Your Very Next Step newsletter for January/February 2015

Your Very Next Step newsletter for January/February 2015


By Ned Lundquist
“There’s a place

in the middle of the wine-dark sea called Crete,

a lovely, fruitful land surrounded by the sea.”

– Homer (“Smyrns of Chios”), Odyessey


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
– Lao Tzu
This edition of “Your very next step” comes to you from Chania, on the Greek island of Crete.


“Your Very Next Step” adventure/outdoors/conservation 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
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*** In this issue:
***  Ned’s upcoming travel

***  Trail of the Month:  Pennsylvania’s Allegheny River Trail


*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:


***  Ned’s upcoming travel

***  Genoa

***  Crete

***  While waiting for my flight from Athens to Crete

***  Two interesting blogs from Rohit Agarwal

***  Free Admission Days to U.S. National Parks

***  15 of the Worst Airlines in the World Destination Tips

***  Planes, clouds and votices

***  Top 10 European tourist traps USA TODAY

***  Hate Flying? It’s Your Fault

***  Wisconsin’s Kinnickinnic River Trail


*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:
1.)  Residential Outdoor Science Instructor, Grizzly Creek Ranch, Sierra Nevada Journeys, Portola, CA

2.)  Youth and Family Outdoor Program Coordinator, Outdoors Rx, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), Boston MA

3.)  Project Manager – Philadelphia Region (Full-Time), Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), Philadelphia, Pa.

4.)  Public Affairs Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Department Of The Interior, Billings, MT

5.)  Residential Outdoor Educator, Friends of the National ZOO, Maurertown, VA

6.)  Executive Director, Prairie Rivers Network, Champaign, Illinois



…and much more…and it’s all FREE!!!
*** Do you have a travel adventure, conservation or outdoor update  to share?

Send me your stories and I’ll post in the “Your Very Next Step” and on the YVNS website (


***  Ned’s upcoming travel, maybe, perhaps:


January 31-February 3, Chania, Crete, Greece


February 3-5, Rota Spain


February 5-6, Madrid, Spain


March 10-12, Jacksonville, Fla.


March 15-20, Accra, Ghana


April 22-27, Los Angeles, Calif.


August 17-19, San Diego, Calif.


***  Genoa:


Here’s a fun store to visit in the Porto Antico, and get fresh and local treats and products from Geona and Liguria.  Also a great place to eat.  You can now find Eataly in far flug locations, like Rome and Milan.


Here’s a facinating location to have a dinner for the attendees of Surface Warships 2015 in Genoa.  Dine with the sharks!


***  Crete:


While wandering around the old city of Chania, I wandered into a gift shop named “Anastasia,” in a lovely 600-year old building.  I was looking for a local hand-made nativity for my mother’s collection.  I had a nice chat with Karen, an American who has been living in Greece with her husband and family for three decades now.  She told me of a shop that sells icons that also carries olive wood nativities.  They were closed, but Karen called the owner.  Later in the afternoon they brought a couple of them over to Karen’s shiop, and she called me at my hotel to let me know she had them.  I raced over before she closed the store and completed the transaction, and also bought a glass “eye” to ward offf evil spirits.


Crete, and Chania in particular, is living in layers of history dating back to the beginning of civilization.


According to Wikipedia, Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.  Crete is part of Greece, but has significant autonomy.  The largest city on the island and the capital, Heraklion, has about 600,000 people.  Chania is a tenth of that.  There are some famous gods from Crete, including Zeus.


Crete was the hub of the earliest known advanced European civilization, the Minoan (c. 2700–1420 BC), which had aa good run until overtaken by the Mycenaean’s from mainland Greece.  The Romans finally conquered the island in 69 BC, and they and their successors, the Byzantines ran the place, although not without lots of wars, until around 820 AD.  You had your attacking Vandals, Slavs, and Arabs.  You know, the usual.   It was captured by Andalusian Muladis who established the Emirate of Crete, but the Byantines tried to take it back until the did in 960-ish.


The Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople, and one of the leading crusader, Boniface of Montferrat, was awarded Crete.  He in turn sold his claim to the Republic of Venice, which didn’t sit well with their rivals in Genoa, who seized the island.  Finally, in 1212 Venice established its colony on Crete.  That’s why my hotel is named Porto Veneziano; the big old buildings are known aas the Venetian dockyards, and the Capuchins run the Catholic church here.


