Your Very Next Step newsletter for September 2014

Your Very Next Step newsletter for September 2014

 

By Ned Lundquist
www.yourverynextstep.com
“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”

– Samuel Johnson

 

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

This edition of “Your very next step” comes to you from Florence, Italy.

 

“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 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:
***  Ned’s upcoming travel

***  Air France Strike:

***  15 Must-See Literary Sights in London

***  AMERICA’S MOST SCENIC ROADS

***  AMERICA’S BEST FALL FOOD FESTIVALS

***  How to Become a Travel Writer

***  10 BEST U.S. TRAIN TRIPS TO TAKE THIS FALL

***  10 PLACES TO GO THIS FALL

***  10 Ultralight Backpacking Foods

***  How to Avoid Thunderstorms While Hiking and Backpacking

***  Avalanche Safety

***  NOLS Backcountry Lightening Safety Guidelines

***  Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT)

***  The 10 Best Parks for Beach Camping

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

 

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:

 

1.)  Volunteer opportunities, Chugach National Forest, Anchorage, Alaska

2.)  Volunteer opportunities, Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol (MWVSP)/Mount Washington Avalanche Center, Pinkham Notch, NH

3.)  Backcountry Volunteer Opportunity, Zion National Park, Springdale, UT

 

*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:
1.)  Arctic Lands Conservation Specialist, Wilderness Society, Anchorage, AK

2.)  Ski Patrol, SOLITUDE MOUNTAIN RESORT, Solitude, UT

3.)  Web Content Editor, The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Boulder, CO

4.)  Digital and Social Media Manager, USA Cycling, Colorado Springs

6.)  Crown of the Continent Conservation Specialist, Wilderness Society, Bozeman, MT

7.)  Communications Manager, The Nature Conservancy, Montpelier, Vermont

8.)  CONSERVATION STAFF SPECIALIST II, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State of Nevada, Ely, NV

9.)  PARK NATURALISTS, Long Key State Park, State of Florida, Long Key, FL

10.)  Field Operations Manager – Arizona, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Tucson, AZ

11.)  NOLS Curriculum Publications Manager, National Outdoor Leadership School, Lander, WY

12.)  Web Graphic Designer, Backcountry, Park City, UT

12.)  Public Relations Manager, Tourism Australia, New York, New York

 

…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 (http://www.yourverynextstep.com/).

 

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

 

September 12-14, Charleston, S.C.

 

September 20-27, Florence, Italy

 

October 27-28, Norfolk, VA

 

October 29-30, Nassau, Bahamas

 

November 24-27, Doha, Qatar

 

December 8-10, Aubu Dhabi, UAE

 

January 27-30    Genoa, Italy

 

***  Air France Strike:

 

The air travel for our family vacation to Florenece, Italy, was booked on Air France.  However, Air France has a strike in effect now.

 

Due to some pilots’ strike action, from September 15th to 22nd, and due to the extension of the social movement from September 23rd to 26th, our flight schedule operated by Air France has been disrupted since Monday, September 15th, 2014.

 

According to the Air France web site, about half of all AF flights were being cancelled.  They also said all passengers would be notified by email flights regarding potential disruption (although we never received any email).  They said passengers would be notified 24 hours in  advance if their flights were being cancelled.  Anyone potentially affected could move their  flights until later.   We did not get any email, but our flight to Paris and on to Florenece departing on the 20th would be in the “window.”  When I learned about this on the 15th, I decided not to take a chance.  We had non-refundable tours and hotel reservations.  I called Delta and was able to rebook.  We had to leave a day earlier, which meant an extra night in our hotel in Florence, and our flights would take much longer.  We now would fly to Detroit and then Amsterdam, and then Florence after a 12 hour layover.

 

For several reasons we decided not attempt a foray into the city.  But I didn’t have the status to get us into the lounge.  We ended up getting a day pass for the KLM Crown lounge for 45 Euros each, which is steep, but worth it considering the circumstances.

 

(Update: The Air France pilots work stoppage has been extended to September 30th, which has affected our return travel on the 27th.  Our CDG-IAD flight is still on, but FLR-CDG is cancelled.  So I spent hours in the past few days trying to resolve this.  The result ithere are not optiond from Florence for four or more dayts.  As of last night I have arranged to get us to Rome to catch a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt,and connect to a United Flight to Washington.  Stay tuned.)

