Your Very Next Step newsletter for June 2011

Your Very Next Step newsletter for June 2011

By Ned Lundquist

Today is National Hike Naked Day.

To see the Summer Sky

Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –

True Poems flee.

~Emily Dickinson

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

– Lao Tzu

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*** In this issue:

*** Travel news

*** Ned’s upcoming (tentative) travel:

*** 6 Hours In Istanbul

*** Bed Bugs, arrests, volcanoes…what could possibly go wrong when travelling?

*** Shaving trees!

*** Volunteer cruises

*** 10 Ways to Pack Light

*** On land or water, trails connect people with outdoors

*** Favorite train journeys:

*** 5 Ways to Save Money on Car Rentals

*** (Re)Discovering Old Trails

*** America's 10 Best Ice Cream Factory Tours

*** Snakes: Splendor in the Grass

*** Trail volunteer opportunities:

*** Maine Woods Adult Base Camp Crews – 2011 – Little Lyford Lodge & Cabins

*** Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit – Maintenance and Interpretation at the Tallac Historic Site, 2011

*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Pennsylvania's Ghost Town Trail

*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:

1.) Executive Director, North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), Washington D.C. metropolitan area

2.) Marketing Communications Intern, OUTWARD BOUND, Golden, CO

3.) Insight Instructor, Outward Bound, FL Jacksonville, FL

…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 (

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

*** Ned’s upcoming (tentative) travel:

June 23-15: Spokane, Washington

July 1-7: Izmir, Turkey

July 7-10: La Spezia, Italy

July 10-11: Acqui Termi, Italy

July 11-12: Istanbul, Turkey

July 14-20: Los Angeles/San Diego, CA

*** 6 Hours In Istanbul

We as Turkish Airlines willing to inform you that if your connection time in Istanbul takes over 6 hours and your waiting time is between 09.00 am – 18.00pm, you are welcome to take the advantage of Turkish Airlines free city tour programme, Touristanbul. This programme is organised only for our international transit passengers.

If you have a transit flight from Istanbul and have more than 6 hours waiting time for your connecting flight, you can visit our hotel desk to join our free city tour and experience the glamorous city that connects Europe to Asia as land and also as culture.

After you apply to our Hotel Desk which can be found at the airport, you will be picked up by a private tour guide and get to see most significant historical places of Istanbul. There are two 6-hour tours daily; one starts at 09:00 and ends at 15:00, and the other one is from 12:00 to 18:00. You will be taken to airport after your tour ends. The transportation in Istanbul and the transportation to and from the airport will be done by free shuttles.

All your transportation, meal and museum fees will be met by Turkish Airlines.

*** Hotel Perks That Hit the Spot

Best Hotel Amenities, Freebies & Other Perks

By Laura Kiniry

Hotels from Paris to Portland are increasingly offering innovative perks to please travelers. Whether it's free snacks or the complimentary use of an iPad, these top hotels provide so much more than a place to sleep. Here are a dozen of our favorite freebies, amenities, and thoughtful touches that are available at hotels around the world.

*** Bed Bugs, arrests, volcanoes…what could possibly go wrong when travelling?

*** From Rodger Dana:

Here’s something to add to your BUCKET LIST!!!! Shaving trees!

*** Volunteer cruises

*** 10 Ways to Pack Light

*** On land or water, trails connect people with outdoors

*** Favorite train journeys:

From Paul Hart:

My favorite is the Anchorage-Seward Coastal Classic on The Alaska Railroad. The scenery's breathtaking and the locomotive gets a workout going through the mountains on a 3% grade. But at a little over 4 hours each way, it's not so long as to get tedious. Also, a happy, passenger-friendly crew helps. A picture in my mind I'll always treasure is hanging out the dutch door in the vestibule on the last car as we pulled out of Girdwood — and realizing the kid 10 cars up doing the same thing was my son. We waved at each other and didn't both get back to our seats for maybe another hour.

