Your Very Next Step newsletter for February 2014

Your Very Next Step newsletter for February 2014


By Ned Lundquist

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


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

“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

***  World’s 14 best aviation museums

***  Sexiest bars in the Caribbean

***  17 luxury tented guest suites, New Finch Hattons Camp, Kenya to open April 2014

***  10 Best Safari Destinations in Africa

***  Best Places to Retire

***  Top Ten Cheap All-Inclusive Resorts

***  50 States, 50 Pizzas

***  The Top 10 Cities for International Tourists

***  2014 EarthShare New Jersey Nature Photography Competition

***  Buying a New Sleeping Bag

***  America’s Most Unusual Museums

***  It’s straight up George Jetson


*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: February 2014

Washington’s Centennial Trail State Park


*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:


1.)  AT Endangered Plant Monitor, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Harriman State Park, NY

2.)  Trail Crew, Montara Mountain, San Mateo, California

3.)  Work Party, Taylor Mountain – King County Parks Department and Seattle Public Utilities, Hobart, WA

4.)  Adopt-a-Garden, Lady Bird Johnson Adopt-a-Garden program, The Trail Foundation, Austin, TX


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

1.)  Communications Coordinator, Ocean Conservancy, Washington, D.C.

2.)  Summer Camp Counselor, City of New York/Parks & Recreation, NY, NY

3.)  Marketing, Program & Administrative Coordinator, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV), Basalt, CO

4.)  Associate Director of Communications, American Rivers, Washington, DC


…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:


March 10-13, Boston, Mass.


March 17-18-19, Accra, Ghana


March 25-26-27, Monterey, Calif.


April 11-13, Boston/Bath, Maine


June 9-10, Abu Dhabi, UAE


June 11-12, Bahrain


***  World’s 14 best aviation museums


By Tamara Hinson and Tara Donaldson, for CNN


***  Sexiest bars in the Caribbean


By Melanie Reffes


***  17 luxury tented guest suites, New Finch Hattons Camp, Kenya to open April 2014


***  10 Best Safari Destinations in Africa!1-intro


***  Best Places to Retire


10 Great Small Cities for Retirement

Looking for a place where there’s lots to do, but you won’t get lost in the crowd? Check out our top picks


AARP Bulletin


***  Top Ten Cheap All-Inclusive Resorts


***  50 States, 50 Pizzas

By Zagat Staff


***  The Top 10 Cities for International Tourists


***  2014 EarthShare New Jersey Nature Photography Competition


EarthShare New Jersey invites nature photographers to share your vision of New Jersey’s diverse natural resources. Enter our juried photography exhibition and competition—promote your work to thousands of nature lovers and environmentalists. Submitted images may be used by EarthShare New Jersey to help further our mission even after the contest has concluded. Photographers will be given credit for any images used.


Submission Deadline:  5 pm, Saturday, March 8, 2014

There are two categories for the competition: Wild Beauty of New Jersey (wildlife) &  The Bounty of New Jersey (landscapes and waterways)


Each of the top two images will receive an award generously provided by our event sponsor, Cooper Pest Solutions. Prize winners will be selected by popular online vote from April 1 – May 1.

•             First prize: $150 gift certificate

•             Second prize: $75 gift certificate

All accepted work will be projected in a continuous slideshow at the EarthShare Celebrates New Jersey event at the Grounds of Sculpture, Hamilton N.J., May 30, 2014. First and second place award winners will receive a complementary ticket to the event and will be recognized during the evening. All others are welcome to purchase tickets.


Now in its 8th year, EarthShare Celebrates New Jersey draws more than 200 nature lovers, environmentalists, and corporate supporters from all over the state who spend a relaxed evening together celebrating the natural beauty of NJ.


***  Buying a New Sleeping Bag


***  America’s Most Unusual Museums!1-intro


***  It’s straight up George Jetson.

Virgin Atlantic Becomes First Airline to Test Google Glass


*** National Rail-Trail of the month:

Trail of the Month: February 2014

Washington’s Centennial Trail State Park

By Laura Stark

“The Centennial Trail was a community-born idea and the community loves it … It’s a recreational opportunity, a commuting corridor and an economic driver for the region.”

Railroad corridor: Unlike a traditional rail-trail, Centennial Trail State Park does not follow a single rail corridor for its entire length. Instead, it utilizes former railroad tracks, bridges and rail yards in a few short sections. Additionally, a short section of the route is rail-with-trail, paralleling active BNSF tracks near Spokane’s Mission Park.