The merchants of Venice ran Crete for more than four centuries.  From 1212, during Venice’s rule, which lasted more than four centuries.  Called Candia by the Venetians, the city was well fortified with walls, forts and other defenses.  The port is shallower than nearby Souda Bay, but well protected, particularly with the sea walss constructed, which suited the Venmetians with their shallow draft vessels.


Then the Ottomans showed up in 1669,.  Many Cretans leff for safer parts of the Republic of Venice.  The Ottomans began the Islamic presence on the island (not counting some brief Arab occupations), was cemented by the Ottoman conquest. Some Cretans converted to Islam, and some converted to Christianty when the Turks left. When the Ottoman Empire fell apart, there was a “population exchange” between Greece and Turkey in 1924.


When the modern Greek State was established in 1830, but Crete was not a part.  In fact, the island was yielded to Egypt by the Ottoman sultan, but sovereignty was returned to the Ottoman Empire in 1840.


An autonomous Cretan State was established  in 1898, and eventually the island became part of Greece in 1913.


The island was invaded by Musssolini’s forces and then by the Germans during World War II.   The Battle of Crete was especially bloody.


***  While waiting for my flight from Athens to Crete:


I am so very humbled. I was getting ready to leave the Lufthansa business lounge a little early and head to the gate for my 17:30 to Chania. By my watch it was 16:30, so plenty of time. When I went to put away my cell phone it showed 17:30. I ran out to the counter and asked them what was the correct time. Turns out I was still on Rome time, and Athens was an hour later. No experience traveler would make that mistake. The flight was already closed, but the lady at the desk started making calls as I contemplated my dismal options. Then she says, “Let’s go!” One of the ladies ran with me through the Fast Track security check, and all the way to the gate. They scanned my boarding pass and I ran down the stairs to the tarmac where one of the big buses was waiting …just for me. The aircraft was waiting on the flight line. I ran aboard, took my seat, they pulled the stairs away and we left about 25 minutes late. I am very lucky, and I know it. I still haven’t stopped hyperventilating.


***  Two interesting blogs from Rohit Agarwal (who writes for


Rohit has offered to contribute content to our YVNS readers next month.


***  Free Admission Days to U.S. National Parks


Those credit card bills from the holidays are going to be here sooner than later, so it’s time to take advantage of some travel freebies. Just as in years past Uncle Sam is giving away access to a slice of his backyard, as there are a bunch of free admission days to national parks across the nifty fifty during 2015.


The government will get you back around Tax Day, but for now look forward to the following free admission days:


  • January 19—Martin Luther King Jr. Day


  • February 14-16—Presidents Day Weekend


  • April 18-19—Opening Weekend of National Park Week


  • August 25—National Park Service Birthday


  • September 26—National Public Lands Day


  • November 11—Veterans Day


***  15 of the Worst Airlines in the World Destination Tips


***  Planes, clouds and votices


***  Rick Steves: Top 10 European tourist traps USA TODAY


***  Hate Flying? It’s Your Fault


By Megan McArdle


***  Wisconsin’s Kinnickinnic River Trail

by Laura Stark


Lined with concrete in the 1960s in an effort to improve floodwater flows, the channel deteriorated over time, becoming contaminated, filled with trash and defaced with graffiti. What was once a vibrant waterway along a busy harbor of Lake Michigan was reduced to nothing more than an ugly and forgotten drainage ditch.


A few years ago, a plan was put in motion to change the course of its future. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) would widen the river from 50 feet to 200 feet to improve its ability to channel floodwater, replace the concrete with river stone and add natural vegetation to restore the river’s allure for both wildlife and people. Although only 1,000 feet of the watercourse have been improved so far, the difference is astonishing. Its once steep slopes are now beautifully tiered and accessible, and trout and salmon can be seen swimming in its waters. For the remainder of the river project, about 75 percent of the private property needed for completion has been acquired.


“We want to make this corridor into an asset for the community, rather than this open sewer,” says Patrick Elliott, MMSD’s senior project manager. “It’s an urban watershed, so it’s struggled, but the river is definitely on its way to getting better.”


In tandem with these efforts, an existing rail-trail adjacent to the river project will be extended westward along the river to provide better access to the newly revitalized waterway, and to connect parks, businesses and schools throughout the neighborhood. Elliott says MMSD was already planning to create a basic, unpaved trail along the river for maintenance and upkeep, so it was a natural fit to improve on that idea and create a paved trail that the public could use as well.


