Your Very Next Step newsletter for February 2013

Your Very Next Step newsletter for February 2013

By Ned Lundquist www.yourverynextstep.com

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

- Benjamin Franklin

 

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

 

“Your Very Next Step” newsletter, published by Ned Lundquist, is a cooperative community, and everyone is invited, no…encouraged, no…urged to participate.   Share your adventures with the network today!  Send to lundquist989@cs.com.

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You may note that our YVNS newletter  (www.yourverynextstep.com) has received a make-over.  Bear with Ned as he learns how to use it.

 

*** In this issue:

***  Niagra Falls

***  The Airfarewatchblog Airline Fees Guide

***  Navigating the land

***  Wandering through the medinas of Morocco

***  What is the GBBC?

***  Minnesota’s Breeding Bird Atlas: Help Write the Book on Minnesota’s Breeding Birds!

***  Albatross named Wisdom astounds scientists by producing chick at age 62

***   Welcome to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

 

***  National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: February 2013 California’s Truckee River Bike Trail

 

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:

 

1.)  SoMo Pima Canyon Trail & Land Rehab, VOAZ, Pima Canyon, AZ

2.)  Volunteer Naturalist, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy,  Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Los Angeles, CA

 

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

1.)  Public Affairs Specialist, Campbell Creek Science Center (CCSC), Anchorage District Office (ADO), Bureau of Land Management, Department Of The Interior, Anchorage, Alaska

2.)  Executive Director, Point Reyes National Seashore Association, Point Reyes Station, California

3.)  Vice President/Executive Director, Audubon Connecticut, Greenwich, Connecticut

4.)  Director Integrated Marketing (Digital and Advertising) (HQ6461), REI, Kent, Washington

5.)  Marketing and Communications Intern, National Audubon Society, Inc., Audubon, PA

6.)  Lead Teacher Naturalist (Summer), Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Tiburon, CA

 

…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/).

 

***  From Mat Matta:

 

Niagra Falls

 

Hi Ned,

 

Just dropping you a note on my recent trip to Buffalo, Niagara and Toronto.   Did all three cities over the course of weekend hockey tournament.

 

My son’s hockey team played in a PeeWee hockey tournament in Niagara Falls  so we took the opportunity to experience as much as we could.

 

We flew into Buffalo one day early so we could head straight to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.    I hadn’t been to the Hall in 20 years and my son had never been so it was fun to see him see all the great exhibits.  We took pics with the Stanley Cup and played the interactive games and watched some very good videos and movies.   You need to devote at least three hours to fully enjoy all the exhibits.

 

Following the Hall of Fame, we dined at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant in Toronto and were greeted by his father, Walter, who was very gregarious and posed for picture and proffered autographs to all comers.     The food was surprisingly good for a sports bar.  There is a small Gretzky museum  in the restaurant.   Walter said he influenced Wayne in his career by preaching that from early on you must be prepared to play  meaning he ate right and got plenty of sleep.

 

We also went as a team to the Anchor Bar in downtown Buffalo.    Buffalo wings were supposedly invented there by Teressa Bellissimo  in 1964.  The wings were spicy and the beer was cold.  The Anchor bar didn’t disappoint.  Buffalo also has a small military waterfront park which includes 2 ships and a submarine along with a few planes, tanks and other vehicles.   It’s small but perfect for kids to blow off some energy .

 

Niagara Falls in the winter is quite a sight.   The mist settles on everything creating a thick coating of ice.  The area surrounding the falls is filled with plenty of souvenir shops, restaurants and casinos.  We ate lunch just a few feet from the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.   Unfortunately much of the Falls  attractions close in October so we couldn’t  ride the Maid of the Mist or explore the caves.   I do recommend viewing from both sides of the border.  On the American side I recommend driving on to  Goat Island  which is a State Park to view the Falls in a  sylvan setting.

 

And in the tournament, my son’s team made it to the semi-finals before falling to a team from Mississauga, Ontario.

 

***  The Airfarewatchblog Airline Fees Guide

http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/13842767/introducing-our-brand-new-airline-fees-guide/

 

***  Navigating the land:

 

The idea of hunting the backcountry is increasingly appealing to many folks. Today, it seems everyone has a GPS unit and can travel for days over diverse country. But, what occurs when the GPS is inoperable or the batteries die? Do you know how to navigate without your GPS in country you’ve never been in or seen in daylight? How about when fog or snow sets in? How competent are you with a map and compass?