The recent Amtrak trips have been on the more prosaic Texas Eagle between San Antonio and Dallas or Fort Worth for family matters. It's a nice trip with some fair scenery south of Fort Worth where the track leaves the I-35 corridor and takes off through the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Best of all, no one has to grope you when you board.


*** 5 Ways to Save Money on Car Rentals

Do you agree with them?

*** (Re)Discovering Old Trails

by Alicia MacLeay

*** America's 10 Best Ice Cream Factory Tours

*** From The Virginia Outdoor Report:

Snakes: Splendor in the Grass

Snakes have been the focal point of folklore for centuries. From the hoop snake that sticks its tail into its mouth and rolls after you to snakes that hypnotize their prey. No other group of animals has suffered more from negative misinformation than snakes. In fact, snakes are some of the most fascinating and beneficial creatures on the planet. The benefits range from the thrill of a chance encounter while on a walk in the woods to the consumption of thousands of rodents that may potentially cause millions of dollars in agricultural damage every year. Their benefits to us and the ecosystem they inhabit are some of the reasons it is illegal in Virginia to intentionally kill snakes.

Generally speaking, snakes are very reclusive and timid. Many species of snakes will not even attempt to bite when handled. Of the 30 species in Virginia, only 3 are venomous: copperhead, cottonmouth and timber rattlesnake. All three of which are considered docile, unless provoked. Copperhead bites are by far the most common venomous snake bite in Virginia. However, in the 30 years that the Virginia Department of Health has been keeping records on venomous snake bites, no one has ever died from a copperhead bite. Copperhead bites often only result in mild inflammation and discomfort.

If you do encounter a snake in the woods, simply leave it alone, it'll get out of your way or you can walk around it. SNAKES DO NOT CHASE PEOPLE. Here are a few tips to avoid the possibility of being bitten when hiking in the woods:

1. Stay on the trail.

2. Watch where you place your hands and feet, and where you sit down.

3. Do not attempt to capture snakes.

If you are bitten by a venomous snake, stay calm and seek immediate medical attention. None of Virginia's venomous snakes are considered to be highly lethal, but medical attention is necessary for all venomous snake bites.

If you are lucky enough to encounter a snake while enjoying the outdoors; step back and watch a moment. Notice the way the sunlight reflects off the scales and the incredible way a snake can glide off into the leaves barely making a sound. Unless cornered the snake is going to slip away as quick as it can.

To learn more… A Guide to the Snakes of Virginia, one of VDGIF's most popular publications since its 2001 release. This 32-page full-color booklet, co-authored and illustrated by Mike Pinder, our Region 3 Wildlife Diversity Manager, presents all of Virginia's 30 species of snakes in an attractive and educational “field-guide” format. It also includes snakebite information, provides answers to frequently asked questions about snakes, and suggests what you can do to protect or control snakes in your yard and home. Finally, it summarizes snake conservation and management issues, and offers ways you can help protect these fascinating animals. Single copies of the guide can be picked up free of charge at the Department's regional offices; or copies may be purchased online through the VDGIF Outdoor Catalogue for $5.00 each, or in cases of 60 copies for $150 per case.

*** Trail volunteer opportunities:

*** Maine Woods Adult Base Camp Crews – 2011

Little Lyford Lodge & Cabins

Join one of the two crews based out of Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins to help build and maintain the new trail system of the Maine Woods Initiative. No experience is needed because we have the right job for you and the experienced leaders train you.

The programs start and end at Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins. You can arrive at Little Lyford anytime after 2:00 p.m. on the Sunday start date of your crew. We have breakfast at 8:00 a.m. then immediately depart for the rest of the week to set up our base camp on Long Pond and start on our trail projects, which may include projects ranging from clearing brush from the trail to building bridges or rock staircases. We spend the week working on the area trails and return to our base camp each night. We will work an average of 6-8 hours a day Monday – Thursday. On Friday, after breakfast we will pack up our camp and return to Little Lyford, where you will have the rest of the day to explore on your own. All participants will depart after breakfast on the Saturday at the end of the week.