“Now you see people actually using the river,” he says. “It’s encouraging to see families getting out there, even doing some fishing. You don’t see that on the part that’s still concrete on the other side of the bridge.”


The first segment of the KK River Trail opened in 2013, and while just a little more than two miles have been completed, its benefits are still rippling through the adjacent Lincoln Village and Bay View neighborhoods.


“The trail is a big asset in an extremely dense, urban neighborhood,” says Kristin Bennett, Milwaukee’s bicycle and pedestrian transportation coordinator. “There aren’t large swaths of open space, so it creates this recreational opportunity right in the heart of all these people.”


Elliott says residents have rallied around the project, recalling one particular river clean-up event this past October. “It was 30 degrees out and rainy, a miserable day, but it was packed! The community involvement in this area is really great.”


Recognizing the connection between the health of the river and the health of the community, the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers (SSCHC) became a key partner in the project early on. The healthcare provider, serving the city’s south side in an area where 80 percent of the population is Latino, has been working to build awareness of the river and trail among residents and foster educational programming and volunteering efforts. The group worked with students from local schools to create public art and a butterfly garden along the trail, as well as trail signage in both English and Spanish.


“The trail was a new space for the community,” says Iris Gonzalez, SSCHC’s community engagement specialist. “This past year, we started a weekly summer camp program along the trail where participants learned biking skills and explored the natural surroundings in this urban environment. Part of the trail is really wooded.”


The public art that the students created included colorful tiles that lined three wooden pillars carrying a symbolic message. “This river is undergoing transformation, and the woods and the neighborhood are undergoing transformation as well, so they used the imagery of a caterpillar and a butterfly to represent that,” says Gonzalez.


Plans are underway to add another two miles to the trail, nearly doubling its length as it continues west along the ever-improving river from 6th Street to 27th Street. This phase of the project is in the design and engineering stage with construction anticipated to begin in 2018 and end in 2022.


“Opening up access in these neighborhoods to new recreational opportunities is challenging because we’re so land-locked,” says Ben Gramling, director of the environmental health department for SSCHC. “This trail will open up more territory for people to lead more active lifestyles and provide access to the Kinnickinnic River Parkway and Jackson Park, a jewel in Milwaukee’s park system.”


The trail’s north end—where it currently ends just two miles shy of the downtown core and the city’s famed Hank Aaron State Trail—already caters to a growing center of activity. Last fall, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee opened a new state-of-the-art research facility for its School of Freshwater Sciences near the city’s lakefront, about a block from the trail. In that same area, a new mixed-use development with residences, office space and a grocery store is anticipated to open along Greenfield Avenue in 2016. And a stone’s throw away is the Oak Leaf Trail, an extensive and primarily on-road bicycling network of more than 100 miles that puts many areas of the city within reach.


“It’s all right there,” says Bennett. “The potential for the trail is astronomical because of all the development happening around it.”


With these connections, the KK River Trail ties into an already vast and growing trail network; Milwaukee is serving as a hub of potential with trail spokes stretching outward north toward Sheboygan, south to Racine and Chicago, and westward to Madison, La Crosse and Minneapolis’ doorstep.


Perhaps Gonzalez sums up the evolving trail best by saying, “It’s just the beginning of something that will be even more wonderful.”


The story of Milwaukee’s Kinnickinnic River Trail is the story of its eponymous river; paralleling each other through the city’s south side, the fate of the two is intimately intertwined. The KK River Trail, as it’s known locally, is also referred to as the “lost river.”


*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:


1.)  Lonesome Lake Hut Adult Volunteer Vacation, Appalachian Mountain Club, Pinkham Notch, NH


May 17, 2015 – May 23, 2015 (Sun – Sat) Join us for our volunteer crew based at AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut. Crewmembers will be spending the week at the hut and working to help maintain the trails in the Kinsman Range. All of the crew will meet first at Camp Dodge Volunteer Center on Sunday evening for dinner and a chance to meet everyone.


On Monday morning, after dividing the food, tools, and group gear, the crew will depart for the Lonesome Lake trailhead and hike to Lonesome Hut. On Tuesday and Thursday, the crew will work on the trails in the area of the hut, building bog bridges, improving drainage, and brushing out the corridor. Wednesday will be a free day for participants to enjoy the scenic wonders of the area, or go for an epic day hike up to Kinsman Ridge.