If we are going to travel in the backcountry away from modern conveniences then we need to know how to return to the trailhead. It means personal responsibility beyond the green gate. Make the effort to learn basic navigation skills, determining declination, finding north on a compass and returning to your vehicle. Learn these skills and the backcountry becomes an endless wilderness that has no boundaries.

As a former search and rescue volunteer, I remember a group that was lost in the Cascade Range of Oregon. They called 911 to report they were lost, and when an intervening Sheriff’s deputy asked if they had a GPS, the answer was, “Yes, but we don’t know how to use it!”

A year later a similar call to 911 revealed that this family still had not learned the basics of GPS operation, as they requested “rescue” again from nearly the same location. The point being: know your equipment and how to use it.

If you don’t have navigation skills, even staying on roads and trails can lead to an unplanned overnight in the backcountry. One October an Oregon hunter on an ATV drove on a road away from camp to dispose of a deer carcass. Once he left the carcass, the return to camp seemed simple enough, but somehow he couldn’t follow his ATV tracks back to camp. He spent the night out without essentials. The next day he was found very cold and lucky to be alive. One of the lessons learned: always have the 12 essentials (see side bar). Staying hydrated and warm are two of the fundamentals of survival – add a head lamp to assist in gathering wood, and the fear factor is halved! Carry fresh spare batteries for all electronic devices.

At one time or another, many of us have become disoriented in patches of blow-down or stands of second-growth or dense young trees. Or when we’ve lost a trail due to snow-drifts or while navigating in the dark, but we’re not lost. The difference between disorientation and being lost can be subtle, but the decision between self-help and calling for rescue becomes critical.

The “disoriented” hiker may still have landmarks at his/her disposal, where the “lost” hiker may have none. When truly lost, the hiker typically wanders for hours or days in circles so random that search-and-rescue personnel experience difficulty making sense of the route. There is a common belief to always go downhill, or drop in elevation if disoriented. The reasoning is, “You’ll eventually hit a road.” Not true. That strategy can be very dangerous in many locales. So, how do you stay found?

  1. Know how to navigate using a map and compass.
  2. At a minimum, always carry a map, compass, headlamp and fire-starting equipment – and know how to start a fire in any conditions.
  3. Never go anywhere without the 12 Essentials.*
  4. Have a communication plan. If hunting with partners, test frequencies. Sample language: “I have a Fox 40 whistle. I’ll turn on my FRS/GMRS radio on-the-hour, starting at 0900. Then, every-hour, if we miss communicating, check back every half-hour.”
  5. Sit-down once disoriented. Don’t wait until you’re lost. This can be the most difficult survival decision a disoriented person may make. Get your bearings before moving.
  6. Always tell a reliable friend your itinerary. Leave a hide-a-key and notes with a map of your planned routing at home and in your vehicle, and give contingencies as best you can. If you are diverted from the original plan, decide whether sitting and waiting for rescue is the prudent thing.

Karl Findling, is the Oregon BHA representative-at-large and owner of Oregon Pack Works, LLC. He makes no claims to be an expert in backcountry navigation. The above stories and tips are merely stories and tips. Actual experiences may vary.

Note: The original Ten Essentials list was assembled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers. In 2003, the group’s updated “systems” approach made its debut in its seminal text on climbing and outdoor exploration, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (The Mountaineers Books, 2010), now in its eighth edition.

 

* The 12 Essentials

 

Navigation (map and compass)

Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)

Insulation (extra clothing)

Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)

First-aid supplies

Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)

Repair kit and tools

Nutrition (extra food)

Hydration (extra water)

Emergency shelter

Communication (whistle/cell or satellite phone and/or, GMRS/FRS radio/ELB or SPOT®)

GPS (Global Positioning System)

 

Classic Ten Essentials:

Map

Compass

Sunglasses and sunscreen

Extra clothing

Headlamp/flashlight

First-aid supplies

Fire starter

Matches

Knife

Extra food

The idea of hunting the backcountry is increasingly appealing to many folks. Today, it seems everyone has a GPS unit and can travel for days over diverse country. But, what occurs when the GPS is inoperable or the batteries die? Do you know how to navigate without your GPS in country you’ve never been in or seen in daylight? How about when fog or snow sets in? How competent are you with a map and compass?