Camp Life:

You can expect to find the crew a friendly and fun group of people. Even though we work hard on the trail, back at camp there is time to enjoy Long Pond and the good company, as well as hearty food. During the week we will be camping in tents and preparing meals as a group. AMC provides the tents, food, cooking equipment and other group gear. Our base camp on Long Pond is vehicle accessible, allowing you to bring along camp items that are more comfortable.

Back at Little Lyford there is fly-fishing available on the two ponds as well as the West Branch of the Pleasant River. Plenty of hiking/walking options with opportunities to see wildlife and plants including a trail that connects with the Gulf Hagas Loop Trail. Paddling on the Little Lyford Pond and Long Pond is an option. Canoes, kayaks, PFDs and paddles are provided.

Little Lyford has hot showers and provides great food. Breakfast and dinner are served family style, and a trail lunch is provided. The crew lodges in a comfortable bunkhouse, and you provide your own sleeping bag.

What the Volunteers Say:

“What a place! The north Maine Woods are so beautiful. Spending a week doing trail work was one of the best things I have done.” Ari (2010 Maine Woods Base Camp Crew Participant)

“This was a great way for me to experience the wildness of Maine but still be comfortable base camping. The leaders and the staff at Little Lyford were great. I can't wait to bring friends and family back to Little Lyford and show them the trail work we accomplished.” Rachel (2010 Maine Woods Base Camp Crew Participant)

2011 Dates:

July 17-23

August 24-30



*** Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Deadline Extended! Maintenance and Interpretation at the Tallac Historic Site, 2011


June 15-July 19; July 20-August 23; August 24-October 5, 2011 (including weekends)

Must commit to one full session; may participate in two

ATTENTION RVers: Have some time to travel this summer? Well, hop into your rig and visit the Tallac Site on the shores of Lake Tahoe! Tallac is reminiscent of the period of opulence and luxury in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mark Twain, after having visited the Site, described the area as having “the air that angels breathe.” It consists of 153 acres with three large summer estates, including 28 remaining structures dating from 1884-1923, and the archaeological remains of a resort/casino complex. The historic site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1986. One of the estates is now managed as a museum, one entertains tours and programming, and the third is a community events center. Over the past years, the Site has grown in popularity and is now host to over 140,000 annual visitors! Opportunities for PIT volunteers range from joining restoration efforts of some of the historic buildings or performing overall maintenance on the site, to involvement in the numerous interpretive programs for kids and adults.

Our volunteer season is broken up into three sessions of about five weeks each, beginning the middle of June, and ending in October. Volunteers are welcome to join us for up to two continuous sessions. The deal works this way: Tallac provides a parking space and some other amenities for each RV, while each volunteer provides 32 hours of help each week of each session. We welcome couples, of course, but both must fulfill 32 hours each every week. The schedules are Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Saturday, determined by what activity or activities you elect to do at the Site. This is an interesting site in a beautiful location with a lot to see and do in the “off hours.” We always have a lot of fun, so we hope you'll come and breathe “the air that angels breathe” with us this summer!

*Please indicate the specific session(s) (maximum of two) you are applying for on your application.

Number of openings: 20 (Eight for Session 1; Four for Session 2; Eight for Session 3)

Special skills: Volunteers must be able to work well with other people and work well in groups; electrical, plumbing, woodworking, and other maintenance skills (do not need to be at a professional level), retail experience, a history of working with children, and/or public speaking experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 18 years old

Facilities: Project provides 2 blocks of RV sites: 1 with full hook-ups (water, sewer, electricity), 1 with water and electricity only (there is a blue tank available and a sewer dump close by); site assignments determined by rig size, accessibility needs, and sometimes seniority (if you are a return volunteer); volunteers responsible for own food and transportation costs

Nearest towns: South Lake Tahoe, 3 miles; Tahoe City, 25 miles; Carson City, NV, 30 miles

Applications due: Until filled!

