Your Very Next Step newsletter for May 2010

Your Very Next Step newsletter for May 2010

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.”

— Chinese proverb

The next adventure begins with your very next step.

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*** In this issue:

*** American Tortoise Rescue

*** National Trails Day

*** Travel News

*** Mount Whitney

*** Where Ned has been

*** Trail volunteer opportunities

*** YVNS Sport Ned Has Never Heard Of: Australian National Goanna Pulling Championship

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

1.) Supv Bowling Facility Manager, Air Force Materiel Command, Hanscom AFB, Bedford, MA

2.) Writers, Fodor's Travel

3.) Communications Director, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor, MI

4.) Corrals Wrangler, Grand Teton Lodge Co., Grand Teton National Park, WY

5.) Blacksmith, Firth Rixson Ltd., Rancho Cucamonga, CA

6.) Skateboard Instructors, Smuggler's Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, VT

…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 (

*** There were massive air travel delays over the holidays, from weather to airport lockdowns. Did you experience this? Can you share your story with YVNS? Contact Ned at

*** I really want to see the Northern Lights. But when I am in the northern latitudes next month, I probably won’t be able to see them even though I will be at 58 degrees N or so. Why? Because it will be the third longest day of the year, and with all that “midnight sun” daylight, it won’t be conducive for stargazing, or aurora gazing.

*** Is it worth it to pay more and sit up front?

Share your thoughts about first and business class with Ned at

*** Outdoor facilities:

Check out this outdoor toilet in Amherst County, VA, about five miles from the West Virginia borders along the North River in George Washington National Forest.

*** National Trails Day® is Saturday, June 5, 2010

American Hiking Society's signature trail awareness program, National Trails Day® (NTD), inspires the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to seek out their favorite trails to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail work projects.

NTD also provides an opportunity to thank volunteers, land managing agencies, and outdoor-minded businesses for their support in developing and maintaining trails.

*** American Tortoise Rescue Celebrates World Turtle Day May 23rd

California Sanctuary Sponsors Day to Honor One of the World’s Oldest Creatures

Malibu, Calif. – May 13, 2010 – American Tortoise Rescue (, a nonprofit organization established 20 years ago for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its 10th annual World Turtle Day on May 23rd. Featured in Chase’s Book of Annual Events, the day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, founders of ATR, advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 3,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.

“World Turtle Day was started to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction and the cruel pet trade,” says Tellem. “We are seeing smaller turtles coming into the rescue meaning that older adults are disappearing from the wild, and the breeding stock is drastically reduced. It is a very sad time for turtles and tortoises of the world.” She added that many beautiful sea turtles are losing their lives this month thanks to BP’s uncontrolled oil spill off the coast of Louisiana. “It’s a tragic example of putting profits before preserving our environment,” Tellem said.

Tellem and Thompson note that experts predict the complete disappearance of these creatures within the next 50 years. They recommend that adults and children do a few small things that can help to save turtles and tortoises for the next generation.

• Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.

• Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.

• If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up and send it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again.

• Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off road vehicles, and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to more endangered sea turtle deaths.

• Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.

• Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal everywhere in the U.S.

“Illegal vendors at downtown Mercados and Asian live food markets throughout the U.S. are a major problem for turtles, especially the ‘red eared slider’ water turtle. These poor creatures have an almost 100 percent mortality rate due to ignorance about their care,” Tellem says. Tiny turtles need to be kept in warm water, and must eat under water to survive.

“Our ultimate goal is to stop the illegal trade in turtles and tortoises around the world. Our first priority here in the U.S. is to stop pet stores and reptile shows from selling illegal hatchling tortoises and turtles of all species under four inches which is against Federal law,” says Thompson. “We also need to educate people who are unfamiliar with their proper care about the real risk of contracting salmonella from turtles. Schools and county fairs are no place for turtles. Wash your hands thoroughly every time you touch a turtle or its water, and do not bring turtles into homes where children are under the age of 12.”

For answers to questions and other information visit American Tortoise Rescue online at or send e-mail to; on Twitter @tortoiserescue; or become a friend at American Tortoise Rescue at Facebook.

*** Ned is offering free 468×60 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. 468×60 pixel .jpg. or gif. With your url. And it’s free.

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

*** United And Continental to merge:

What does it mean to you? Share your comments with Ned at

*** United And Continental Announce Merger Of Equals

Continental and United today announced a definitive merger agreement, creating the world’s leading airline.

*** United and Continental Airlines are counting on more business travelers — not higher fares for vacationers — to make their $3 billion merger pay. (AP)

*** Cleveland Hopkins to remain a hub after Continental-United merger — at least for now

*** Airborne volcanic ash and turbofan engines-bad combination:

*** The Cost of Europe's Volcanic Ash Travel Crisis (Time)

*** This is pretty useful:

*** Mount Whitney:

Hikers dream of “bagging” Mt. Whitney in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. While it's a mere four hour drive north of Los Angeles, it's a difficult journey due to the length of the hike (22 miles round trip), the elevation gain (over 6,000 feet) and the thin air (you'll be at 14,497 feet on the summit, although some maps say 14,495 and some 14,505).

