Salamander Volunteer Research Assistants, PRBO Conservation Science, Southeast Farallon Island, CA

…and much more…and it’s all FREE!!!

*** Do you have that special place you like to get away to?

Send me your pics and I’ll post at the “Your Very Next Step” website ( under the category of “Where I'd rather be…”

How about you?

*** Favorite off-season place to be:


My favorite off-season place is Cape May, New Jersey. I go there for a writing workshop almost every January, over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. I drive from Elkton to Lewes, Delaware, stopping off at Bombay Hook NWR or Prime Hook NWR on the way, and take the ferry. It’s just over an hour’s cruise—I am the only idiot standing outside most of the way, bundled up in a parka and peering through binoculars in hopes of seeing a razorbill or other pelagic bird investigating the lower Delaware Bay.

At Cape May, I stay at the Grand Hotel with the writing group, and make sure I spend some time each day on the beach. One year, ice floes broke out from the Bay and were swept ashore by the wind and currents. They covered the beach the next morning—a spectacular sight. Another year the temperature was so warm I was able to take off my parka and sit on the beach for a while, with a friendly (and probably hungry) ring-billed gull for company.

Many restaurants are closed for the season, but some of the best are open, including Freida’s Café. And although they don’t lower the flag and play music on Sunset Beach in the winter, it’s still fun to go there at sundown, the only place on the East Coast where you can watch the sun set over the ocean.

Patricia Valdata

(What’s your favorite “off season” destination? Send to Ned at

*** Ned is offering free 95×600 pixel .jpg banner ads at the YVNS website for conservation organizations (Ned will decline this offer to organizations that conduct or promote illegal activities). Contact Ned at for details. Well, actually, those are the details. 95×600 pixel .jpg. And free.

*** Here’s the YVNS Travel News for September/October:

*** Virgin America, Singapore Airlines Take Tops In Condé Nast Traveler Awards

*** Bad ideas (From Jaunted):

1. Pee before you board your flight. (All Nippon)

2. Smoke on board…only if you smoke our own brand of “Smokeless Cigarettes.” (Ryanair)

3. Guns on Federally subsidized trains.

4. Travel Promotion Act, charging $10 fee on foreign travelers from countries that do not pay for a visa to enter the United States—for the purpose of attracting international travelers to the United States.

*** What airline has the nicest toilets?

*** Airlines that charge fees lost more money than airlines that didn't [BoingBoing]

*** Go Deep: Diving Four of the World's Top Shipwrecks

Read more:

*** Airfares going up again – Just in time for the holidays,1319361

*** How far can you jet on a $599 JetBlue All-You-Can-Jet Pass?

*** Fall Color Viewing in U.S. National Forests

*** Ned’s latest adventure:

The Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains are beautiful this time of year. When the breeze picks up, the yellow leaves flutter down like rain. We camped on the North River in the George Washington National Forest. We took two cars, plenty of food, and two Eureka Timberline tents (a two-man for the guys, and our new four-man for the girls, including Scout). The Dutch oven chicken pot pie, apple crisp, beef stroganoff and black forest cakes were ambitious but turned out great, albeit with some uncertainty as to the result right up until serving time. There are some nice trails in the area, but we took a relatively short walk of about three miles that left from Braley Pond and looped back around to our car. Although it was a long holiday weekend we did not see a lot of people out there camping. I enjoyed listening to, and occasionally watching the Pileated woodpeckers. I saw wood ducks in the pool near our site along the river, and a husky-voiced raven that flew up and down the stream bed. In the past I’ve seen kingfishers here, but only heard them this year.

See a few of the pics posted in this issue of YVNS on the right side.

*** Ned’s other latest adventure:

Camden, Arkansas may not be a familiar place to you, but they sure have a lot of big plants where they make explosive stuff, missiles, chaff flares, etc. The young lady at the Hertz counter is, in fact, from Camden. So we get some advice about where to go for dinner. The ride from Little Rock Airport is easy and pleasant, even at rush hour. Passing through Fordyce we see that it is indeed the birthplace of Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, the legendary coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Comfort Inn in Camden is barely noticeable from the highway, but it’s comfortable enough. We dine at the White House Café, the oldest restaurant in the state. Our waitress, Lisa Gail (she tells us everybody here has two names) used to work at the Amjet Flare factory in materials handling, but those darn hot flashes caused her fire retardant safety suit to steam up and fog her goggles.