 

***  15 Must-See Literary Sights in London

 

Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare, Dickens, Keats, or other British scribes, London has plenty of activities for literature lovers.

 

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/15-must-see-literary-sights-in-london?ref=news_fd_083014

 

***  AMERICA’S MOST SCENIC ROADS

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/americas-most-scenic-roads#!1-intro

 

***  AMERICA’S BEST FALL FOOD FESTIVALS

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/americas-best-fall-food-festivals?obref=obinsite#!1-intro

 

***  How to Become a Travel Writer

By Andrea M. Rotondo

http://www.fodors.com/news/how-to-become-a-travel-writer-10773.html

 

***  10 BEST U.S. TRAIN TRIPS TO TAKE THIS FALL

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/10-best-us-train-trips-to-take-this-fall?obref=obinsite#!1-intro

 

***  10 PLACES TO GO THIS FALL

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/10-places-to-go-this-fall?obref=obnetwork#!1-intro

 

***  10 Ultralight Backpacking Foods

http://sectionhiker.com/10-ultralight-backpacking-foods/

 

***  How to Avoid Thunderstorms While Hiking and Backpacking

http://sectionhiker.com/how-to-avoid-thunderstorms-while-hiking-and-backpacking/

 

***  Avalanche Safety

http://www.avalanche.org/tutorial/tutorial.html

 

***  NOLS Backcountry Lightening Safety Guidelines

By John Gookin

http://rendezvous.nols.edu/files/Curriculum/research_projects/Risk%20Management%20Reports/NOLS%20Backcountry%20Lightning%20Safety%20Guidelines.pdf

 

***  Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT)

A certification to get you a job in the front country or wilderness.

http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/wemt.shtml

 

***  The 10 Best Parks for Beach Camping

Top Ten Cheap All-Inclusive Resorts

http://www.tripcurator.com/p-caribbean-top-ten-budget-all-inclusive-resorts/

 

***  Trail of the Month: September 2014

 

Pennsylvania’s Allegheny River Trail

By Laura Stark

 

“The Allegheny River Trail is one great vista after another.”

 

Unparalleled natural beauty? Check. Welcoming towns with friendly people? Check. Unique historical sites and a smooth, easy riding surface? Check, check. The 32-mile Allegheny River Trail in northwestern Pennsylvania seemingly has it all for a perfect getaway. And it’s on the cusp of being even better; peak fall colors are expected to arrive in early to mid-October; the trail, lined with oaks, maples, elms and other tree varieties will be spectacular.

 

“The Allegheny River Trail is one great vista after another,” says Tom Sexton, RTC’s northeast regional director.

 

“It’s quite scenic, and you see wildlife constantly,” adds Kim Harris, project manager for the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism. “Every time I’m on the trail, I see deer, and often wild turkeys and chipmunks galore. Many eagles are also spotted there because of the trail’s location by the river.”

 

Though the trail would be a worthwhile visit in and of itself, it’s directly connected to or near several others in the region. It serves as a key component of the growing Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail, a 270-mile network comprised primarily of rail-trails, which is currently 60 percent complete. Earlier this month, locals got to experience the trail system firsthand on a 60-mile memorial bike ride to honor the trail’s guiding soul, the late Jim Holden, a man of warmth, drive and—most of all—vision.

 

“We had a wonderful event with about 50 participants,” says Harris, who organized the ride and is secretary of the Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail Alliance. “It rained, but it didn’t dampen any spirits.”

 

Twenty-five years ago, such a trail system would have been a far-reaching and unlikely dream. Holden, a university professor and farmer, seeing that there were limited areas for safe cycling in his community, co-founded a nonprofit group called the Allegheny Valley Trails Association (AVTA) in 1990. With fellow university professor David Howes, he worked to acquire local unused rail corridors for conversion to rail-trails, and the Allegheny River Trail was their first success. The Sandy Creek Trail and Clarion Highlands Trail later followed, offering dozens of scenic miles of trail dotted with trestles, tunnels and other railroad relics across Clarion and Venango counties.

 

“Jim was one of the visionaries for the Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail and the founding president of the Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail Alliance,” says Harris. “He was an advocate for trails and for getting people to go outdoors and enjoy nature no matter what their skill level.”