Side-by-side as close as close as lovers, Centennial Trail State Park and the Spokane River run together for nearly 40 miles through eastern Washington, offering both a city and country experience.

“The trail runs along the river and is just beautiful,” says Steve Worley, who runs on the paved pathway each day before heading to his job as Spokane Valley’s public works engineer. “I love it best early in the morning in winter when the moonlight shimmers off the water. It’s a ‘wow’ moment.”

Stoically, wildly, beguilingly, the river is there from the trail’s beginning in Nine Mile Falls, east through Spokane and Spokane Valley, to the Washington/Idaho border, where it seamlessly connects with the 24-mile North Idaho Centennial Trail.

This steadfast partnership is symbolic of the spirit of collaboration that made the trail a reality. In a time when Democrats and Republicans seem to have retreated to separate corners, with fists up and eyes blazing, it’s refreshing to reflect on a project like this whose story is one of unabashed cooperation.

Spearheading the effort in the political sphere was U.S. Congressman Thomas S. Foley, Spokane’s hometown hero whose large personality matched his six-foot, four-inch frame. Len Zickler, who played a lead role in executing the trail’s master plan, says, “Tom Foley was able to secure nearly $8 million [in federal funding] for the trail. That was unheard of.” Foley worked hand-in-hand on the effort with Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who wished to secure federal funding for the connecting trail in Idaho.

In 1987, in a letter to the newly formed Centennial Trail Steering Committee, Foley wrote, “I am delighted in the way this project is bringing citizens together from both the great states of Washington and Idaho. I am encouraged at the broad-based, bipartisan support that has developed on all levels of the government: federal, state, county and local.”

The trail committee, a handful of local citizens from all walks of life, appreciated the support for the daunting task ahead of them. “The Centennial Trail was a community-born idea and the community loves it,” says Audra Sims, a park ranger with Washington State Parks, the managing agency for the trail. “It’s a recreational opportunity, a commuting corridor and an economic driver for the region.”

Zickler points out, “Spokane is not like Seattle. We have a population of close to 500,000. To have more than 2 million people using the trail each year—that’s remarkable. Many are using the trail to commute, not just as a recreational amenity. That’s an important legacy. We should climb to a mountain and shout this to other communities. Who would have thought a facility like this would have such a tremendous benefit beyond just recreational use?”

Foley, a Democrat, represented the state’s fifth district for 30 years and rose to Speaker of the House in 1989. It was a momentous year for the trail as well; that fall, newly elected President George H.W. Bush paid a visit. To the ripple of small American flags handed out to the crowd of 20,000, and the enthusiastic music of high school and college bands, Foley and Bush unveiled a plaque for the first phase of the Centennial Trail named for this very occasion, the state’s 100th birthday.

“Washington State is very lucky to have a great friend like Tom Foley in the nation’s capital,” said Bush to a great roar of approval from the crowd. “He’s a man I’m very proud and honored to work with.”

The setting was Spokane’s Riverfront Park, which itself is celebrating 40 years this May. The site, once a tangle of railroad tracks and warehouses that blocked public access to the river, was revitalized for the 1974 World’s Fair. The event transformed an industrial eyesore of smog and grit into an eyeful of spectacular sights and activities.

“After the World Fair, the fairgrounds were converted into this wonderful downtown park,” says Zickler, who recently became board president of the Friends of the Centennial Trail. “And the Centennial Trail winds right through the middle.”

Rising 155 feet above the park, a remnant of its rail history remains. The impressive brick clock tower, dating back to 1902, was once part of the Great Northern Railroad Depot, which was torn down during preparations for Expo ’74.

“When I was a kid, our downtown was characterized by the railroad,” says Zickler. “There were huge switching yards in the middle of downtown Spokane. In the central core, the Centennial Trail follows the railroad corridor from downtown for a couple of miles. In fact, the first trail bridge, as you leave downtown and head into the Gonzaga University campus, is an old railroad bridge.”

The unique teal-tipped A-framed structure, once a route for the Burlington Northern line, is now called the Don Kardong Bridge after one of the early advocates for the trail. Kardong, a former Olympian marathon runner and longtime Spokane resident, founded the Lilac Bloomsday Run, one of the largest annual races in the country, attracting more than 50,000 to the city each May.