The southern terminus of the John Muir Trail (which runs 212 miles from Yosemite Valley), Mount Whitney is just 76 miles west of the lowest point in North America (Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level), and immediately rises just over 2 miles in elevation above the floor of the Owens Valley.

The most popular route to hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney is the main Mount Whitney Trail (MMWT) whose trailhead originates in Whitney Portal at 8,360 feet (and 13 miles west of the town of Lone Pine, California. The hike is about 22 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 6,100 feet.

The steep eastern side of the mountain offers a variety of climbing challenges. The “Mountaineer's Route”, a Class 3 gully to the north of the east face, was first climbed by John Muir. The East Face route, first climbed in 1931, is a classic easy climbing route of the Sierra; mostly Class 3, with the hardest parts at only 5.4. Other routes range up to 5.10 in difficulty.

*** Trail volunteer opportunities

*** Welcome to the Red River Gorge Trail Crew.

We are a Volunteer Group dedicated to providing access to the beautiful Red River Gorge through a well maintained trail system. We meet the second Saturday of each month for our trail maintenance service outings. With some projects, we trim back brush and paint new markers; other times we use crosscut saws to remove fallen trees. During some outings, we repair the trail tread. With other projects, we build bridges, stairs, and other trail structures while learning traditional outdoors skills.

Some summer outings are followed with afternoon recreation like a paddle or a cool swim in the Red River. All Red River Gorge Trail Crew outings include an evening potluck dinner and fireside social.

Camping is provided for RRGTC Volunteers; some people arrive Friday night to avoid the morning drive while others come in on Saturday mornings. Many folks stay over Saturday night to enjoy the night sky and good company of fellow Volunteers. Sunday mornings sometimes offers a small group hike to unique areas of the Gorge.

During the course of a weekend, there is always a niche to be filled by everyone. The group is well founded in diversity and acceptance; each person goes along as they are and at their own pace. Accomplishing the “goal” at hand is very important, but the pure enjoyment of being out in nature is always paramount. The Red River Gorge Trail Crew offers an opportunity to learn and enjoy the trails of the Red River Gorge with like- minded people while contributing to the preservation of nature; it’s incredibly rewarding.

*** The May YVNS sport Ned has never heard of:

Australian National Goanna Pulling Championship

The off-beat all-Australian sport of Goanna Pulling dates back to the 19th century. Contrary to the name, it is a test of strength between two people whereby contestants get down on all fours and are linked by a leather belt over their heads, enabling them to pull backwards, tug-of-war-style.

*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors employment opportunities:

1.) Supv Bowling Facility Manager, Air Force Materiel Command, Hanscom AFB, Bedford, MA

*** From Bridget Serchak, who got it from Erica Duecy:

2.) Writers, Fodor's Travel

Fodor's Travel is looking to refresh its pool of writers in several countries for book and web projects. Assignments range from writing single articles about lifestyle topics (food, wine, shopping, spas, nightlife) to updating city and regional chapters (a mix of fact-checking and new writing). Pay ranges from around $250 to $3,500+, depending on assignment scope.

Fodor's is a leading guidebook brand for American travelers with more than 300 titles covering most corners of the globe (

Following are destinations with upcoming assignments. Please note that we hire journalists who have local expertise, i.e. most writers work in the specific country/region or live there at least part of the year:


–Oregon (entire state, some assignments focus on food and wine)

–North Carolina

–South Carolina (Charleston and beyond)

–Georgia (Savannah and beyond)

–Massachusetts (Cape Cod area, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket)


–Amsterdam and the Netherlands

–Portugal (entire country)


–China (Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and areas of China outside the major cities)

–Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Okinawa, and elsewhere in the country)

–India (entire country)


Central and South America

–Mexico (Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Los Cabos, Oaxaca, Veracruz)







–Egypt (esp for Western Desert coverage, possibly other assignments)

Middle East


Feel free to pass this request on to friends, colleagues and journalism listservs. Interested parties should send me a brief email outlining their experience, and attach a resume or a link to their site.

Many thanks!


Erica Duecy

Restaurants & Hotels Editor

Fodor's Travel, Random House

1745 Broadway, Mail Drop 15-3

New York, NY 10019

(212) 572-6023

*** From Archer H. Christian:

Dear Sir or Madam- Please find below and attached a brief job listing for the Communications Director at the Ecology Center, a nonprofit based in Ann Arbor, MI. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for posting!

3.) Communications Director, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor, MI

Communications Director – Ecology Center, Inc. a dynamic, non-profit, environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, MI is seeking an experienced Communications Director to lead the development and implementation of strategic communication and public outreach efforts in support of market, legislative and educational campaigns in the areas of environmental health, climate, energy, land use and healthy food. The position requires six or more years experience in non-profit communications, organizing, journalism, public relations, or related jobs. Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits. Visit for full job description. Contact:

Archer H. Christian

Hiring Committee

Ecology Center

117 N. Division St.

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

734-761-3186 x107

734-424-1178 (home office: Wed-Fri)

*** From Mark Sofman:

4.) Corrals Wrangler, Grand Teton Lodge Co., Grand Teton National Park, WY

5.) Blacksmith, Firth Rixson Ltd., Rancho Cucamonga, CA

6.) Skateboard Instructors, Smuggler's Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, VT

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

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Edward Lundquist, ABC –

Editor and Publisher

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