 

Right off the bat, as one travels down the Allegheny River Trail, you know you’re in for a treat. Just five miles from its starting point in Franklin is the Belmar Bridge, its crisscrossing rusty-red beams a striking contrast to the tree-covered hillsides and the dark blue waters of the Allegheny, which it spans. The bridge, dating back to 1907, is part of the 12-mile Sandy Creek Trail, running above the Allegheny River Trail and unfurling east and west from the river. The two trails are linked by a stairwell, but a switchback is planned to make the connection more bike and wheelchair friendly; construction is likely to be completed next year.

 

For much of the journey, the river—designated a National Wild and Scenic River—is by your side. “It’s very popular with local canoers and kayakers,” says Bill Weller, AVTA president. “It’s not unusual to see 50 to 100 canoes and kayaks on the river in the summertime. It’s heavily used for water recreation.”

 

Two other highlights of the trail are its tunnels, both with dog-leg bends, so as one peers down their inky blackness, there’s no metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. There are reflectors down the center and off to the sides to guide the way, but riders will need headlights for the venture. However, Harris notes that there is a friendly, retired gentleman who lives between the two tunnels who greets passersby, providing drinking water and headlamps to the unprepared.

 

Though bridges and tunnels make for a fun adventure, the Allegheny River Trail also offers something unusual for a rail-trail: petroglyphs. At about the eight-mile mark, right on the riverbank, sits Indian God Rock, a large sandstone boulder on which one can still see carvings of animals and people believed to have been created by Native Americans around A.D. 1200.

 

The main spine of the trail ends in Emlenton, but after a three-mile gap, a short, paved segment of trail picks up again in Foxburg and continues 2.6 miles south to end near the community of Parker. Unfortunately, there’s currently no easy way to navigate the gap by bicycle, but AVTA has their sights on closing the gap and is negotiating with the landowners there.

 

“We’re working on the right-of-way between Emlenton and Foxburg,” says Weller. “Right now, it’s an overgrown railroad grade.”

 

Residents of Foxburg are eager for the connection. The charming riverfront community offers restaurants, lodging, a winery and other businesses that could see a noticeable boost from bike tourists. The town also has the distinction of having the oldest continuous golf course in the United States; it was built in 1887.

 

“There has been increased excitement within the last two years,” says Harris. “You can just feel it. People are really talking about the trail.”

 

Sexton adds, “Venango County is very rural. To have this type of trail system there is impressive. If you want to move somewhere with access to a really great rural trail system, this is the place to go. There’s nowhere else like it.”

 

The future looks bright for this already popular and well-loved amenity. With the closing of its gap and the build-out of the Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail network, it promises to only get better.

 

“Thank goodness for people with dreams,” says Weller of his friend and mentor, Jim Holden.

 

http://www.railstotrails.org/news/recurringFeatures/trailMonth/archives/1407.html

 

*** Trail/Outdoor/Conservation volunteer opportunities:

 

1.)  Volunteer opportunities, Chugach National Forest, Anchorage, Alaska

 

Volunteers have become a very important part of the Forest Service workforce, helping out each year with everything from office work to trail maintenance. If you are interested in being a volunteer for the Forest Service in Alaska please contact:

Aaron Poe

Partnership & Volunteer Coordinator

Chugach National Forest

907-743-9568

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/about-forest/jobs/?cid=STELPRDB5286341

 

2.)  Volunteer opportunities, Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol (MWVSP)/Mount Washington Avalanche Center, Pinkham Notch, NH

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/mount-washington-volunteer-ski-patrol/

 

3.)  Backcountry Volunteer Opportunity, Zion National Park, Springdale, UT

http://www.nps.gov/zion/supportyourpark/backcountry-volunteer-opportunity.htm

 

*** Travel/Adventure/Outdoors/Conservation employment opportunities:
1.)  Arctic Lands Conservation Specialist, Wilderness Society, Anchorage, AK

http://www.simplyhired.com/job/arctic-lands-conservation-specialist-job/the-wilderness-society/4f26534q7s

 

2.)  Ski Patrol, SOLITUDE MOUNTAIN RESORT, Solitude, UT

 

Solitude Mountain Resort is hiring full-time professional ski patrollers for the 2014-2015 season. Expert skiing skills and a current EMT or OEC certification is required. Previous ski patrol and avalanche work experience is recommended.

