Your Very Next Step newsletter for October 2013


Your Very Next Step newsletter for October 2013

 

By Ned Lundquist
www.yourverynextstep.com

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
John Muir

 

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

“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.

***  To subscribe for free:  http://bit.ly/JOTWSubscribe

 

Send us your comments, questions, and contributions to lundquist989@cs.com.

Contact Ned at lundquist989@cs.com.

 

*** In this issue:

***  Any interesting stories while going through security?

***  China report from Bill Ryerson

***  Top 10 Food Festivals You’ve Never Heard Of

***  19 Idiotic (But Real) Travel Complaints

***  Festivals of the world: where to go in November

***  Four Things NOT to Do With Your Passport

***  27 Solid Reasons Why Palm Springs is the Bomb Diggity

***  Roadkill Permits? There Will Be an App for That

***  Fodor’s 100: World’s Best Budget Hotels of 2013

***  Some of the best High Adventure opportunities—including volunteer opportunities and employment—are at Boy Scout High Adventure bases:

***  National Rail-Trail of the month:

 

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:

 

1.)  Volunteer Opportunities, 2013-2014 winter programs, Outdoors for All Foundation, Seattle WA

2.)  Volunteer position, Evening Lantern Tour at Carriage Hill MetroPark, Five Rivers MetroParks, Dayton, Ohio

3.)  Recreation Services Internship, Outdoors for All Foundation, Seattle WA

 

 

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

1.)  Recreation Program Coordinator, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin, Texas

2.)  Director, Outdoor Connections, Five Rivers MetroParks, Dayton, Ohio

3.)  AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation Corpsmember, Mile High Youth Corps, Denver, Colorado

4.)  AS Outdoor Center Marketing Resources Coordinator 2013-2014, Western Washington University. Bellingham, WA

5.)  Assistant Director of Campus Life and Director of Outdoor Education, Colby College, Waterville, ME

6.)  Center Director, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, National Audubon Society, Holly Springs, Mississippi

7.)  Berkshire Outdoor Center Assistant Director, YMCA, Becket, MA

8.)  Professional Outdoor Instructor , Bradford Woods Outdoor Center – Martinsville, IN

9.)  Part time Orienteering & Geocaching Instructor – Spring 2014, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

11.)  Communications Technician – Antarctica, GHG Corporation, United States

12.)  Elk Camp Snowcat Operator, Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen, CO

 

…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/).

 

 

***  How about you?  Any wardrobe advice for fellow flyers?

Any interesting stories while going through security?

 

Send to Ned at lundquist989@cs.com.

 

***  China report from Bill Ryerson:

 

Hi Ned,

 

I just spoke yesterday at the Climate Change Communications Conference, sponsored by the Yale Climate Change Communications project of the Yale University Forestry School and the China Center for Climate Change Communication. Despite the finger pointing at China for now being the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses, the country is doing a lot to combat climate change. In some ways, China may be the world’s best hope for innovations to address global warming. There are tree planting initiatives that include giving gifts of trees planted in someone’s honor during events like major birthdays as carbon offsets, and activities by the Environmental Protection Volunteers Association to reduce emissions that make China a beacon for innovations in fighting climate change.

 

I’m not here on tourism, but Beijing has continued to modernize, and the new airport is very efficient and quite beautiful. Population Media Center is here planning a soap opera to reduce demand for ivory by Chinese consumers and to address climate change and other key issues.

 

Best wishes,

Bill

 

***  Top 10 Food Festivals You’ve Never Heard Of

 

Now that the Food Network has profiled everything from chili cook-offs to Gilroy’s Garlic Festival you probably think you’ve seen it all when it comes to food festivals. Well, think again! These 10 festivals are guaranteed fun, and we’ve even included a story from SuccessfulMeetings.com to help you get started planning.

