Your Very Next Step newsletter for November 2009
“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
– Sun Tzu
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 Has Never Heard Of”
*** Travel, Outdoor and Adventure Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities
…and much more…and it’s all FREE!!!
*** Do you have a travel adventure to share?
Send me your stories and I’ll post in the “Your Very Next Step” and on the YVNS website (http://www.yourverynextstep.com/).
*** Favorite off-season place to be:
(What’s your favorite “off season” destination? Send to Ned at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
*** 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 email@example.com for details. Well, actually, those are the details. 95×600 pixel .jpg. And free.
*** Here’s the YVNS Travel News for November:
*** You thought texting while driving was a distraction?
New Safety Worry: Laptops, Devices in the Cockpit
Link to AP article:
*** 47 airports offer free Wi-Fi for the holidays
With 100 million travelers expected to pass through airports this holiday season, Google says it will offer free Wi-Fi Internet access at 47 airports through Jan. 15. Google will use the Wi-Fi service to encourage public donations to three charities, with a company match of up to $250,000 and a $15,000 award to the airport with the highest donations.
*** From Bernie Wagenblast’s TCN Newsletter:
Sierra Hikers Overuse GPS Gizmos
Link to article in The Fresno Bee:
*** Final Boeing 737 flight at United
Reading this takes me back to my first 737 flight. It was on United between SFO and Monterey, on my way to meet up with my brother who was graduating from Defense Language Institute and headed to Vietnam. I had saved up my paper route and Star Market earnings to buy my ticket. UA BOS -ORD; ORD-SFO; SFO-MRY. I flew youth fare/standby. The return was AA Flight 84 SFO-DAL-STL-CLE-BOS on a 707. There was a much quicker one-stop (DTW), but I wanted to say I had been to Texas, Missouri and Ohio, which for me as a kid in high school was a big deal.
(Ned adds: My first seven flights were all on different airlines. American, Northwest, North Central, TWA, Eastern, Allegheny and United.)
*** USAirways is cutting flights, employees, to stem losses.
*** From Bernie Wagenblast’s TCN Newsletter:
Amtrak Plans Wi-Fi Internet Access on Acela Trains
Link to Bloomberg article:
*** Continental now part of Star Alliance:
*** Jet Blue adding flights at Boston:
“The next time you fly Midwest Airlines, you may notice an animal on the tail of the jet. That's because we're partnering with Frontier Airlines and using their roomy Airbus aircraft on some of our longer nonstop flights from Milwaukee starting November,” says a Midwest Airlines promo. Both Midwest and Frontier were recently acquired by Republic Airways.
*** The competition stiffens at Milwaukee:
AirTran to market SkyWest branded flying out of Milwaukee
*** Have you ever gotten that nod from the cabbie that says “I know where I’m going” when you know he doesn’t? From Bernie Wagenblast’s TCN Newsletter:
New Taxi Drivers in Australia Must Pass English Test
Link to Australian Broadcasting Corp. story:
Link to news release from the Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,
Regional Development and Local Government:
*** Southwest to serve Panama City – Bay County International Airport:
*** Apparently, this is a new airport. I’ve flown into Panama City (the old Panama City-Bay County International Airport), as well Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, but this is a new airport.
*** New Airline that Ned never heard of:
Porter Airlines serves Toronto City Airport (where their free lounge has munchies and espresso) with 70-seat Bombardier Q400 turbo-props (they've ordered 20), with destinations including Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Newark, St. John's, Thunder Bay, Chicago-Midway and Boston.
*** Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival:
The Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival in Boise, Idaho, seeks to promote the work of grassroots filmmakers who tell compelling and entertaining stories of backcountry, non-motorized recreation and environmental preservation.