Contact: marvin@skisolitude.com

Close Date: 2014-10-31

http://www.avalanche.org/employment.php

 

3.)  Web Content Editor, The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Boulder, CO

http://andrewhudsonsjobslist.com/index.cfm?PID=805&ID=9456,31733,0#j082514_10

 

4.)  Digital and Social Media Manager, USA Cycling, Colorado Springs

http://andrewhudsonsjobslist.com/index.cfm?PID=805&ID=9456,31733,0#j082514_11

 

5.)  Ski Patrol, HEAVENLY MOUNTAIN RESORT, Vail Resort, Cail, CO

 

Experienced Ski Patrol – Winter / Seasonal / Full Time – Heavenly

 

Job Summary:

Heavenly Ski Patrol’s primary responsibility is to provide and promote a safe environment for our guests and employees as well as to provide exceptional guest service. Ski Patrol is responsible for excecuting essential guest service functions such as responding to medical emergencies on the mountain, transporting injured guests off the mountain to appropriate facility, and general hill safety. Ski patrol is also responsible for enforcing safe skiing and riding practices, enforcement of the Skier’s and Rider’s Responsibility Code, interacting with unsafe guests, and educating our guests. Special circumstances include chairlift and gondola evacuation, avalanche control, and explosives handling. Other duties can be assigned as needed. Ski patrol is a highly visible role on the mountain, and a great deal of guest interaction is required. Please note: This position is posted for experienced Ski Patrol. If you do not have previous experience, please consider applyint to requisition ID 35944: Ski Patrol Apprentice.

 

Entry-level responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Supervising and promoting guest safety on varied terrain in high altitude, with varying winter weather conditions

Provide guests with exceptional guest service

Assisting injured guests on the mountain and administering first aid

Transporting injured guests off the mountain using a toboggan or supporting air lift operations

Performing sweeps at the end of the day to ensure that all guests are safely off the mountain

Maintaining trails, identifying and mitigating hazards to our guests

Transporting and setting up mountain safety equipment

Transporting supplies and heavy equipment to areas of need on skis

Completing all the above with the utmost attention to personal and guest safety

Continuing on the job training

 

Intermediate level responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

All criteria listed for Entry Level, plus:

Avalanche control including safely transporting and placing explosives on the mountain and stabilizing snowpack and cornice edges on skis

Driving snowmobiles to various areas of the mountain, as needed

 

Advanced level responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

All criteria listed for Entry and Intermediate Level, plus:

Strong working knowledge and experience with snow safety

Assist with in house training

Attend advanced out of area trainings as assigned

Possession of advanced skills/certifications such as AIARE Level 2, Technical Rope Rescue training, etc.

 

Entry Level Requirements:

High School Diploma or Equivalent

Must be able to pass on-mountain ski test

Demonstrate, at minimum, a strong advanced skiing ability

California EMT or OEC certified with CPR for the professional rescuer- Must be certified by November 2013- required

Must be fluent in all aspects of the English language (spoken and written)

Some basic knowledge of computer – preferred

Must have excellent guest service skills

Must work well in a team

Must be able to work in inclement weather in a high alpine environment

Must have manual dexterity to operate equipment

Must successfully complete the Fit to Ride fitness assessment program

Must have sight, speech, and hearing abilities sufficient to learn skills, follow and provide directions

Must be available to work full time including holidays and weekends

Previous patrol experience – required, otherwise please apply for Patrol Apprentice position, which will be posted in July 2014

Must have the ability to pass a Criminal Background Check

 

Intermediate Level Requirements:

All criteria listed for Entry Level, plus:

CalOsha Blaster’s license – Preferred

AIARE Level 1

Clean driving record

 

Advanced Level Requirements:

All criteria listed for Entry and Intermediate Level, plus:

AIARE Level 2 certification

Technical Rope Rescue certification

 

At the Vail Resorts® family of companies (collectively “Vail Resorts”), we consider safety for employees and guests our number one priority. Ensuring that employees are capable of performing physically demanding jobs is an important factor in our ability to fulfill this commitment. This position is among the most physically demanding at our resorts. Therefore, the position requires successful completion of our Fit to Ride fitness assessment program as a condition of employment. A detailed description of our Fit to Ride program and its requirements are available at: www.vailfittoride.com. Vail Resorts will provide reasonable accommodations whenever necessary to enable otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities to participate in and/or complete the Fit to Ride program, provided reasonable accommodations do not pose an undue hardship on the company.