The crew will return on Friday to Camp Dodge to clean-up and have dinner. Friday evening stay and Saturday morning breakfast are included in the program cost.


Camp Life:

After spending you first night in the bunkhouses at Camp Dodge Volunteer Center, you will head out to one of AMC’s popular huts, Lonesome Lake. Our crew will be there during non-peak season, so there may be other visitors, but not many, thus allowing for greater peaceful enjoyment of the hut and all it has to offer. Meals will be provided by AMC and prepared as a group or by the crew leaders. Participants will have their own bunk and access to the full kitchen and all participants will be expected to chip in to help keep the hut clean during their stay. You can expect to enjoy peace and beauty of the Kinsman Range; just remember to bring warm outer layers, as it can still be cold and wet in the mountains in May. The hut has cards, board games, a well-stocked library, and more for you to enjoy while you are on your crew.


Trip at a Glance

Activity: Backpacking



Trail Work



Offered By: AMC Staff

Status: Open

Duration: Week

Location: Lonesome Lake Hut,  New Hampshire, White Mountains,  NH

Nearby AMC Destination: Lonesome Lake Hut

Camp Dodge

Audience: 50+



First Timers

Young Adults

Past participants say…

“This was an awesome week, I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” Tom, Adult Hut Crew Participant


“Another great crew and hard work, will be back next year,” Mike, Adult Hut Crew Participant


2015 Dates:

May 24-30



$350.00 for AMC Members

$385.00 for non-members


Contact for information or to register:

Alison Violette

361 Rt 16, PO Box 298 , Gorham , NH 03581

603-466-8156 (best time to call: 9:00am – 5:00pm)


2.)  Internship, Trails and Greenways Program – West Coast, Western Regional Office, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), Oakland, Calif.


3.)  Saving Cross River Gorillas and Chimpanzees, Volunteer in the Highland Rainforests of South West Cameroon, African Conservation Foundation


*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:
1.)  Residential Outdoor Science Instructor, Grizzly Creek Ranch, Sierra Nevada Journeys, Portola, CA


We’re hiring Outdoor Science Instructors (Mar-Nov) at SNJ for our science campus 30mi north of Lake Tahoe.


Sierra Nevada Journeys takes an “Employees First” approach. Working with Sierra Nevada Journeys is as much a transformative life experience for our staff as it is for our students. We look for the most talented, passionate, entrepreneurial, and enthusiastic educators who want to help us change students’ lives. And because we value your energy and your contributions, we also offer competitive salaries and wages. We look forward to hearing about your experience and background. Come join the Sierra Nevada Journeys’ family today!


We are seeking Outdoor Science Instructors with passion and experience delivering outdoor school programs and summer camps. During the fall and spring seasons, instructors deliver residential, 1-5 day Outdoor Science educational programs to 5th and 6th graders from regional elementary schools. Instructors are responsible for leading and educating a group of 12 – 15 students throughout the week, as well as facilitating large group activities. During the summer season, SNJ delivers traditional summer camp programs and tailored programs for special needs and leadership development groups. SNJ’s , week-long summer camp programs are designed with an educational and experiential focus for our resident campers. Instructors supervise the campers overnight, as well as facilitate activities such as archery, swimming, kayaking, campfires and skits. Come join a fun, dynamic, hardworking team of outdoor school educators!


Grizzly Creek Ranch Campus is a fully ADA accessible outdoor science learning facility in Portola, CA, just 45 minutes from Reno, NV and 2 hours from Sacramento. GCRC operates year round to deliver programs focused on critical thinking and collaboration through our outdoor science campus for schools, campers, and community members.


2.)  Youth and Family Outdoor Program Coordinator, Outdoors Rx, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), Boston MA


3.)  Project Manager – Philadelphia Region (Full-Time), Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), Philadelphia, Pa.


4.)  Public Affairs Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Department Of The Interior, Billings, MT


5.)  Residential Outdoor Educator, Friends of the National ZOO, Maurertown, VA


Friends of the National Zoo, a nonprofit member organization dedicated to supporting the education, research, animal care, visitor experience, and sustainability mission of the Smithsonians National Zoological Park is seeking individuals who have experience working with children ages 10-15 for the Residential Outdoor Educator position at the residential camp. This position is located at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia. Applicants must have experience in either camp or informal education settings, knowledge of the natural sciences, and a love and appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.




At least 21 years of age.

Minimum of one year of college required.

Experience working with children, preferably in a camp setting.