 

1. Biscuit Festival: Knoxville, TN

 

2. Loaf ‘N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival: Pueblo, CO

 

3. Dudie Burger Festival: Tupelo, MS

 

4. Barbecue Festival: Lexington, NC

 

5. RC and Moonpie Festival: Shelbyville, TN

 

6. Happy Harry’s Rib Fest: Fargo, ND

 

7. Soul Food Cook-Off: Muskogee, OK

 

8. Gingerbread House Festival: Provo, UT

 

9. Oregon Truffle Festival: Eugene, OR

 

10. Tomato Festival: Newark, OH

 

http://www.successfulmeetings.com/Event-Planning/SM-Top-10/Articles/Top-10-Food-Festivals-You-ve-Never-Heard-Of/?cid=eltrTop10

 

***  19 Idiotic (But Real) Travel Complaints

 

A trip is supposed to be your time away from the crazy. Remind me never to travel to any of the same vacation spots these people have booked! These are actual complaints received from dissatisfied customers by Thomas Cook Vacations, via the Huffington Post, via Meeting News:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blogdramedy/idiotic-travel-complaints_b_4073107.html

 

***  Festivals of the world: where to go in November

 

From Lonely Planet’s A Year of Festivals.

 

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/caribbean/travel-tips-and-articles/77491#ixzz2hhAND6nV

 

***  Four Things NOT to Do With Your Passport

http://www.jaunted.com/story/2013/10/18/6039/7129/travel/Four+Things+NOT+to+Do+With+Your+Passport

 

***  27 Solid Reasons Why Palm Springs is the Bomb Diggity

http://www.jaunted.com/story/2012/12/27/35712/263/travel/27+Solid+Reasons+Why+Palm+Springs+is+the+Bomb+Diggity

 

***  Roadkill Permits? There Will Be an App for That

 

By MATT VOLZ Associated Press

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/roadkill-permits-app-20526348

 

***  Fodor’s 100: World’s Best Budget Hotels of 2013

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/fodors-100-worlds-best-budget-hotels-of-2013?ref=news_fd_101213#!1-intro

 

***  Some of the best High Adventure opportunities—including volunteer opportunities and employment—are at Boy Scout High Adventure bases:

 

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, Islamorada, FL

http://bsaseabase.org/Resources/Employment.aspx

 

Northern Tier National High Adventure Program, Ely, MN

http://www.ntier.org/

 

Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM

 

Each season, Philmont Scout Ranch employs more than 1,000 staff members to operate and support Philmont’s program, Training Center, food service,  ranching museums and maintenance and to assist the administrative staff. A wide variety of paid positions are available, including Rangers, Backcountry Program Counselors and Training Center and base camp support staff.

 

The majority of contracts coincide with the summer season, from late May through mid-August. However, some temporary positions are available that support the spring, fall, and winter programs. All staff members, no matter what their job is or where they work, have a very important role to play in the total success of Philmont.

 

http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/

 

Chilkoot High Adventure Base, Great Alaska Council Boy Scouts of America and the International Wilderness Leadership School, Haines, AK

http://alaskascoutingadventures.org/

 

Teton High Adventure Base, Great Salt Lake Council, Jackson, WY

http://www.gslc-bsa.org/teton-high-adventure-base/27545

 

*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: October 2013

Illinois’ Old Plank Road Trail

By Laura Stark

 

“We knew it was a darn good thing worth putting up the good fight for.”

 

 

Traveling along the tranquil Old Plank Road Trail today, you would never know the site was once the cause of heated debate and a contentious struggle lasting 20 years. The paved 22-mile rail-trail now offers a canopy of oak trees and sugar maples rustling overhead, delicate prairie grasses that stir with the passage of bicyclists, and soft purple wildflowers that peek up through the green underbrush.

 

The dream for this idyllic path in the southern suburbs of Chicago began in the mid-1970s, when the railroad line upon which the trail now rests was formally abandoned. By the end of the decade, locals were already casually using the corridor for nature hikes. The effort to fully convert it to a biking and walking path was championed by the Forest Preserve District of Will County, but as the trail plan took shape in the 1980s, they faced a big hurdle – the public perception of what developing a trail would mean.

 

“At that time, the county was fairly rural,” says Ralph Schultz, director of planning and operations for the district. “There were a lot of misunderstandings about what the trail would be, who it would serve, and what it would cost.”

 

John Joyce remembers feeling the heat at presentations he gave about the project to drum up support. “The townships would have public meetings to involve the public on decisions about the trail,” he says. “Some people hated the trail. They thought people would come into the neighborhood, steal things out of their homes, and go down the trail to make their escape.”