 

Apply Online: www.jobs.vailresorts.com

Search for Requisition ID: 65572

Contact: personnel@vailresorts.com.

http://www.avalanche.org/employment.php

 

6.)  Crown of the Continent Conservation Specialist, Wilderness Society, Bozeman, MT

http://www.simplyhired.com/job/crown-of-the-continent-conservation-specialist-job/the-wilderness-society/5di3z5xvjb

 

7.)  Communications Manager, The Nature Conservancy, Montpelier, Vermont

https://careers.nature.org/psp/tnccareers/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE_JOB_DTL&Action=A&JobOpeningId=42395&SiteId=1&PostingSeq=1

 

8.)  CONSERVATION STAFF SPECIALIST II, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State of Nevada, Ely, NV

https://nvapps.state.nv.us/NEATS/Recruiting/ViewAnnouncement.aep?recruitmentId=22942

 

9.)  PARK NATURALISTS, Long Key State Park, State of Florida, Long Key, FL

http://jobs.myflorida.com/viewjob.html?optlink-view=view-744080

 

10.)  Field Operations Manager – Arizona, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Tucson, AZ

http://www.conservationjobboard.com/Job-Listing-Field-Operations-Manager—Arizona-Tucson-Arizona/39363398

 

11.)  NOLS Curriculum Publications Manager, National Outdoor Leadership School, Lander, WY

http://www.nols.edu/alumni/employment/jobdescriptions/curriculum-publications-manager.shtml

 

12.)  Web Graphic Designer, Backcountry, Park City, UT

http://hire.jobvite.com/CompanyJobs/Careers.aspx?c=q7l9Vfwg&page=Job%20Description&j=ouvpZfw7

 

13.)  Public Relations Manager, Tourism Australia, New York, New York

http://jobs.prnewsonline.com/jobseeker/job/20216669

 

14.)  Professional Observer, Northwest Avalanche Center, US Forest Service, Seattle, WA

 

The Northwest Avalanche Center is looking to hire two additional Professional Observers to provide backcountry observations in the Seattle zone and the Mt Hood zone to the NWAC forecast team.

The Professional Observer’s Network provides timely and relevant professional-level observations to the NWAC team, thus reducing the data gaps in NWAC forecast areas. All observations will be focused outside of ski area boundaries in unmitigated terrain.

 

Background

 

Currently, the NWAC forecast team receives routine snow and weather observations from our team of six observers complementing the condition reports from most local ski areas, remote weather stations, NWAC cooperator input, and volunteer observations. The objective of the Professional Observer’s Network is to reduce the NWAC forecasters’ workload while creating more accurate backcountry avalanche forecasts.

 

Responsibilities

 

The primary responsibility of the Professional Observer is to communicate with the NWAC forecast team to analyze snow, provide weather and avalanche observations, and determine current and future trends in avalanche danger. In addition, providing assessment of current avalanche danger compared to posted forecast levels will be a key function of the role.

Each Observer is responsible for two backcountry observations per week. Observation requirements will vary based on the needs of the NWAC forecast team. The NWAC Program Director and the NWAC forecast team will communicate observational needs to the Observer’s Network. Observations may be submitted to the NWAC through email, phone, and/or a mobile phone application. At a minimum, observations must be relevant to pertinent avalanche concerns and submitted on a timely basis. Some examples of the observations that may be recorded are: snow height, taken at many locations throughout a tour; full snow profiles; and various test profiles on multiple aspects and elevations throughout a valley. Observers will be asked to provide photos and/or videos of observations that will be incorporated into the next day’s forecast to help illustrate conditions and concerns to the general public. Observers will also be asked to submit a blog post per week to the new NWAC blog.

 

Required Qualifications

 

All Observers in the Network will, at a minimum, work (or have worked) in the snow industry. This includes ski patrol, highway workers, mountain guides, forecasters, etc. The minimum qualifications are as follows:

– Completion of AIARE or AAA Level 1 and Level 2 avalanche classes

– Exceptional organizational skills

–  The ability to take initiative and work with little daily supervision

– Strong written and verbal skills

– Thorough knowledge of avalanche hazards and a minimum of five years of experience recreating in backcountry avalanche

terrain

–  Excellent fitness and winter backcountry travel skills

–  Previous professional snow and weather data recording experience

–  Ability to write accessible and technically accurate descriptions of snow and avalanche conditions

http://www.nwac.us/media/filer_public/15/78/1578d75c-b2ee-4794-bfa9-2061cd74a75c/proobs_job_announcement_2014-15.pdf

 

*** 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
© 2014 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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