Experience in informal or formal lesson development and facilitation.

Coursework / experience in science, nature studies, or outdoor education.

Current certification in American Red Cross First Aid and CPR required; additional lifeguard certification preferred (must be obtained by June 01, 2015).

Valid drivers license.

Ability to hike up to 4 miles a day in all weather conditions.

Responsible, self-motivated, enthusiastic, and punctual.


Job Responsibilities:


Live on-site during 6 week camp session.

Assume accountability for the health and welfare of campers entrusted to his/her charge.

Understand, follow, interpret, and enforce all camp rules, policies and procedures.

Serve as a good example to campers in personal language, appearance, and health habits.

Provide leadership and guidance to campers with special attention to:

o             personal hygiene and safety

o             behavior toward themselves and others

o             camper participation in camp activities

Develop and teach two, 1.5 hour classes per week around the theme of conservation, nature, wildlife and the outdoors.

Plan and lead daily activities such as hikes, classes, crafts, meals, and other programs as required.

Reports to Camp Director(s), Senior Resident Outdoor Educators, and FONZ Staff.

Communicate daily with the Camp Director and Senior ROE.

Assist with camp evaluation.


Term of Employment:

Friday, June 26- Sunday, August 9, 2015



Competitive stipend includes housing and meals.


Location and Lodging:

All camp staff lives at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.


As an equal opportunity employer, FONZ values workplace diversity.


6.)  Executive Director, Prairie Rivers Network, Champaign, Illinois




Become a part of The World’s Foremost Outfitter team. At Cabela’s we passionately serve people who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle by delivering innovation, quality and value in our products and service. Live…Dream…Work the Adventure!

Cabela’s has an opportunity for a Director of Outdoor Services. This position will be based out of our corporate office located in Sidney, NE.


**For appropriate and accurate consideration for this position, please attach a cover letter along with your resume outlining your specific job related experience, as well as any specific outdoor experience and/or interest you may have.



The primary purpose of this position is marketing and growing Cabela’s market share for the unique additional services made available to our customers by each of the Outdoor Services business units. This is accomplished by continuing to offer superior customer service and the highest quality hunting/fishing trips, easy State draw application processes, wide access to recreational real estate services and a full service corporate and leisure travel agency.


This position’s duties include:

  • Develops the strategy and overall execution of marketing, sales and service of all four business units in Outdoor Services all in accordance to retain engaged employees and continually grow the number of loyal, multi-channel customers.
  • Stay current on all functions and events in regards to the corporation and with the outfitting industry, State draw application processes, recreational real estate trends and the travel service industry. Cascade information down to the business units in a timely and confidential manner. Treat all internal information with respect and be able to communicate publicly a positive reflection of the Brand as an ambassador of the enterprise.
  • Training and development of department personnel in leadership competencies, systems, and tools (such as PDQ’s, PCN’s, AS400, JDA, Kenexa, TMC, Wiki, Cabela’s University, Serena, IT Business Cases, Strategic Projects, FOP’s, etc.), educate internal employees in all services offered by Outdoor Services, and provide education to external customers on the value and range of services offered.
  • Manage business unit promotions, advertising, travel and education internally and externally.
  • Manage business unit financials in regards to budgets, departmentals, sales goals, salary and wages.
  • Develop and create functions to capture data that can be used to measure the business units in Outdoor Services. Educate managers and teams to utilize this data and existing data to manage the businesses for higher profitability and enhance customer engagement.
  • Other duties as assigned by management.


This position requires:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration or related field plus 10 years of progressive retail management experience.
  • World-wide, specialized hunting and fishing experiences in order to decipher quality opportunities, understanding of availabilities of species in different geographic regions, State license application opportunities, competent understanding of the industry and its terms.
  • Full understanding and experience with outdoor products and specific applications in regards to fly fishing, conventional tackle, rifles, reloading, shotguns, boats, bird dogs, camping and taxidermy.
  • Knowledgeable in travel industry terms and procedures.
  • Ability to function as a team player.
  • Strong leadership experience and ability to build strong partnership.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong decision making skills.
  • Strong technical aptitude and expertise (Excel, Word, Power Point).
  • Ability to travel.


Cabela’s offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package including, product discounts, 401K savings plan, and Health and Dental coverage for you and your family.


Cabela’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and we seek to create an inclusive workplace that embraces diverse backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives.


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

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Edward Lundquist, ABC –
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Your Very Next Step
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