*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Rail Trail of the Month: June 2011

Pennsylvania's Ghost Town Trail

Like most phantoms, the ghosts along this western Pennsylvania trail are tough to spot. They lurk in the woods, whispering of a past few can now remember.

The specters are the remnants of once-thriving coal-mining towns in the Blacklick Creek Valley that died when the mining companies left decades ago. Today, the “ghost towns”—Amerford, Bracken, Buffington, Claghorn, Dias, Lackawanna #3, Scott Glen, Wehrum—are helping to animate the 36-mile Ghost Town Trail and the remaining communities nearby.

“It's a pretty rural area—there was no tourism industry to speak of before the trail,” says Ed Patterson, director of parks and trails for Indiana County, Pa. “It's created a whole tourism industry that didn't exist before.” (The Ghost Town Trail is the 'anchor' trail for this summer's Greenway Sojourn, hosted by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy).

This ghost story begins in the 1890s, when coal companies moved into the rugged Blacklick Valley, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. The valley, named for the coal outcroppings visible there, had previously been logged and mined for iron but had never before seen development on the scale of modern coal mining. Huge shafts were dug into the earth, large processing facilities were built and company towns were constructed to house thousands of men and their families. The largest of these towns, Wehrum, once had more than 200 houses, a hotel, post office, school and two churches.

Railroad lines through the valley, originally built to transport logs to mills, were greatly expanded to serve the mines and the new residents. Trains from the Ebensburg & Blacklick Railroad and the Cambria & Indiana Railroad ran frequently through the valley, moving coal, supplies and people to and from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Rochester and other cities in the region.

The fortunes of the company towns were directly tied to coal production, which peaked in Pennsylvania in 1918. After a decade of ups and downs, the Great Depression dealt many of the mining companies a fatal blow. Towns were abandoned, and in some cases the buildings demolished and sold for scrap. Train passenger service in the valley ended in the 1930s. Although some mines scraped along for a few more decades, by the end of the 1960s coal shipments from the Blacklick valley had essentially ceased. Eight coal-mining towns faded from memory.

“This particular area fueled the Industrial Revolution in America, and it also provided homes and jobs for immigrants to this country,” says Laurie Lafontaine, a local activist who played the leading role in getting the trail established. “When the mines and railroads disappeared, the towns dried up and the people left.”

In the late1980s, Lafontaine and other local residents began to advocate for turning the unused rail lines in the valley into a recreational trail. In 1991, she helped convince a local salvage company that had taken possession of the former Ebensburg & Blacklick Railroad to donate 16 miles of the line for a trail, and planning work got under way. Indiana county officials obtained money through federal Transportation Enhancements funding, and the first section of trail was dedicated in 1994.

Today, thanks to additional donations, the trail stretches a total of 36 miles. The main stem runs 32 miles from the town of Ebensburg to Black Lick, and a four-mile spur runs north from Vintondale to Route 422 (known as the Rexis Branch). The crushed-limestone trail welcomes cyclists, pedestrians, cross-country skiers and other non-motorized recreational users.

For trail visitors, few of the valley's ghost towns remain visible or accessible anymore. Most of the towns have been covered by vegetation, and almost all of them—and the few remaining structures—are on private property and not open to the public. But there's plenty of other history and scenery to more than make up for this.

For example, alongside the trail in Vintondale is Eliza Furnace, one of the best-preserved 19th-century iron-smelting structures in the country. From 1846 to 1849, workers loaded iron ore and limestone from the surrounding hills into this charcoal-fired furnace, and produced pig iron that was shipped to forges in Pittsburgh to be re-worked.

Historical attractions aside, the beauty and quiet of the area alone is reason to visit the Ghost Town Trail. Following a winding creek through rugged hills in long stretches of unpopulated, forested land—including state game lands—this rail-trail is about as wild as it gets in this part of the country. Rhododendrons and wildflowers are abundant, and chances are good that you'll catch a glimpse of deer, red fox, beavers, wild turkeys, hawks, songbirds and maybe even a black bear or a bobcat.