 

Newly arrived from Minnesota, Joyce had become familiar with the emerging trend of rails-to-trails after hearing about Wisconsin’s Elroy-Sparta State Trail that opened in 1967. He worked as director of parks and recreation for Park Forest, one of the communities along the trail, retiring just last year after nearly four decades of service.

 

Though the project had its vocal opponents, support for the trail was steadfastly building. “When the meeting was over and people were filing out, someone who lived along the trail would always come up to speak to you quietly about the project,” recalls Joyce.

 

A united front was created in 1988 when the Old Plank Road Trail Management Commission was formed. Consisting of the city and county governments along the right-of-way, the group still meets regularly on topics affecting the entire trail. Recently, a friends group supporting the rail-trail has formed to assist with trail cleanup and beautification, including adding benches and signage. In recognition of these efforts, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is providing financial support to the friends group through its Metropolitan Grants Program, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation.

 

In 1992, the land for the trail was acquired from Penn Central Railroad. And after two decades of planning and perseverance, its first 12 miles—from Park Forest to Hickory Creek Forest Preserve—was completed in 1997. A highlight of the grand opening was a 24-foot-long cake decorated to look like the new trail.

 

Construction continued over the next several years on three more short sections before its planned 22 miles were fully realized. Today, the trail is one of the most widely visited in the state, according to data collected by statewide trail counts conducted last summer by Trails for Illinois in partnership with RTC.

 

“We had a counter on the Old Plank in Frankfort, and it recorded the highest annual use of any trail in Illinois that we surveyed,” says Eric Oberg, trail development manager for RTC’s Midwest Regional Office. “We looked at a lot of major trail systems in the state, but the Old Plank had the highest annual usage by far: 127,000.” The next most-used trail was the Fox River Trail, with 86,500.

 

Frankfort is the trail’s physical, and spiritual, center. The pathway runs through its historic downtown with many charming shops and restaurants within easy reach. A bustling Sunday farmer’s market offers locally grown produce and homemade baked goods, May through October. And, as one enters town, a beautiful archway emblazoned with the trail’s name curves overhead, a welcoming sight.

 

Oddly, the trail gets its name from something that never was. A wooden boardwalk stretching from Joliet to the Indiana border was planned in 1851, but never came to fruition. It was part of a short-lived transportation craze across the U.S. of wooden toll-roads that at first seemed a vast improvement over the crude dirt pathways of the day. But wood—subject to rot, warpage, and general wear and tear—proved too difficult and expensive to maintain as a roadway, and the trend sputtered out.

 

The corridor was put to better use in 1855, when trains begin running on the newly built Michigan Central Railroad. “They shipped products of agriculture: corn, soybeans, and wheat,” says Bill Molony, president of the Blackhawk Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. “Even today, it’s a strong agricultural area. By avoiding Chicago, they saved time and expense, so the railroad became known as the Joliet Cutoff.”

 

Though these trains have been replaced by trail traffic, a number of railroads nearby are thriving. In Park Forest, just a stone’s throw from the Old Plank Road Trail, rail fans are salivating over the new Rail Fan Park, where, from a raised observation platform, visitors can see something extraordinary. Here, a rare cloverleaf interchange for trains was needed at the intersection of two major rail routes, one going east-west and the other north-south.

 

“At that location, any train can change to any direction,” says Molony, “It gives more flexibility to their whole system.” Both freight trains and Metra and Amtrak passenger lines currently utilize the tracks.

 

Robert Gunther, director for Park Forest’s recreation and parks department describes Canadian National Railway as “a good neighbor” in helping the community develop the two-acre site, which includes interpretive signage on the railroad industry and history in the area, a bright red 60-year-old caboose, and native vegetation that railroad travelers would have seen from their windows in the late 1800s.

 

“The north-south line is elevated, so it comes around on the loop going down to grade level and crosses under itself,” says Gunther. “It’s interesting to watch the dynamics of the movements.”

 

With beautiful views, an interesting new attraction, and wide community usage and support, what could be next for the trail?

 

“On its western end, Joliet is developing a multi-modal center,” says Schultz. “The Forest Preserve has four different trails that come into Joliet. The center will become ground zero for all of our transportation systems.”