If we are going to travel in the backcountry away from modern conveniences then we need to know how to return to the trailhead. It means personal responsibility beyond the green gate. Make the effort to learn basic navigation skills, determining declination, finding north on a compass and returning to your vehicle. Learn these skills and the backcountry becomes an endless wilderness that has no boundaries.

As a former search and rescue volunteer, I remember a group that was lost in the Cascade Range of Oregon. They called 911 to report they were lost, and when an intervening Sheriff’s deputy asked if they had a GPS, the answer was, “Yes, but we don’t know how to use it!”

A year later a similar call to 911 revealed that this family still had not learned the basics of GPS operation, as they requested “rescue” again from nearly the same location. The point being: know your equipment and how to use it.

http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=299&Itemid=123

 

***  Wandering through the medinas of Morocco

 

This Washington Post story brought back memories of our adventure in Morocco back when we were living overseas, especially the time spent inside the medina at Fes.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/wandering-through-the-medinas-of-morocco/2013/02/07/80bfcc36-6a5f-11e2-95b3-272d604a10a3_story.html

 

***  What is the GBBC?

 

The 2013 GBBC will take place Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18. Please join us for the 16th annual count!

 

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

 

http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc

 

***  Minnesota’s Breeding Bird Atlas: Help Write the Book on Minnesota’s Breeding Birds!

 

(Metro and Central MN, NW, NE, and Southern MN)

 

This is a great opportunity to ‘bird with a purpose’ by participating in the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas, the largest, most comprehensive bird conservation project ever conducted in Minnesota. In 2009, Minnesota began this 5-year project to document every breeding species in the state and where they nest. If you ever needed a reason to get outside and go birding, this is it.

 

Now, after four successful seasons, there is only one more year to contribute breeding bird information and make a lasting contribution to Minnesota bird conservation.  In 2013, volunteers and partners will submit their sightings before September 1 which will wrap-up this historic project.  We are expecting the final season to our best ever!

 

There are Two Ways to Help

1.Surveyors select and sign-up for a critical (priority) block. Blocks are available throughout the state. Surveyors spend about 20 hours between March and August driving, walking, paddling, or biking through different habitats within their survey block to record what they see. The goal for every block survey is to record as many species as you can find with the strongest evidence of breeding observed for each species.  Evidence includes: seeing a pair in suitable habitat, an adult carrying nesting material or food, or seeing fledglings.

 

2. Field Observers document evidence of breeding species the same as surveyors, however, they are can submit observations from anywhere throughout the state or from your backyard or favorite birding site.

 

Participants do not need to be experts but need to be sure the species they report is correct.  We do not count birds and you don’t have to find nests, although by watching bird behavior you will definitely find them.

 

Please join us!

Your observations will help us learn more about our breeding birds and you will improve your bird identification and observational skills. Results from the Atlas will map the distribution of every breeding species we find and support local, county, state, and regional conservation planning.

 

To learn more about this project, how to participate, or see Atlas results to date, check out our project website, www.mnbba.org. Review the Handbook under the Materials tab and then use the Easy Guide to get started.

 

Still have questions? Contact the Project Coordinator, Bonnie Sample at bsample@audubon.org, or 651-739-9332, ext 20.

 

The Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas is funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the MN DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Minnesota, the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union, and the Natural Resources Research Institute at UMD.

 

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteering/opps/index.html#atlas

 

***  Albatross named Wisdom astounds scientists by producing chick at age 62

 

By Darryl Fears

The Washington Post

She is described as awesome. And wonderful. And maybe a little weird. She is the world’s oldest known living wild bird at age 62, and she produced a healthy chick that hatched Sunday.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/albatross-named-wisdom-astounds-scientists-by-giving-birth-at-age-62/2013/02/05/f46a68a6-6fc5-11e2-8b8d-e0b59a1b8e2a_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

 

***  Welcome to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

 

Midway, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, is one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife experiences. Nearly three million birds call it home for much of each year, including the world’s largest population of Laysan Albatrosses, or “gooney birds”. Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles and spinner dolphins frequent Midway’s crystal blue lagoon.

 

Midway became an “overlay” refuge in 1988, while still under the primary jurisdiction of the Navy. With the closure of Naval Air Facility Midway Island in 1993, there began a transition from bullets to birds, a change in mission from national defense to wildlife conservation.