Boise, Idaho, November 7, 2009
Missoula, Montana – November 14, 2009 – Elks Lodge
Jackson, Wyoming – November 19, 2009 – Snow King Resort
Truckee, California – November 19, 2009 – (location coming soon)
Lander Wyoming – November 21, 2009 – Gannet Grill/Lander Bar
West Yellowstone, WY – November 25, 2009 – Holiday Inn Geyser Room
Fort Collins, Colorado – December 10, 2009 – The Mountain Shop
Cashmere, Washington – December 10, 2009 – Cashmere Riverside Center
Homer, Alaska – December 17, 2009
McCall, Idaho – December 19, 2009 – Brundage Mountain Resort
McMurdo, Antarctica – December 19, 2009 – McMurdo Station
Santa Barbara, California – January 7, 2010 – Victoria Theater
Talkeetna, Alaska – January 9, 2010 – (location coming soon)
Victor, Idaho – January 28, 2010 – Wildwood Room
Buffalo, Wyoming – January 14, 2010 – Buffalo Theater
Red Lodge, Montana – February 19, 2010 – (location coming soon)
Salt Lake City, Utah – February 25, 2010 – The State Room
*** Pacific Crest Trail “Places in Need”
From the Big Bear to Tehachapi Mountains in southern California, to the Donner Summer and the Sierra Buttes north of Lake Tahoe, to Castle Crags and beyond, mountain bikes on the trail are causing damage and creating a number of “PCT Places in Need.”
Mountain bike riding is popular, but bikes are prohibited on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
*** Submit your comments on hiking trail and outdoor accessibility
October 26, 2009 — On October 19, 2009, the federal Access Board posted “Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas” for a 60-day public review and comment period. Comments must be submitted by December 18. The U.S. Forest Service views most of the technical provisions in the guidelines to be appropriate, however, it has expressed concerns related to a lack of guidance on decision making and reporting needed to implement the guidelines on trails.
*** From Mike Klein gets all Luxembourgeois on us in Clervaux, Luxembourg:
I've been of two minds about my Chateau-hotel in the Ardennes of northern Luxembourg, the Chateau d'Urspelt. On the one hand, having been renovated to a modern, four-star (competent but not over-the-top) standard, the place reminds me a bit of a Chateau Novotel. On the other, it is self-consciously a family-run place, with references to the owning Lodomez family more visible than references to the mayoral Daley family in most parts of Chicago.
Where this place departs from the four-star into the stratosphere is its restaurant, Victoria by Niessen. Opting for sublime Luxembourgeois bubbly over an intriguingly unfamiliar Belgian beer, I've departed on a breathtaking culinary journey (which I am experiencing as I write, having my blackberry as a poor substitute for a date).
I could tell I was in for a ride when my first course was brought. I ordered “a tartare of smoked venison.”.
What emerged looked at first like a lab experiment–a beaker that seemed a bit cloudy looking. But when the waiter lifted the “beaker”, the fragrant smell of smoke enveloped the table–for the dish consisted of cubes of smoked-while-u-wait raw venison served on a bed of razor-thin sliced pears and red peppercorns. For the uninitiated, kinda like venison sushi, or more precisely, sashimi.
The main-a very-robust looking Magret de Canard, one of my favorite dishes of the Franco-Belgian-Luxembourgeois kitchen, served with a red peppercorn sauce. Interestingly, it was served with a side of fennel, my favorite vegetable, after fish. Excellent, if more conventional than the first course.
The wine list is interesting, more because of its presentation than its contents–it is printed as a label on a three-litre wine bottle. The vaulted ceilings do well as well. As for the clientele, they are all conversing in a number of languages, none of which I competently understand.
Hungarians have long been fond of saying that “Hungary is the only country in Europe surrounded by itself in all directions.”. But they are wrong. Today's Rhode Island-sized Luxembourg is also a rump version of its former self, which once also included Belgium's (larger) Province of Luxembourg, and adjoining parts of Germany and France.
I ponder this as I ponder the dessert menu, which, written in French and German, offers but few clues about what is on offer. To be fair to my Level III London Business School French, this is more because I have no clue about what a “Fantasie autour d'un fruit d'automne” is than it is that I don't understand “fantasy” and “autumn fruit”. Inquiring of the waiter, he says it involves a pear, but finds it otherwise difficult to describe. Convinced, I order it.
Another glass of Cremant de Luxembourg arrives. Cremant is a French-authorized term for “good sparkling wine that ain't Champagne.”. I have long prized “Cremants” from around the world, partially because they are far better value than Champagne, and mostly because they marry the magic of effervescence with more varied grape styles (such as Riesling and Macabeo), and even colors (try sparkling Shiraz).
But this one beats Champagne at its own game–a full-blooded Pinot Noir rendition vinted less than 100 miles from Epernay, at less than half the price of the most basic chain-store Champagne.
It serves as a good complement to the Fantasie, which consists of a poached pear, a small chocolate-filled wonton, a tiny scoop of gingerbread (“speculoos”) ice cream and a slash of raspberry sauce. Everything is excellent–but the ice cream is off the charts.