“You just get the feeling that you've stepped back in time. No houses, no roads, just you and the trail and the creek,” says Lafontaine. “It's just wonderful—it's so peaceful.”

One thing you won't see much of, though, is aquatic life. The valley's coal mines, despite being closed for decades, continue to haunt the area with water pollution. Acidic run-off from the mining operations has turned sections of the creek and surrounding tributaries orange and made them inhospitable for fish or vegetation.

“You will see places of outstanding natural beauty, and you'll see areas of desolation caused by mining and pollution—it's a real contrast,” says Patterson.

But efforts to clean up the waterways are in progress, and they owe much of their success to the trail, Patterson and Lafontaine say. “Because the trail got people out into the land, they could see the environmental damage and the beauty that could be there,” says Lafontaine. “It spurred the formation of a watershed protection association, and we're slowly but surely bringing the stream back to life.”

The trail has also brought economic benefits to Ebensburg, Black Lick and other nearby communities. In 2009, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy conducted a user survey of the Ghost Town Trail. The study found that the more than 75,000 annual users of the trail bring $1.7 million a year into the local economy.

In addition, the trail has provided less tangible benefits to residents. “It's just really made people healthy and happy—it's given them a mental lift. How do you put a dollars and cents figure on that?” says Lafontaine. “It really makes for a better community. It gives us a place where we can have a vacation every day of our lives.”

All in all, a pretty friendly ghost story.

*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:

*** From Sue Bumpous:

1.) Executive Director, North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), Washington D.C. metropolitan area

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is seeking an Executive Director with strengths in leadership, development, communication, and collaboration with a minimum of 10 years of related job experiences. NAAEE is the premier professional association for environmental educators in North America. We are seeking a motivated professional interested in strengthening the organization by increasing membership, promoting member participation, and capitalizing on emerging opportunities for the field of environmental education. Providing leadership in moving forward with the organization’s five-year Strategic Plan is also of key importance. The Plan was crafted using input from the Board, staff, members, non-members, and other stakeholders through online surveys, focus groups and interviews. An overview of the Strategic Plan can be found at

The Executive Director will work in NAAEE’s office in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The salary for this full-time position will be commensurate with experience, in the range of $80-100K, depending on qualifications. The Executive Director is hired by the Board and reports to the President of the Board.

To apply, please provide a two-page resume, names and contact information for three references, and a cover letter, not to exceed two pages, explaining your interest in the position and summarizing how your experience can ensure professional leadership and efficient management for NAAEE. Be sure to specifically address how you meet the qualifications and qualities outlined at Applications will be accepted from June 3 to June 30, 2011. Electronic submission is required. Only Word attachments are acceptable. Please put “Exec Dir Application” and your name in the subject line, and send your information to:

NAAEE Description

A nonprofit, membership organization with 501(c) (3) status, NAAEE advances environmental education and supports environmental educators in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. There are many faces to NAAEE, reflecting a core commitment to diversity of culture, geography, and viewpoints. For four decades our programs and services have supported members working in a variety of venues–including, but not limited to, local environmental education centers, schools, government agencies, and research and higher education institutions.

NAAEE is a unifying voice for environmental educators in Canada, the United States, and Mexico with a non-partisan commitment to environmental literacy as a powerful force for positive change in the world. Backed by research, our programs, products, and services support achievement of excellence in environmental education. Our members look to NAAEE to provide a dynamic forum for effective and innovative ways to achieve quality education, sustainable development, and social equality.

NAAEE focuses on promoting environmental education and on supporting and enhancing the work of environmental educators through the efforts of a 13-member Board of Directors, seven staff, and a strong volunteer structure that includes Committees and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Committees do the work of the Board and Association, while SIGs (formerly Commissions) enable members to form interest groups and serve their own needs in the context of the practice of environmental education. NAAEE also works closely with a strong partnership network of state, provincial and territorial environmental education Affiliates.