A few paces from the clock tower lie two other sights not typically found trailside. With its hand-carved and beautifully painted wooden horses and Chinese dragons, the turn-of-the-century Looff Carrousel is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Next door, another unusual experience can be had on the Spokane Falls SkyRide. Highlighted in a list of world-class gondola rides by Conde Nast Traveler just last year, the cable car offers panoramic views over a series of rushing waterfalls.

Winding from Riverfront Park east to the state line, the trail’s first phase of 21 miles opened in 1990. Construction on the second phase—from the park west to Riverside State Park—immediately followed and was completed in 1992. Although 37.5 miles of the trail are now in use, a few short sections still need work.

“After 22 years, there are still some gaps,” says Loreen McFaul, executive director of Friends of the Centennial Trail. “But exciting things are happening.”

About half a dozen of these short gaps are outlined on the group’s website, the longest of which is a nearly two-mile extension from the trail’s western end in Nine Mile Falls up to the lakeshore in the Nine Mile Recreation Area. Construction is expected to start this June and take a year to complete.

On this western end, about 10 miles of the trail runs through the wild, wooded beauty of Riverside State Park, Washington’s second-largest state park. Almost every type of outdoor recreation imaginable happens here. In ranking Spokane as one of the “Best Towns 2013,” Outside magazine cited both Riverside State Park and the Centennial Trail as reasons. For the adventurous, the terrain offers some steeper climbs for a more challenging ride than the rest of the trail. And it’s here that equestrians will feel at home. Horseback riders are permitted on the Centennial Trail within the park, and other natural trails for riding are easily accessible from the main trail.

Another gap, through Kendall Yards, was closed just this past September. The site, once a railroad yard, is being re-envisioned as a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use community by Greenstone, a local developer. With spectacular views of the Spokane River Gorge, the new section fits well with the rest of the scenic trail experience.

Most promisingly, the trail’s bipartisan support continues after almost two decades. In a press release announcing the opening of the Kendall Yards segment, Spokane Mayor David Condon, who ran for office on a non-partisan platform, stated, “Downtown is just a short, beautiful walk away along the picturesque Spokane River. This is another example of a partnership delivering a great community asset.” Earlier in 2013, during a tribute to Foley, Condon also praised the work of the legendary Congressman on establishing the trail, and, in 2012, Condon declared the week of Sept. 9 as “Centennial Trail Week” in honor of the trail’s 20th anniversary.

But these positive political partnerships are not the only unexpected collaborations brought together by the Centennial Trail. Innovative partnerships with businesses have also moved the project forward and lowered its development costs. Greenstone, who built the trail piece through Kendall Yards, is a recent example, but perhaps the most significant one was a land swap made between Inland Empire Paper Company (IEP) and Washington State Parks in 1987. In exchange for giving up company-owned riverfront property needed for the trail, IEP received a section of park-owned timberland.

“Inland Paper was a timber company that also produced paper products for local newspapers,” says Zickler. “In the early 1900s, they purchased all the land along the river east of town. They cut the trees in the forest and floated the logs down the river to the paper mill in Millwood. By the 1980s, they were no longer doing that, but they still owned that land. When Inland Paper made the land trade, all of a sudden we had most of the land needed for the trail and it was basically free.”

Another opportunity came in 1989. In return for being allowed to lay fiber-optic communications cable under the trail, AT&T paid for the clearing and grading of the first phase of the trail. All this effort from so many diverse sources has resulted in a trail that Washington State Parks estimates adds $30 million to the region’s economy each year.

“People seek us out for vacation information from all over the country and Canada,” says McFaul. With the trail being such a tourism driver, Friends of the Centennial Trail is planning to add a new trip planning feature on their website this April.

“We’re trying to create an easy way for visitors to learn about the trail, and some of the amenities and attractions along its length,” says Zickler. “The trail is a wonderful way to access many special places in the community.”

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:


1.)  AT Endangered Plant Monitor, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Harriman State Park, NY


2.)  Trail Crew, Montara Mountain, San Mateo, California


Montara mountain (also called McNee Ranch) is part of Montara State Beach. The mountain is a northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains and features the only undisturbed Coastal Mountain Habitat found over 100 miles of coastline. Its highest point rises to 1,898 feet above sea level. An unpaved fire road, the North Peak Access Road, accessible from the Pedro Mountain Road, provides access to the summit by hikers. On rare occasions light snow has dusted the summit. On clear days the summit provides spectacular views of much of the San Francisco Bay Area.


McNee Ranch State Park shares a boundary with San Pedro Valley County Park. The Montara Mountain Trail (4.3 miles one way) begins on the north flank of Montara Mountain in San Pedro Valley County Park and ends on the south flank at Montara State Beach.


