Red Wolf Tales, the blog, will present an array of topics, tips, tricks, insights, trends, gear, philosophies for the outdoors, training and certification opportunities.
Why have I chosen to call this blog “Red Wolf Tales?” As red is one of Lynchburg College’s colors, it would be a natural thought to connect the name and the color. However, my trail name is Red Wolf. Like many hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, I have a trail name which allows me to present myself in a unique way to others in the outdoors. I became Red Wolf through a variety of interactions and incidents.
I’d like to start with definitions of “Red” and “Wolf.”
Red– Warmth, love, anger, danger, boldness, excitement, speed, strength, energy, determination, desire, passion, courage
Wolf- Teacher– Though the moon rises every night, Wolf always finds something new to learn from it. We, too, in exploring the hidden paths of consciousness may discover new truths to share with the rest of our clan, the human race.
A number of years ago, I was a counselor (chief) for at-risk youth. It was their custom to give a counselor (chief) a trail name. The naming ceremony consisted of the youth and counselors living together for a month followed by a ceremonial campfire during which a range of questions concerning habits, beliefs and actions were asked. Each chief was then given a color name and an animal name.
At the campfire, the tribe described the attributes of the color and animal. This ceremony allowed me to understand how others viewed me and to help me better understand and uphold the true spirit of the name. As I said, the name given to me is Red Wolf. In the Cherokee language it is gigage wahya. Please note that if I meet you off the trail my name is Paul: if I meet you on the trail, I am Red Wolf.
These are my tales; they are stories to tell, to learn from, and to share in friendship with others. Over the next many months, I will tell of other Red Wolf interactions.
Hiking with the Rest Step
Hiking is one of my favorite outdoor activities throughout the four seasons. We all are aware of the benefits of getting outside with Mother Nature including fresh air and exercise and clearing our minds from puzzling thoughts. Simply said -“Centering ourselves” physically and spiritually. So, why do we put off this amazing experience? One reason might be the soreness we feel from a vigorous hike. One suggested remedy is called the “Rest Step.”
The Rest Step is a simple activity introduced to me as a young boy by my childhood outdoor friends. Initially, I thought my friends were playing a trick on me; in reality, my friends were far ahead in their understanding of the outdoor survival world.
To do the Rest Step, as you walk you lock your knees for a brief moment, just a split second. This simple action of locking your legs at the knee may seem a wonder. Many studies have shown that as much as up to a 65 % gain can be achieved and muscle fatigue can be limited in your gluteus and quads by using this technique. The concept is simple; a very brief rest is given to your leg muscles as your bones and skeleton take over. The Rest Step is especially beneficial while carrying a backpack and on uphill grades. This video demonstrates the technique.
If you still do not quite get the process, I’ll be happy to give you a demonstration.
OLP winter and spring activities timetable
There are numerous opportunities for hiking and backpacking this Spring with the
Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP)
March 2-3, Backpacking on Appalachian Trail – 10 miles, two days, $30 students
April 6, Devils Marble Yard – 5 miles, $15 students
April 20-21, Backpacking Three Ridges – 20 miles, two days, $30 students
Register in the Office of Student Activities. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org