 

Midway is one of the most remote coral atolls on earth. Yet, it is much, much more!

 

•the last link in a global telegraph system, inaugurated by a message from President Teddy Roosevelt on the Fourth of July, 1903

 

•a landing site for Pan Am Clippers enroute across the Pacific Ocean in the late 1930s

 

•the focus of a 1942 battle that changed the tide of war in the Pacific

 

•from July 1942 to the end of hostilities, Midway served as a submarine base that aided in bringing the war to a close

 

•naval air facility that played a pivotal role in support of the Korean War, the Cold War and the Vietnam War

http://www.fws.gov/midway/

 

Wisdom Hatches Another Chick! (February 5, 2012)

 

The world’s oldest living Laysan albatross, Wisdom, and her mate successfully hatched their chick on Sunday morning, February 3. Wisdom’s mate tends to his newly hatched chick just hours after it hatched. While this photo was taken, Wisdom was currently at sea feeding and will return when it is time for her shift to keep her youngest safe and warm

 

http://www.fws.gov/midway/whatsnew.html

 

Midway Atoll

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midway_Atoll

*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: February 2013 California’s Truckee River Bike Trail By Laura Stark

“As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” —Mark Twain, American writer and humorist, on Lake Tahoe in Roughing It, published 1872

Surrounded by the majestic, snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Nevada and renowned for its clear blue water, the country’s second deepest lake is surely as stunning today as when Mark Twain saw it more than a century ago. In fact, Lake Tahoe was recently deemed America’s best lake by popular vote in a USA Today survey. Although dozens of tributaries flow into the lake, only one flows out, and it is along this waterway that the Truckee River Bike Trail is aligned.

“It’s a pretty spectacular setting,” says Barry Bergman, manager of trail development at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Western office. “And it’s a year-round destination. The biggest crowds are in the winter, but it’s also busy in the summer because of the lake.”

The trail follows the former route of a tourist train that operated in the early 1900s. The Lake Tahoe Railway and Transportation Company took passengers from the bustling railroad town of Truckee (a stop along the First Intercontinental Railroad) to Tahoe City on the lake’s shore. From there, travelers could take steamships to other destinations on the lake. The railroad was leased to Southern Pacific Company in 1925, but by 1943 it had ceased operation, no match for the burgeoning car industry.

The critical role of railroads in the shaping of Truckee is fully explored in the Truckee Railroad Museum, which opened in 2010. Although the rail-trail stops about nine miles short of Truckee, you can continue heading north from its endpoint in Olympic Valley along the wide shoulder of Highway 89 to the downtown area where the museum is housed next to a historical, and still-functioning, train station. Before the railroad, the town was an important stagecoach and wagon stop called Coburn Station (after a saloon keeper) and retains its Wild West character in its rugged small-town feel and 19th century buildings.

The name Truckee that now graces the town, river and rail-trail, predates the coming of the railroad. Once known as the Salmon Trout River, the waterway was renamed for a leader of the Paiute tribe, known as Chief Truckee, in gratitude for guiding westward settlers through the area in the mid-1800s.

One notorious California-bound group, the Donner party, did not fair well. In late October 1846, the travel-weary group of more than 80 emigrants, many of whom were children, became stranded on the shores of Lake Truckee for several weeks in heavy snow, unable to complete their journey across the mountains. When they were finally rescued the following February, nearly half the group had perished, many from starvation. In a desperate attempt to survive, some had resorted to cannibalism. The Donner Memorial State Park in western Truckee stands as a testament to their tragic struggle.

South of Truckee the trail picks up in Olympic Valley, which was known as Squaw Valley when it was chosen to host the 1960 winter Olympic Games. In true American style, it was the first Olympic Games to tabulate scores by computer (IBM) and the opening and closing ceremonies were produced by famed animator Walt Disney. The elaborate entertainment involved 5,000 performers and set the standard for future Olympic Games.

Continuing south, through an evergreen forest, the asphalt trail closely follows the Truckee River, a pleasant place to cool off during a summer ride and an incredibly popular outlet for fishing, white water rafting, kayaking and paddle boarding. The area’s popularity is, however, a double-edged sword.

“The river is heavily impacted by recreational use and its banks are becoming very degraded,” says Lisa Wallace, executive director of the Truckee River Watershed Council. “We’re losing vegetation and overhanging banks for fish.”