Birds and animals are abundant at McNee Ranch. If observant, you will notice tracks of Coyotes, Fox, Bobcats, Deer, Raccoons, Squirrels, Brush Rabbits, and other small mammals. Mountain Lions live in the area, but are rarely sighted. McNee Ranch is home to California Quail, Ravens, Flickers, Hummingbirds, Wrentits, and other species. During the fall, you will notice a remarkable increase in the number of hawks as they migrate south along the Pacific flyway.


For this project the Trail Center will be working with two agencies: California State Parks on the west face of Montara Mountain, and San Mateo County Parks, on the northern and eastern face of Montara Mountain.


Location: Montara Mountain, McNee Ranch State Park, San Mateo, California – Montara MountainTrail


Directions: On the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County, approx. 20 miles south of San Francisco. We will be staging from the southern entrance to McNee Ranch using the entrance at the Martini Creek gate.


Agency: California State Parks – Chris Pereira, Supervising Ranger


Supervisor: Dave Croker


Project Lead: Dave Croker


Additional Information: Participants should bring 2 quarts/liters of water, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, lunch and normal precautions against poison oak exposure (work gloves, long sleeved shirts and long pants). The Trail Center provides tools, training, gloves, and refreshments after the workday.

Saturday, May 10, 2014 – Montara Mountain Trail


Activities: Meet at 8:30 a.m. at southern entrance to McNee Ranch using the entrance at the Martini Creek gate. Drive down the road to the Ranger’s house where we will be assembling. Transportation to the work site will be arranged from that location. We must have an accurate volunteer count to arrange for shuttles, so please make sure you have RDVP’d to the Volunteer Coordinator.

We will continue the tread repair work we were doing in 2013.


All volunteers MUST bring two quarts/liters of water or other liquid (e.g. sports drinks) as conditions on the trail and at the worksites may be very hot and exposed. Risk of dehydration needs to be avoided and a single 12 oz. bottle of water is not adequate for a workday of this length.



3.)  Work Party, Taylor Mountain – King County Parks Department and Seattle Public Utilities, Hobart, WA


4.)  Adopt-a-Garden, Lady Bird Johnson Adopt-a-Garden program, The Trail Foundation, Austin, TX


Feel the urge to garden along the Trail?  Through our Lady Bird Johnson Adopt-a-Garden program, a Trail lover can adopt an individual garden and design, plant and tend it. Gardens are adopted for a year and put up for adoption as they become available. This successful and innovative program is in its sixth year, with 28 gardens adopted.  When gardeners work at their gardens, many people thank them for their gardening creativity and work!


To volunteer with this program or to adopt a garden, please email


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

***  From Meghan Snow:


Thank you for posting!


Meghan Snow

Director, Strategic Communications

Ocean Conservancy

Washington, DC 20036


1.)  Communications Coordinator, Ocean Conservancy, Washington, D.C.


2.)  Summer Camp Counselor, City of New York/Parks & Recreation, NY, NY


3.)  Marketing, Program & Administrative Coordinator, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV), Basalt, CO


Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote stewardship of our public lands by engaging the community in volunteer trail and restoration projects.


Position Description:


The Marketing, Program and Administrative Coordinator serves as the primary support staff person to coordinate and implement RFOV’s marketing and volunteer recruitment programs and oversee the management of the RFOV office operations, including data management.  Additional duties include support for RFOV projects, programs and volunteer committees.


Specific Responsibilities:

Marketing – in coordination with the volunteer Marketing & Publications Committee:

–  Create fliers; posters; email blasts, print and radio advertisements to promote RFOV projects and events.

–  Help design and produce newsletters, the annual project announcement brochure, and other printed materials.

Media Outreach:

–  Draft public relations materials, including news releases, media alerts, fact sheets and other materials as directed; assemble media and sponsor packets as needed.

–  Develop and maintain relations with editors, reporters and other media contacts.

Web and Social Media:

–  Manage RFOV websites, including updates and maintenance;

–  Manage and maintain RFOV’s social media policy and accounts;

–  Develop and maintain e-communications with constituents, e.g. e-newsletters to donors, volunteers, internal newsletter, etc.

Volunteer Coordination and Program Assistance:  Respond to volunteer queries and sign-ups.  Facilitate the development of specific RFOV programs in one or more areas in addition to marketing.  This typically means working with a volunteer committee or team.