I am well and truly sated–a really first rate meal with intelligent, attentive and clinically multilingual service. And the location, overlooking the courtyard of Chateau d'Urspelt, could not be better. Particularly since it means only a short forklift ride back to my quarters.
Less than 1/3 of the more than 100 million Americans who use travel booking sites know about Kayak. But Ned knows. He always goes there first.
*** Elephant Polo has strict rules old chap:
The November YVNS sport Ned has never heard of:
Of course it makes perfect sense, really, that there would be such a game as elephant polo. Come to think of it, you would expect teams to come from Nepal, Kong, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. And to be sure, you would agree that during elephant polo there are strict rules. “The games end at noon so that the elephants won't get too hot. No elephant is allowed to play two consecutive games. They have snacks and water at halftime and then have an hour to rest. Each elephant plays only two games a day. If an elephant is injured or can't play for some reason, the game is played with only three elephants to a side rather than putting extra pressure on the other elephants.” This, obviously, comes from the World Elephant Polo Website.
*** From Hwee Suan Ong:
Kayaking in the mangroves of Abu Dhabi
Friday morning in Abu Dhabi. While that typically means sleeping in for me since it is the start of the weekend; and also a holy day, where most shops open from 4pm, I decided to do something different today – kayaking in the Abu Dhabi mangroves!
From our meeting point at Airport Road's Carrefour, we headed off in a car convoy, and arrived at our launch site somewhere around Salam Street. After a bit of a briefing, we were ready to set-off. Strapped in my life-jacket, I tucked myself into a double kayak, and paddled away from the rather smelly (sulphur I was told) shores, and soon found myself in another world, right in the heart of Abu Dhabi.
The tranquility is amazing. And it just seems impossible that the skylines, construction and cranes can actually just disappear as we lose ourselves exploring the many channels in the mangroves. I am quite pleased to see an abundance of life here – millions of tiny fishes darting through the waters, crabs scuttling over the mud banks, and those dancing birds are such a delight! I didn’t spot those sting-rays that a number claimed to have spotted. Never mind that as I was enjoying the morning sun, and a bit of a lie-in in my kayak at one point… somewhat quietly wishing I had my novel, Snow, with me for a bit of a read while soaking in the Arabian sunshine.
So, who says there is nothing to do in Abu Dhabi? There is definitely quite a bit to discover in this sleepy capital! If you are interested in some paddling in Abu Dhabi, contact Don Revis at +971-(0)50-721-8928, or check them out at http://noukhada.ae/.
*** A travel memory from JOTW 39-2001:
While waiting in the BWI Continental departure lounge, I sat across from a young lady.
She got my attention not because she had choppy jet black hair that stuck out in every direction but down, or the bright red studded sunglasses, or even the broad spiked leather wrist bands. No, it was the piercings. Eyebrow piercings. Nose piercings. Lip piercings. God only knows what other piercings. How did she get through the metal detector? She looked despondent. She took out her CD player and fiddled around with it. Then a blue cardigan she held up to her nose. She took out a little teddy bear from her tote bag, pats it gently before putting it away carefully, then inhaling deeply with the sweater held to her face. She took out a package of photographs and looks at them one by one, then several that she's set aside. A tear appears from behind the red sunglasses and falls halfway down her cheek where it stayed for the longest time.
*** And these notes from JOTW 41-2001:
*** My cab driver in Reno claimed to be a Marine Corps vet. Served 33 years. Three wars. Paramedic. Retired in 1976. Was an E-10, the highest person in the USMC, for nine years. He’ll be 100 in 23 years. Tried to re-up recently but they wouldn’t take him. I didn’t believe a word he said.
*** Shot about $2 in nickels in the slots and John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino in Sparks. Sat near one lady in a wheel chair and on oxygen. One lady came up to me and said to her friend, “Let’s see what this young man is doing.” Not much, I told her. She leans over and whispers, “Did you hear that Mr. John Ascuaga is having an operation tonight? He’s having his tight wad removed.” She laughed as she walked away. I could hear her laughing for several minutes. Then another old lady jumped up. “I got three 7s. Look. I got three 7s!!!” I saw another lady at the slots, in her motorized scooter and her oxygen bottle, pumping the machine.