2.) Marketing Communications Intern, OUTWARD BOUND, Golden, CO

Since 1961, Outward Bound has been serving youth, teens and adults with wilderness expeditions and other innovative programming in America's most beautiful wilderness areas, and also in classrooms, city parks and boardrooms. Outward Bound courses change lives and give students the tools to see further, climb higher and know their way. Students seek challenge and embark on backpacking trips, mountaineering classes, kayaking adventures, sailing trips and urban expeditions in their community and take home real leadership skills and the courage to follow their own path.


The Marketing Communications Intern position focuses on content writing and editing for marketing communications, social media, public relations (press releases) and the national website. The Marketing Communications Intern reports to the Senior Marketing Manager and works closely with the Social Media Specialist and Website Specialist. This position is a great opportunity for those with a passion for marketing and outdoor education to be creative, gain experience in public relations, social media and web marketing and have a real impact on Outward Bound’s mission to enable more people to experience the philosophy, mission and adventure of Outward Bound.


• Assist in research, writing and editing of web content.

• Assist in research, writing and editing of press releases.

• Assist with writing and assembling content for outbound marketing emails.

• Manage photo and video library.

• Organize and distribute Outward Bound content as appropriate

• Assist in Social Media, Public Relations, Advancement or Alumni content creation or support as needed.

• 20 – 24 hours a week, June through August 2011.


• Excellent copy writing skills to develop and edit content.

• Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills.

• Very effective communicator, both written and oral.

• Ability to work both independently and cooperatively as a team member.

• Proficiency in Microsoft Office.

• Knowledge or experience with social media as it relates to marketing is a plus.

• Competency with HTML is a plus.

• Graphic design skills, Adobe Creative Suite is also a plus.

• Training may be available.


• Communications or marketing major or equivalent experience.


• Academic credit available.

• $125/wk. stipend.

• Pro Deal benefit available.

Send resumes and cover letters to

3.) Insight Instructor, Outward Bound, FL Jacksonville, FL

To assist in the development and implementation of the Insight program using the Outward Bound mission and philosophy

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist in the design and facilitation of Insight programs (one day teambuilding and high ropes course program) as contracted with the client and in line with our leadership curriculum, Outward Bound philosophy, mission and process

• Work with Insight team and Program Director to develop and implement programs

• Have experience with group management

• Have ability to assess students to ensure all activities are appropriate for demonstrated experience level and desired group outcomes

• Have the capacity to facilitate a full day experience of curriculum and activities for assigned group of students

• Have ability to recognize when issues of diversity need to be addressed

• Effectively assist Instructor or Program Director when facilitation of such discussions regarding diversity are called for

• A proven desire to work with Urban students in the outdoors

• Be committed to own professional development

• Actively seek out opportunities to develop their skills and receive feedback on performance

Secondary Duties and Responsibilities

• Show respect and compassion for others and create an emotionally safe environment for students and staff

• Offer and receive constructive feedback

• Address diversity issues with students

• Clearly articulate thoughts and ideas

• Inspire students

Knowledge and Skills

• Maintain a minimum CPR certification

• WAFA (Wilderness First Aid) preferred

• Have knowledge of and adhere to Local Operating Procedures (LOPs) knowledge, safety procedures and (ERP) Emergency Response Plan

• High ropes experience preferred

• Know own strengths, limitations and needs, and productively manage personal stress

• Be sufficiently fit to participate in all activities and maintain energy, strength and focus to assist students with physical and emotional obstacles

Physical Requirements

•Must be able to be outdoors and on feet for up to 10 hours per day


•This is a per diem position. Courses occur intermittently and staff are scheduled as needed. Based on this, applicants who reside in the Jacksonville area are preferred.


•This is a per diem position and pay is based on our Field Staff Payscale.

*** Send your job opportunities to share with the YVNS network to

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

© 2011 The Job of the Week Network LLC

Edward Lundquist, ABC –

Editor and Publisher

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