On the way back we cruise into Fordyce to find the hallowed home of the Bear. We’re given directions at a gas pump. Don the road, under the underpass, over the creek, up on a hill to the right. About five miles. It was more like about eight, and we doubted ourselves a few times, but there it was. Not much to look at.

*** Real Tennis, Anyone?

The September/October YVNS sport Ned has never heard of:

I had never heard about Court Tennis until recently. This is the original version of the game, before we shoved balls down throats after a bad call. Or maybe that isn't new.

There are few players in the U.S., or anywhere for that matter, and fewer court tennis courts…less than a dozen.

*** From JOTW 35-2001 Add 1:

How to make real Mongolian Barbeque

I was at the California Pizza Kitchen last week with a group of people from Anteon. Our waitress had a name tag on that said she was Linda, from Hawaii. Seeing as I once lived in Hawaii, and my wife is from Hawaii, I started up a conversation with her. Actually, she told me, she is not originally from Hawaii, although she did live there for two years ion Honolulu. She comes from Mongolia.

I told her I had never met anyone from Mongolia. Of course I had all kinds of questions for her. No, she had never even seen a real yak. What you see about Mongolia on the Discovery Channel is only true for the most remotes parts of the country. She and her family would be considered part of the well-educated middle class. She speaks Chinese, Russian and Japanese, in addition to Mongolian. The standard of living is good, and now that communism is gone her parents have a small piece of land, and her grandparents have a farm with 50 horses. Mongolia is a country that is surrounded by two very large countries, and is quite isolated from the world. Today it is not of great importance, nor along the way well traveled. Of course by now, everyone wanted his or her iced tea refilled, but we kept talking, and I couldn’t resist asking about Mongolian Barbeque even though I knew it was an American affectation. Linda tells me that real Mongolian Barbeque is when you take a lamb and cut it open, clean it out, and fill the insides with very hot rocks. The meat cooks from the inside and is quite tender. They don’t serve it at the California Pizza Kitchen.

I told her if I ever go to Mongolia, I’ll come back to the restaurant and get some suggestions from her about where to go and what to see. She probably won’t be there, she told me. Her husband wants her to get a job where she doesn’t have to lift so much, or be on her feet for so long. She’s three months pregnant.

Before I left, she came up and offered her phone number in case I really am going to Mongolia. I politely refused, because how on earth would I ever find myself going to Mongolia?

*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors employment opportunities:

Mark Sofman has snow on his mind:


Major Colorado resort looking for an experienced PR/Communications Director. The right candidate will have at least 3-7 years of ski industry specific experience. This is a year-round position with medical, dental, vacation, 401(k) and more. EOE Please send resumes and letters of interest to


Mt Bachelor Ski and Summer Resort is currently recruiting for full time, year round experienced Lift Mechanics. We offer industry competitive compensation and an exceptional benefits package. Please visit our website at or call 541-382-2442 ext 2032 for full job descriptions and details.


Snowbasin Resort Company in Huntsville, Utah is looking for an experienced mechanic with small engine experience. Will help with snowcats and truck maintenance. Must be 18 or older. Full time, year round position. Weekends and some holidays required. Must have own tools and dependable transportation. Wage BOE. Visit to apply.


Wisp Resort, a four season resort in Western Maryland, is seeking a seasoned Snowmaking Manager. In this role, the manager will engage a team of seasoned and newly hired snowmakers to utilize a one of a kind snowmaking system to cover the resort’s 132 skiable acres. To be considered you should have at least seven years of snowmaking experience, five of which has been in a team lead or management role. The right candidate will have experience managing all aspects snowmaking operations, installation as well as possess a full understanding of the operational variables of snowmaking in the Mid Atlantic market. If you are willing to join our high performance team, please submit your resume, references and cover letter to us by one of the methods below: email: fax: 301-387-6550, mail: Wisp Resort, Attn: Wanda Mayle – HR 296 Marsh Hill Road McHenry, MD 21541 Wisp Resort is an Equal Opportunity Employer, M/F/D/V.