RFOV Memberships:  Maintain records, send renewal letters and process returns.

Data Management:  Manage the RFOV database, and online data collection technology.  Tasks include data input, assembling cumulative data from various sources for report generation, and processing volunteer sign-ups.

Office Management:  Provide general supportive services to RFOV staff and volunteers including scheduling, working with vendors to maintain the computer network and office machines, ordering office supplies, and coordinating meetings.

Communication:  Facilitate good communication between RFOV and volunteers, funders and the community at large.

Other Duties as Assigned:  Perform related duties as required for purposes of supporting and strengthening the mission and purpose of RFOV.


Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree is preferred, however, applicable work experience may substitute for the educational preferences.

Well developed graphic design skills with experience in Adobe InDesign and Photoshop required.

One to two years of nonprofit or small business marketing and/or administrative support experience.

Highly proficient with Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, email, the internet; and Microsoft Access or other data bases.

Experience managing websites required with WordPress experience preferred.

Self-directed, highly motivated, reliable, with a results- and solution-oriented perspective, organized with an attention to detail, flexible with strong time management skills.

Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.  Able to prepare special reports according to general instructions.

Good interpersonal skills, team-oriented, enjoy working with others.

Valid Colorado driver’s license and clean driving record.


Manual Functions:


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, sit, talk and/or hear.  The employee is frequently required to use hands to operate objects, tools or controls, and to reach with hands and arms.  The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to focus.


Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  RFOV is an equal opportunity employer.  All individuals are encouraged to apply.


Application Deadline: February 3, 2014 by 4:30 MST


How to apply:


Send a resume, cover letter, three professional references, and three examples each of your of your writing and graphic skills to: David Hamilton, Executive Director, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, PO Box 1341, Basalt, CO  81621.

Phone and email inquiries acceptable.


Organizational information can be found at


***  From Andrew Hudson’s Job List:


4.)  Associate Director of Communications, American Rivers, Washington, DC


American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers. American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance. For more information please visit




American Rivers has an opening for an Associate Director of Communications. This position is responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies for American Rivers’ priorities, primarily in the Colorado River Basin and Intermountain West. The staff person will work closely with conservation, government relations, and communications staff to develop and manage integrated communications campaigns, spearheading media outreach, developing messaging, writing and editing content for print and online, and completing other writing and communications tasks.




Work with key conservation, government relations, and communications staff to develop communications plans for river conservation efforts in the Colorado River Basin and Intermountain West.

Spearhead implementation of communications plans, which may include message development, print/TV/radio media outreach, multimedia and web content development, electronic advocacy outreach, and social media outreach.

Write and edit compelling content for a variety of channels, including American Rivers’ print newsletter, web site and blog, press releases, pitch memos to reporters/editorial boards, speeches and presentations, and other writing tasks such as reports to funders.

Develop an in-depth knowledge and stay current on American Rivers’ conservation/policy work and stay up to date on river news in the region.

Cultivate relationships with the reporters/bloggers covering river issues. Pitch story ideas and provide useful, timely information that helps secure stories on American Rivers’ issues and create opportunities for our spokespeople.

Coordinate press events.

Work with communications, government relations, and conservation staff to develop advocacy communication strategies for key issues. Coordinate with web team to develop strategies and content for online campaigns.

· Work with creative agencies and other vendors on integrated campaigns and manage project budgets.




The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications and experience:


Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, environmental studies, political science, or other relevant area of study.

Four to five years of work experience in communications, media relations or similar area, preferably in conservation, advocacy, or political campaigns.

Proven ability to gain media coverage in targeted publications. Ability to pitch and advance stories.

Exceptional verbal and written communications skills.

Working knowledge of environmental issues and the political system.

Experience in public speaking.

Self-starter able to work independently and juggle multiple projects and priorities. Able to work well with colleagues in different offices and time zones.

Excellent computer skills.

Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission.




Salary is commensurate with experience. This full-time position is funded for 2 years but may be extended if the existing funding is renewed or new funding is found. Full-time employee benefits include health, dental, vision and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time.

How to apply




Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should email a cover letter, resume and three professional references to: with “Assoc. Dir. Comm. Position” in the subject line or to American Rivers, Attn: Assoc. Dir. Comm. Position, 1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 1400, Washington, DC 20005. No phone calls please.


American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer,30011,0&S=innruioruwr#j021714_1


*** 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
© 2014 The Job of the Week Network LLC
Edward Lundquist, ABC –
Editor and Publisher
Your Very Next Step
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