*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors employment opportunities:
Bartender, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, CA
APPRENTICE BARTENDER – RELIEF BARTENDERS, MGM Mirage, Las Vegas, NV
Resident Intern for Wildlife Rehabilitation Program, Wildlife in Crisis, Weston, Connecticut
Wildlife in Crisis (WIC) is seeking a Resident Intern. Responsibilities include: Wild animal care, rescue of distressed wildlife, answering telephone, record keeping, fundraising, environmental education and volunteer management and training. The Intern will receive intensive training in wildlife rehabilitation. The start date is flexible.
We are seeking an energetic, dedicated, hard-working individual with a genuine love for animals and a desire to learn about caring for native wildlife. A Bachelor's degree is preferred.
Free shared housing in a quiet woodland setting provided. Hands-on experience with a wide variety of species. This internship is a challenging, but very rewarding opportunity.
Please e-mail a résumé and 3 references to WIC at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Wildlife in Crisis, visit our website at www.wildlifeincrisis.com.
About Wildlife in Crisis
Wildlife in Crisis (WIC) is a wildlife care center dedicated to injured and orphaned wildlife. WIC was founded in 1988 and accepts over 5,000 debilitated wild animals each year. The WIC wildlife rehabilitation program exists in order to provide intensive care for these wild animals so that they can be returned to their natural environment. WIC also provides sanctuary for a variety of permanent resident wild animals with behavioral or physical disabilities. Wildlife in Crisis is a volunteer-run, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about WIC please visit our website at www.wildlifeincrisis.com.
Sales Executives, The St. George’s Club, Bermuda
Boat Operations, Customer Service, Dock Staff, and Naturalist, Alaska Heritage Tours, Summer and Fall, CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation (CATC),Kenai Fjords Tours, Prince William Sound Cruises and Tours, Seward Windsong Lodge, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, Anchorage RV Park, and our Helly Hansen store.
Canoe & Kayak Rental Agent/Naturalist Day Guide, Ivey House Bed & Breakfast and North American Canoe Tours (NACT), Everglades City, Florida
Valid driver’s license and ability to drive/back-up a van with trailer. Ability to lift canoes/kayaks on own. Previous guiding experience, current CPR and First Aid Certificates required. Customer service kills and knowledge of Everglades plants, animals, history and culture is also required. In addition, willingness to assist in other departments as needed. $8.00 per hour training wage, $9.00 per hour once independence is achieved.
Everglades City is a very small, isolated fishing and crabbing village bordering on the northwest boundary of Everglades National Park. It is a mile round mangrove island and is approximately 30 miles from the nearest town. The closest beaches are approximately 30 miles away and are located in Marco or Naples. We are on the west side of Florida, approximately 80 miles directly west of Miami and 30 miles southeast of Naples. Everglades City is surrounded by several scenic parks, including Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Collier-Seminole State Park, and the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. Everglades City offers unique paddling adventures, scenic walks, boardwalks, museums, airboat tours, aero tours, fishing trips, boat tours, and plenty of delicious seafood including stone crab claws. You will experience a variety of eco-systems exclusive to this area and will have the opportunity to explore ecologies found nowhere else in the world. Visit our website at www.IveyHouse.com for additional information on the location and surrounding areas.
We are pleased to have your interest in joining our team at the Ivey House Bed & Breakfast and North American Canoe Tours (NACT). NACT is a family run corporation, established in 1979, with business locations in Connecticut and Florida. The tubing location on the Farmington River in Connecticut is only open during the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Florida location, in Everglades City, consists of The Ivey House Inn, Lodge and Cottage; the Ghost Orchid Grill; Everglades Rentals and Eco Adventures. The Florida location is managed by Guest Services Management, LLC. Guest Services is responsible for the day -to- day operations of the facility as well as staff hiring. Our main employment season is from November 1st through April 30th and we do offer a few year round positions.
We search for talented professionals who are eager to learn about the Everglades and will bring area knowledge and expertise to our guests. Employees need to be 21 years of age or older, upbeat, self motivated, outgoing with a positive attitude, and able to work well with others. Employees are expected to be punctual, neat and clean, able to work short or long hours which might be necessary to help the operation run successfully. This might include helping with the canoes/kayaks, or in the dining room, cleaning, or whatever else is necessary as a team member. All applicants need to have previous experience for the position they are applying for. All employees will be on the Guest Services payroll and will receive their check every two weeks. Appropriate taxes and deductions will be made.
No benefits are provided to “seasonal” employees. The Ivey House and NACT are drug free/ smoke free workplaces.
*** 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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