To remedy the situation, the organization is partnering with the Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD) and others to add more environmentally friendly river access points and directional signage in the hopes of improving the waterway so that it can continue to be enjoyed responsibly.

With this strong community support and its abundant beauty, the watershed became part of the National Forest Foundation’s “Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences” program this past fall, one of only 14 sites chosen nationwide. The program will support additional efforts to restore and protect the much-loved and much-used resource.

The trail’s nearly seven-mile journey ends in Tahoe City, the gateway to the lake, just as the trains did decades ago. Interestingly, the unincorporated community is a city in name only. One of the responsibilities of its governing body, the TCPUD, is the development and management of the rail-trail.

“In the 1970s, TCPUD started a bicycle trail network in our district,” says Cindy Gustafson, the organization’s general manager. “Ever since that time, we’ve been working to complete a unified trail.”

Just this summer, a critical piece of the network fell into place when the Lakeside Trail, which directly connects to the Truckee River Bike Trail, opened in downtown Tahoe City. Nineteen miles of paved off-road trail are now accessible along the western and northern shores of the lake. In an area known for its extreme sports, the level, smooth pathways are a welcome addition for walkers, casual cyclists, inline skaters and families.

“We had all these segments of trail, but the biggest gap has been right through the heart of Tahoe City,” says Gustafson. “It forced bicyclists to share the road on a narrow two-lane roadway. The Lakeside Trail has connected everything together.”

With 300,000 to 400,000 annual visitors on the Truckee River Bike Trail alone, Gustafson says the community has been “hugely supportive” of these efforts. “It’s the most highly rated recreational facility that we operate,” she says. “Visitors and residents want to get outdoors and not be trapped in their cars.”

http://www.railstotrails.org/news/recurringFeatures/trailMonth/index.html

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:

1.)  SoMo Pima Canyon Trail & Land Rehab, VOAZ, Pima Canyon, AZ

http://www.outdoorvolunteer.org/viewevent.aspx?eventid=798

 

2.)  Volunteer Naturalist, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy,  Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Los Angeles, CA

 

Volunteer naturalists provide guided interptetive nature programs, host our nature center, or help patrol trails at many of our park locations. Thes duties are critical to meeting the agency goal of providing visitor service and education programs to the public at our park locations. Volunteers take part in a nationally recognized training program before staffing facilities and helping with special events. Additional training is provided for volunteers leading educational and interpretive programs for both schools and the general public. Continuous training is offered throughout the year in other specialty areas. Parks featuring volunteer led programs include Santa Clarita Woodlands, Franklin Canyon Park, King Gillete Ranch, Temescal Gateway Park, Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve, Vista Hermosa Natural Park, and the Puente/Chino Hills in Whittier.

 

http://www.lamountains.com/involved.asp#volunteer naturalist

 

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

1.)  Public Affairs Specialist, Campbell Creek Science Center (CCSC), Anchorage District Office (ADO), Bureau of Land Management, Department Of The Interior, Anchorage, Alaska

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/335933600

 

2.)  Executive Director, Point Reyes National Seashore Association, Point Reyes Station, California

http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/jobs/job_item.jhtml?id=327200017

 

3.)  Vice President/Executive Director, Audubon Connecticut, Greenwich, Connecticut

http://www.execsearches.com/non-profit-jobs/jobDetail.asp?job_id=25501

 

4.)  Director Integrated Marketing (Digital and Advertising) (HQ6461), REI, Kent, Washington

https://www.rei.apply2jobs.com/ProfExt/index.cfm?fuseaction=mExternal.showJob&RID=6461

 

5.)  Marketing and Communications Intern, National Audubon Society, Inc., Audubon, PA

https://careers-audubon.icims.com/jobs/1569/job

 

6.)  Lead Teacher Naturalist (Summer), Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Tiburon, CA

https://careers-audubon.icims.com/jobs/1616/job

 

*** Send your job opportunities to share with the YVNS network to lundquist989@cs.com.

*** Your Very Next Step is a service of the Job of the Week Network LLC © 2013 The Job of the Week Network LLC Edward Lundquist, ABC – Editor and Publisher Your Very Next Step 7813 Richfield Road Springfield, VA 22153 Home office phone: (703) 455-7661 lundquist989@cs.com www.nedsjotw.com

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