 

The new center—a state-of-the-art hub for rail, intercity buses, community shuttles, cars, bicycles, and pedestrians—will be built adjacent to a building from another era, the grand Joliet Union Station dating back to 1912.

 

“Having such a major trail artery connecting to that center, enhances it as a multi-modal transit facility,” says Oberg. “It opens up the trail for more visitor use because you could get on a train from anywhere and get to Joliet. Joliet could be a launching point for one heck of a bike vacation.”

 

Things are busy at the other end of the trail as well. “There are discussions of taking the trail to Chicago Heights,” says Schultz. If completed, the extension would reach the Thorn Creek Trail and, eventually, connect into the northwestern Indiana and Chicago lakefront trail networks.

 

“The Chicago Heights connection is not long, only a mile or two, but the impact long-term would be huge,” says Oberg.

 

Nearly 40 years since it was first envisioned, the well-loved and growing Old Plank Road Trail has proved its value. “I’m proud of the fact that we stuck with it,” says Joyce. “We knew it was a darn good thing worth putting up the good fight for.”

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

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:

 

1.)  Volunteer Opportunities, 2013-2014 winter programs, Outdoors for All Foundation, Seattle WA

http://www.outdoorsforall.org/documents/Programs/Volunteer_guide_web.pdf

 

2.)  Volunteer position, Evening Lantern Tour at Carriage Hill MetroPark, Five Rivers MetroParks, Dayton, Ohio

http://www.metroparks.org/GetInvolved/GetInvolved.aspx

 

3.)  Recreation Services Internship, Outdoors for All Foundation, Seattle WA

http://www.outdoorsforall.org/documents/Employment/Internships_Recreation.pdf

 

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

1.)  Recreation Program Coordinator, Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin, Texas

http://careercenter.nrpa.org/jobs/#/detail/5741479/

 

2.)  Director, Outdoor Connections, Five Rivers MetroParks, Dayton, Ohio

http://www.metroparks.org/AboutUs/Careers.aspx

 

3.)  AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation Corpsmember, Mile High Youth Corps, Denver, Colorado

http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/jobs/job_item.jhtml?id=399800026

 

4.)  AS Outdoor Center Marketing Resources Coordinator 2013-2014, Western Washington University. Bellingham, WA

https://jobs.wwu.edu/JobPosting.aspx?JPID=4002

 

5.)  Assistant Director of Campus Life and Director of Outdoor Education, Colby College, Waterville, ME

http://www.colby.edu/administration_cs/humanresources/employment/asst_dir_camus_life_dir_outdoor_ed_9_2013.cfm

 

6.)  Center Director, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, National Audubon Society, Holly Springs, Mississippi

http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/jobs/job_item.jhtml?id=395400013

 

7.)  Berkshire Outdoor Center Assistant Director, YMCA, Becket, MA

http://www.ymca.net/career-opportunities/open-positions.html?key=23514

 

8.)  Professional Outdoor Instructor , Bradford Woods Outdoor Center – Martinsville, IN

 

Outdoor Instructors needed for three separate 12-week seasons during the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2014. Bradford Woods is known internationally as Indiana University’s Outdoor Center. We are seeking experienced candidates to run programming for youth and adults. If you are looking for that next step to full-time professional work, then look no further. We offer programs in environmental and adventure education as well as some retreat opportunities. Instructors are cross-trained in these programs. We offer $250/week with meals while working, housing, utilities, Wi-Fi, and fitness center, all on a 2500 acre facility. The full job description as well as application information are posted on our website www.bradwoods.org\employment\field-instructor. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and complete application for consideration. For more information, contact Melanie Wills at mjwills@indiana.edu or phone  765-342-2915 .

 

NOTES: 12 openings.

 

http://careercenter.nrpa.org/jobs/5742044

 

*** From Mark Sofman:

 

9.)  Part time Orienteering & Geocaching Instructor – Spring 2014, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

http://bit.ly/H3lBCL

 

11.)  Communications Technician – Antarctica, GHG Corporation, United States

http://bit.ly/H3mDij

 

12.)  Elk Camp Snowcat Operator, Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen, CO

http://bit.ly/H3lZBm

 

*** 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
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Editor and Publisher
Your Very Next Step
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Home office phone: (703) 455-7661
lundquist989@cs.com
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