Looking for you next advancement in the ski Industry? Find it here at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation-Ski Town USA! The Terrain Park Manager is responsible for training & managing park maintenance staff, coordinating events with marketing, park opening, closing and builds. Requires extensive knowledge and experience of the ski and snowboard industry, park and pipe trends, ability to write and document clearly and strong leadership skills. Also recruiting for a Snowboard Instructor Supervisor. View seasonal positions for Winter 2009/2010 at


Non-profit ski area located 48 miles from Cody, Wyoming and 5 miles from Yellowstone National Park with two chairlifts and one magic carpet. Required certification is Emergency Medical Technician Basic, however applicants with previous experiences such as OEC certification are encouraged to apply. Great customer service and the ability to communicate well with others are mandatory, along with both physical and mental versatility. Team relationship skills, strong skiing/ riding abilities are a must for mountain rescuers. The oversight of the volunteer patrol as well as the professional staff is part of the Director's job, as is proper documentation and follow up of all incidents occurring on the mountain. Other duties include monitoring of snow pack conditions and establishing an avalanche mitigation plan, as well as training and the implementation of this plan to hill staff and volunteer patrollers. Applicants should hold a minimum Level II avalanche certification and be able to document snow pack conditions to pinpoint areas that require special attention. Please send resume or direct inquires to


Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho is looking for two high-energy, creative individuals to join our Marketing team. Immediate openings for Marketing Assistant and Graphic Designer. Relevant experience and education required. More information and online application at


Camelback Mountain Resort is looking for a Director of Marketing that will be responsible for developing and maintaining marketing strategies to meet the organizational objectives of both its winter and summer operations. He/she evaluates customer research, market conditions, competitor data and implements and executes marketing plans. Oversees all marketing, advertising, collateral, CRM functions, and creates publicity programs that are designed to improve the public image of the organization. 4 yr degree required with 6-10 years of industry or relevant experience. This is a year-round position with medical, dental, vacation and 401(k). To learn more about this position and to apply please visit or send resume to


Nashoba Valley Ski Area is looking to hire an energetic and dedicated person to fill our Group Sales position. Some responsibility's include Coordinating all of our multi-week programs, group and corporate outings to our various events, some marketing, advertising and general office duties. Computer skills a must! Please send resumes and references to or fax attn:Chris to 978-692-0448.


Timberline resort is looking for a freestyle grooming manager. Applicants must be highly skilled, productive and efficient at grooming/building freestyle terrain with all grooming machinery, including Zuagg halfpipe cutters. Must have previous management or supervisor experience and be a willing leader and mentor to teammates. Interested parties should be well motivated, goal oriented, positive thinking and flexible. This job is an active management position. Applicants will be expected to spend 90 plus percent of their work day operating snowcats and will be expected to excel in diverse snow conditions throughout the season. Please e-mail resumes to

11.) Elephant Seal and Salamander Volunteer Research Assistants, PRBO Conservation Science, Southeast Farallon Island, CA*

Two (2) needed for winter on Southeast Farallon Island, 28 miles west of San Francisco, California. Daily duties involve observation of elephant seal breeding colony, reading flipper-tags, tagging and marking of cows and pups, keeping accurate data records of pup births and deaths, data entry and proofing. Additional work involves twice monthly cover board surveys of Farallon salamander (Aneides lugubris farallonensis), including photographing, measuring and weighing all captured salamanders. Matching photos of captured salamanders with photo database records of known animals will require many hours in front of the computer. Furthermore, RAs monitor the number and species of all birds on the island, conduct daily weather and oceanic observations. RAs also contribute to the upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance of the research station. RAs will work full-time, 7 days a week, with a variable schedule that sometimes includes long days. Field work requires rigorous physical activity as well as long hours of repetitive actions in cold, wet conditions. Excellent vision, possession of good quality binoculars, being comfortable in close proximity to large toothy mammals, and hand strength for tagging are required. Applicants should enjoy working independently with a high level of responsibility in field work and data entry as well as working frequently with a partner or team. Preference will be given to applicants with a degree in biology or related field and prior ecological field research experience, especially photo database work. Enthusiasm for field work in windy, wet, chilly conditions is essential. The ability to coexist on a small, isolated island with gulls and humans is important. Positions are 4 Dec through 15 March. RAs are volunteers, we provide training, great food, comfortable island housing, and a unique experience. To apply, please send a cover letter; resume/CV; and names, phone numbers, and email of 3 field work supervisors to Derek E. Lee ( Farallon Biologist, PRBO Conservation Science.

Visit our website at:

* that would be here:

And if you go here,, you can see some of the toothy creatures you'll be working with.

*** Your Very Next Step is a service of the Job of the Week Network LLC

© 2009 The Job of the Week Network LLC

Edward Lundquist, ABC –

Editor and Publisher

Your Very Next Step

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